The Falcons have scuffled a bit en route to all three of their wins, but all anyone cares about is that they won, and that they did so in impressive fashion each time. The fact that many outlets now feature the Falcons as a top ten team should tell you all you need to know about Atlanta's rapidly changing perception.
Let's dive in below, and then tell us where you would rank this Falcons team.
Dan Quinn's group got punched in the face early this past week and gave up 28 points to the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, but they got themselves off the ropes and shut the Cowboys out in the second half, allowing Matt Ryan and Julio Jones to take over. That first half aside, the Falcons are flying around on defense and have a new-found enthusiasm and aggressiveness that makes them dangerous, particularly because they have an offense that can put a lot of points up on the board.
If you watched the first half of Sunday's win over the Cowboys, Atlanta fans, admit it: You panicked. The Falcons got that field goal to close the gap to 28-17, then headed into the third quarter confident they could get the matchups (translated: Julio Jones on anybody in white) they needed. Who saw that kind of game comin' from Devonta Freeman? Good grief. Freeman, who put up 193 total yards of offense and three scores, was running like the love child of William Andrews, Gerald Riggs and Warrick Dunn. And while we're there ... why doesn't Riggs get more love?
I was slowly inching the Atlanta Falcons along in my weekly editions of ranked NFL power. It's wise to tip-toe around overreactions early, and I hesitated to fully embrace the Falcons after wins over a Philadelphia Eagles team only now climbing from its own wreckage, and the New York Giants with their late-game foolishness.
The Falcons took advantage of another challenge made easier Sunday when the Dallas Cowboys were minus quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant. But the opponent is quickly becoming irrelevant, because no one can cover Falcons all-universe receiver Julio Jones.
Jones used Cowboys defensive backs as his personal speed bag, finishing with 164 yards and two touchdowns on 12 receptions. He's now logged 440 yards over three games, and his 34 catches are the most ever during a three-game span to start a season. The NFL isn't supposed to be this easy.
Who had this team off to a 3-0 start? Big credit has to go to coach Dan Quinn and quarterback Matt Ryan.