ATLANTA — Where have these Falcons been all season?
Looking like a playoff contender, the Falcons throttled the upstart Las Vegas Raiders 43-6 before 9,124 fans on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Without two key cogs on offense, the Falcons' defense created five turnovers that led to 23 points. The Falcons were coming of a horrible loss to the Saints, while the Raiders went toe-to-toe with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs last week.
But the AFC playoff contender was no match for the Falcons, who were playing without wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Todd Gurley.
It was the Falcons' first win over a team with a winning record this season.
The Falcons improved to 4-7, while the Raiders, who were favored to win, dropped to 6-5.
Here are five things we learned from the victory:
1. Quick start: On their second and third possessions of the game, Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo made field goals of 38 and 39 yards to take a 6-0 lead.
Linebacker Foye Oluokun added his fourth forced fumble of the season when he knocked the ball off Raiders running back Josh Jacobs. It was recovered by defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner.
After an exchange of punts, the Raiders appeared set to score the game's first touchdown. After a battle of rookies, Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs beat Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell on fourth-and-3 from the 39-yard line for a 36-yard gain.