Starting fast has long been a staple of the Mike Smith/Matt Ryan era in Atlanta, and this year is no exception.
The Falcons have scored touchdowns on their opening possession in all three games to begin this season and that early momentum has propelled them to a strong offensive start and three straight wins. A lot goes into starting a game the way the Falcons have and one of the ingredients is an effective game plan from offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.
"I think good execution coming out the gate (is a factor)," Ryan said on Wednesday. "I think Dirk's done a good job calling the plays and getting us prepared for those situations."
Scoring quickly shouldn't come as a big surprise. Since 2008, the Falcons have the most points on opening possessions in the NFL. In that time span, they've accumulated a 37-9 record when they score first. Atlanta is the only team to have scored three TDs to begin the game this season.
Ryan said the players on offense believe in the plans Koetter puts forth each week and thinks they play with confidence in the scheme when they walk out on the field on game day. Even with the quick starts in games and overall on the season, there's work to be done.
"I think there are other areas where we haven't been as efficient as we need to be," Ryan said. "I think for us the focus this week is to try and improve in those other areas."
The Falcons begin their NFC South portion of the 2012 schedule this Sunday against Carolina. While on paper, Carolina's defense doesn't shape up to be as tough as the previous two they've faced, Ryan thinks division games are inherently tougher because of all the familiarity.
"There's something extra there because you know these teams, you know the players, you play against them very frequently," he said. "They know you, they know your scheme, they know your calls. These kinds of games come down to execution. That's what we need to focus on as players."
Heading into Week 4, Ryan isn't too caught up in the stat sharing that's going on about his team right now. His right arm is sitting atop numerous individual QB categories and the offense he leads is among the league's most highly-rated as well. Those are great, but Ryan said they just need to keep going out and putting up Ws.
"Yeah, it's early, but it's a good start," he said. "We just need to continue to take care of our business."