Posted September 23, 2012 on
AP on Fox
San Diego Chargers
New York Jets
For one afternoon, anyway, the San Diego Chargers looked suspiciously like they did last year.
The Chargers had four costly turnovers in a 27-3 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, with the giveaways quickly turning a showdown of undefeated teams into a one-sided fight.
Matt Ryan threw touchdown passes to three different receivers and safety Thomas DeCoud had two interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Falcons, who overwhelmed the Chargers 27-3 Sunday.
Rivers was intercepted twice, Ryan Mathews' fumbling problems returned in his season debut as he put the ball on the ground, and Dante Rosario also lost a fumble, after making a catch in the fourth quarter. San Diego, which has missed the playoffs the last two seasons, was undone last year by turnovers. Rivers had 25, including 20 interceptions. He's been picked off three times this season.
''I knew we would have to play awfully well to win the game,'' San Diego coach Norv Turner said. ''We didn't play the way we are capable of playing. It shows me how much work we have to do.''
Not only did the Falcons (3-0) improve to 6-0 all-time in San Diego, but they've opened the season with three straight wins against AFC West teams.
Ryan completed 30 of 40 passes for 275 yards, with his first interception of the season, and a passer rating of 107.8. DeCoud's three takeaways, plus William Moore's fourth-quarter fumble recovery, extended the Falcons' NFL-high turnover differential to plus-10.
With Philip Rivers having one of his worst statistical performances, the Chargers dropped to 2-1. Rivers was 21 of 38 for 173 yards, with two picks and a QB rating of 45.2.
Ryan led two impressive drives in the first half as the Falcons took control, throwing touchdown passes of 8 yards to Jacquizz Rodgers and 7 to Tony Gonzalez. Given a short field after a turnover, Ryan threw a 9-yard TD pass to Julio Jones.
Ryan led a precise opening drive, moving the Falcons 80 yards without having a third down. He found Rodgers on an 8-yard scoring pass. The PAT failed due to a bad snap.
Ryan Mathews made his season debut for San Diego and looked good until fumbling inside the Falcons' 5-yard line on a hit by Sean Witherspoon, with DeCoud recovering at the Atlanta 4.
Ryan was sacked by Antwan Barnes at the Atlanta 1 on the drive's third play but was bailed out on a holding call against San Diego safety Atari Bigby, giving the Falcons a first down on the 14. The Falcons converted four more third downs on the drive before Ryan hit Gonzalez for a 7-yard score to make it 13-0. Fond of slamming the ball over the crossbar after scores, Gonzalez, a former college basketball player at Cal, stopped and popped a jump shot instead.
The Falcons got the ball back with 1:53 before halftime when DeCoud intercepted Rivers along the right sideline. The call originally was ruled an incomplete pass but overturned after a review, giving Atlanta the ball on the San Diego 29. Four plays later, Ryan threw a 9-yard TD pass to Julio Jones for a 20-0 lead.
''Those two turnovers in that sequence, they killed us,'' Rivers said.
''We just weren't ourselves today,'' Chargers tight end Antonio Gates said. ''We had way too many turnovers and dropped passes. We knew this team coming in here was good, and they just outplayed us today. ... We came out and made some plays early, but the turnovers, those are backbreakers. You're giving a potent offense a short field, and they made the most out of it.''
Jones hurt a hand when hit by safety Eric Weddle at the end of a 19-yard reception on the game's first play from scrimmage. He returned in the second quarter.
DeCoud made a diving interception of a pass intended for Antonio Gates late in the third quarter. Rivers, flat on his back, put his hands on his head in disgust and briefly had words with coach Norv Turner on the sideline.
Ryan had Atlanta's first turnover of the season when he was intercepted by Antoine Cason at the goal line early in the fourth quarter.
Michael Turner, who was with the Chargers from 2004-07, scored on a 7-yard run midway through the fourth quarter. He was arrested on a DUI charge hours after the Falcons beat Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 27-21 on Monday night.
San Diego's Nate Kaeding kicked a 41-yard field in the third quarter.
Mathews had 10 carries for 44 yards.
NOTES: It was San Diego's lowest home output since a 31-3 loss to Green Bay on Oct. 24, 1999. ... After scoring, Michael Turner flipped the ball and posed like LaDainian Tomlinson during his Chargers career. ''That was for L.T.,'' said Turner, Tomlinson's former understudy. ''I know he was probably watching the game. Gave him a little love there.''
