The Falcons had played some good football over their first two games, with nothing to show for it. There was plenty of positive in games against the Saints and Rams, but they still ended up 0-2.
That left them needing to put a complete game together, one that would produce a breakthrough in the win column on Sunday against the host Seattle Seahawks.
That happened during this Week 3 contest at Lumen Field.
The Falcons were able to establish a fourth-quarter lead the defense was able to sustain with some big plays, ultimately securing a 27-23 victory over Seattle.
Let's take a look at what stood out in this contest, the last leg of a two-game, West-Coast road trip:
Kyle Pitts a key factor
The Falcons called for a deep shot to Kyle Pitts on the first offensive play. After a week's worth of talk about the star tight end not being involved enough, was that a coincidence? Probably not.
That attempt didn't produce, but one subsequent effort after another surely did. Pitts was targeted a ton, especially in the early going, and finished with his biggest game of this early season. He ended up with five catches for 82 yards but could've had more with some better throws when open.
Pitts remained impactful on third down, in the middle of the field and farther deep. Were all these targets due to the game-week conversation about not using Pitts enough? Surely not. The Seahawks have struggled handling tight ends early this season, and didn't have great answers for such a tall, athletic talent.
The Falcons are clearly better when Pitts is heavily involved, as we saw in Week 3. His target count and production won't be sky high every week, but the Falcons finding ways to get him involved will always be good thing. They did a good job of that in Seattle.
Falcons skill players not named Pitts shine, too
We saw Kyle Pitts featured a ton in this Week 3 contest, but he wasn't the only big-name Falcons skill player to make an impact. Drake London and Cordarrelle Patterson got in on the action as well, with pivotal touchdowns that kept the Falcons offense humming well into the second half.
Patterson scored from 17 yards out in the second half, and his 40-yard run helped set up London's 14-yard score late in the third to give the Falcons a fourth-quarter lead.
Patterson exceeded 100 yards for the second time in three tries, showing an ability to break big runs and earn tough yards between the tackles. He ended up with a career high141 rushing yards on just 17 carries in this one, with some nifty runs throughout.
While Pitts was targeted more, London found a way to make an impact when it mattered most, scoring the decisive touchdown.
The Falcons are tough to stop when they keep the ball to themselves – no turnovers, please – and have their big three skill players going at the same time.
Defense stands tall in fourth quarter
After playing some quality defense over the first two weeks, though not enough in either game to pull out a win, Dean Pees' unit entered Week 3 looking for a more complete game. They didn't do that.
The Falcons defense did, however, just enough to get the win. I'm sure the unit will take the 'W' over any statistical successes. They stood tall in a big moment, however, getting a big stop after London's go-ahead touchdown. They had to get another huge one after Marcus Mariota and Tyler Allgeier botched a handoff exchange that caused a change of possession.
The defense made its biggest mark late, highlighted by a Grady Jarrett sack on third down and a Richie Grant interception on fourth down to uphold the Falcons' fourth-quarter advantage.