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Falcons Look Strong After Punishing the Chargers

It is only three games, yes. Still anyone who has seen the Atlanta Falcons this year has to take notice. These guys are good.

Playing in a short week of preparation and traveling across the country did nothing to deter Atlanta from pounding the San Diego Chargers 27-3.

In all facets of the game, the Falcons functioned at top efficiency.

Coach Mike Smith said the short week and travel “had no effect on us. We’ve had this success because our guys come out and play good football. There is no magic to it. We have a plan in terms of how we want our guys to prepare for the game, both physically and mentally and it’s worked for us.”

The Falcons quickly turned a matchup of unbeaten teams into a one-sided fight.

Quarterback Matt Ryan, who led two long, impressive scoring drives, completed 30 of 40 passes for 275 yards, with his first interception of the season, and a passer rating of 107.8. Thomas DeCoud’s three takeaways, plus William Moore’s fourth-quarter fumble recovery, extended the Falcons’ NFL-high turnover differential to plus-10.

“I thought everybody was fresh and we started out fast — offense, defense special teams,” Ryan said. “A good team win.”

The Chargers haven’t been held to three points since a 30-3 loss at Miami on Nov. 24, 2002. It was the fewest points scored in coach Norv Turner’s turbulent six-year tenure with the Bolts, and the fewest with Philip Rivers at quarterback.

“I can’t think of one where we haven’t scored a touchdown in nine years,” San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers said. “The way you lose games in this league (is) you turn it over. You turn it over four times and they turn it over once, late in the game, your chances of winning are pretty slim.”

The Falcons made Rivers and the entire Chargers offense look meek. And the Atlanta offense had its way against the San Diego D, making their cross county trip back home that much more enjoyable.

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