In Sunday's 27-3 win over the Chargers, the Falcons found balance all over the place.
Atlanta pieced together another impressive defensive performance and added an element on offense that had been lacking in the last two weeks to exhaust San Diego's defense, the third-ranked D entering Week 3.
The Falcons got 119 yards rushing to balance out another big day passing from quarterback Matt Ryan. Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers carried the load jointly rushing 14 and 10 times each. Turner used a 25-yard run to guide him to 80 yards, his largest output of the season.
Each back also recorded a touchdown, Turner on a 7-yard run and Rodgers on an 8-yard reception.
The offense scored the points necessary to give the Falcons their third win of the season, the first time the franchise has started 3-0 since 2004, but the defense did all the dirty work, slowing the Chargers offense with three-and-outs and turnovers to get the ball back into Ryan's hands.
The Falcons used two Thomas DeCoud interceptions and two forced fumbles to help limit the Chargers to 280 net yards. The defense held San Diego to five-of-11 on third down, a 45 percent rate.
Decoud's two interceptions give him three on the season. His first interception came late in the second quarter and resulted in a Falcons touchdown. In addition to his two picks, DeCoud capped a big day on defense with a fumble recovery, three passes defensed and three tackles.
Atlanta's run defense allowed San Diego 116 rushing yards, but only gave up six first downs on the ground on the day.
The defense shut out the Chargers in the first half, largely on the heels of the back-to-back takeaways.
In addition to the efforts of Turner and Rodgers on the ground, the Falcons got plenty of help from a variety of players through the air. Ryan connected with eight different receivers on the day.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez led the way with nine receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown and Julio Jones chipped in five catches for 67 yards and a TD of his own.
Ryan led an offense in the first half that controlled the clock to great success, before closing out the half with a quick-strike, four-play touchdown drive. Atlanta's first two scoring drives took 10 plays and 17 plays each. In total, the Falcons held the ball for 36 minutes, giving them a 13-minute advantage over the Chargers.