FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan still won't criticize his NFL colleagues for leaving him off a list of the league network's top 100 players this summer.
Yet Ryan has turned that slight to his favor. He has emerged as the NFL leader in passer rating, completion percentage and touchdowns. Now in his fifth year, Ryan finally has a top cast of playmakers and a steady play-caller in place.
Falcons coach Mike Smith says quick starts on offense allow Ryan to settle into an early, confident rhythm. Atlanta has scored touchdowns on opening possessions of the first three games.
On Sunday, Atlanta will try for its first 4-0 start since 2004 when Carolina visits the Georgia Dome.
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