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons came into San Diego looking to improve to 3-0 on the young season. Not only did they win, they showed the rest of the league that they are a force to be reckoned with.The Matt Ryan led Falcons started the game with an opening 10 play 80-yard drive that ended with a Falcon 6 on the board. The offense would falter on the next two drives, but answered...
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan turned in another top-notch fantasy performance Sunday against the Chargers, though his day could have been better if San Diego would have put up more of a fight.Fantasy Spin:Ryan threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns, but all three came prior to halftime. The Falcons led 20-0 at the half and Ryan didn't have to throw much in the third and fourth.
How many quarterbacks have won 40 games or more in their first four seasons, since 1950?Three: Dan Marino, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan.Prior to last season, only Marino had accomplished such a feat.However, one must consider that the NFL went to a 16-game format in 1978, it is still an average of 10 wins per year.And that is good. REALLY good.Matt Ryan is now in his fifth season as...
A number of designers have taken their shot at redesigning the Atlanta Falcons helmets and uniforms to their liking.Could you imagine Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, or Roddy White wearing something like this?Featured are a number of Atlanta Falcons helmets and uniform designs. Some are interesting options that fans may like and others may strike a nerve with some fans.Images are by...
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Matt Ryan threw touchdown passes to three different receivers and safety Thomas DeCoud had two interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Atlanta Falcons, who overwhelmed the San Diego Chargers 27-3 Sunday to remain undefeated.
Ryan completed 30 of 40 passes for 275 yards, with his first interception of the season, and a passer rating of 107.8 for the Falcons...
No matter how much Atlanta coach Mike Smith tries to level expectations, he knows that the leadership of quarterback Matt Ryan and the arrival of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan have made the Falcons heavy favorites to win the NFC South.
A 27-3 victory at San Diego gave the Falcons a two-game lead over Carolina and Tampa Bay in the division, but Smith doesn't buy that Atlanta...
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. In a league with Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, it's perhaps surprising that the best quarterback play in the NFL through the league's first three games is coming from the Falcons' Matt Ryan.
That's not a knock against Ryan, it's just that one might think that from an illustrious group that includes the league'...
This Sunday the Atlanta Falcons will travel to San Diego to face the San Diego Chargers.Both teams are 2-0 and are led by two premier quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers. Both teams stand alone atop of the respective divisions and will look to add to their leads and go to 3-0 with a victory on Sunday.The Falcons are looking to build off their Monday night win against the...
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons looked right at home in San Diego -- again.
Ryan threw touchdown passes to three different receivers and safety Thomas DeCoud had two interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Atlanta Falcons, who overwhelmed the San Diego Chargers 27-3 Sunday to remain undefeated.
The Falcons quickly turned a matchup of unbeaten teams into...
Matt Ryan threw touchdown passes to three different receivers and safety Thomas DeCoud had two interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Atlanta Falcons, who overwhelmed the San Diego Chargers 27-3 Sunday to remain undefeated.
Ryan completed 30 of 40 passes for 275 yards, with his first interception of the season, and a passer rating of 107.8 for the Falcons (3-0), who improved...
I still can’t believe it. In a quarterback-driven league that features marquee names like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, it’s truly amazing to see the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan leading the league with a 114 quarterback rating. What’s even better than Ryan’s QB rating though is the Falcons’ 3-0 record so far this season. They are...
The Atlanta Falcons dismissed the notion that a short week and a cross-country flight would work against them.
For whatever reason, the Falcons are comfortable on the West Coast, particularly San Diego. How else to explain why they overwhelmed the San Diego Chargers 27-3?
''I thought everybody was fresh and we started out fast - offense, defense, special teams,''...
SAN DIEGO -- Atlanta made itself at home again in San Diego and extended its perfect mark there with a dominating victory. Quarterback Matt Ryan passed for three touchdowns and safety Thomas DeCoud led a strong defensive effort as the Falcons manhandled the Chargers in a 27-3 victory before 61,297 fans Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium. The win was Atlanta's sixth consecutive in...
It's only three games in, but right now the Atlanta Falcons look as if they are as good as any team in the NFL.
With new offensive and defensive coordinators, their makeover appears a success as they improved to 3-0 on Sunday by putting a 27-3 thumping on San Diego, one of only six remaining unbeaten teams in the league.
Sunday had set up as a classic "letdown" game...