September 23, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones (11) catches a touchdown pass while being defended by San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer (23) during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium.Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
Bolt Talk Writer
Atlanta might just have the best offense in the NFL this season.
Behind the best statistical quarterback in the league, Matt Ryan, the Falcons generated 384 yards of total offense Sunday at Qualcomm. Ryan completed 75 percent of his passes for 275 yard with three touchdowns and an interception. On the ground Atlanta totaled 119 yards with Michael Turner leading on 14 carries for 80 yards and a TD.
San Diego had scored at least one touchdown in the 151 games prior to Sunday afternoon's 27-3 loss to the Falcons.
Ryan Matthew's debut was not bad, but a fumble inside the Atlanta five-yard line is one he would like to have back. Mathews finished with 10 carries for 44 yards.
Philip Rivers threw two interceptions and completed 21 of 38 passes for 178 yards.
"I can't think of one off the top of my head where we haven't scored a touchdown in nine years," said Rivers. "We just turned it over. We turned it over 6-0, turned it over 13-0, got it back 20-0, that pretty much sums it up."
Was it about how good the Falcons are or just how much the Chargers are lacking?
"They're an outstanding football team that's been together for an extended period time," said head coach Norv Turner. "I knew we would have to play awfully well to win the game, or make the game a game we had a chance to win. Obviously we didn't play the way we're capable of playing."
For Turner the difference was the continuity Atlanta has and the lack thereof for his team. He said he believes the number of new additions to the roster and the ability of those players to mesh together was a major factor in the loss.
Chargers receivers were led by Malcom Floyd. Floyd was thrown to nine times by Rivers, but only three of those passes were receptions, totaling 52 yards. Antonio Gates caught three passes for 22 yards and was targeted seven times by Rivers. Robert Meachem was targeted seven times and caught four passes for 43 yards.
"The only thing that was taken from us today is that we can't go undefeated," Rivers concluded.
"We've got a road game in the division, and we've got to rebound in a hurry."