Veteran running back Cordarrelle Patterson helped the Atlanta Falcons earn their first win of the year, downing the Seahawks 27-23 in Seattle on Sunday after two heartbreaking losses to open the season.
Patterson had 17 carries for a career-high 141 yards and a touchdown, and his 40-yard run late in the third quarter set up the Falcons' game-winning touchdown.
Coach Arthur Smith was complimentary of his multi-dimensional threat when speaking to reporters Monday.
"He's playing really good football," Smith said. "He's still a valuable piece. And I think we can still move CP around if we need to."
Atlanta (1-2) owns the fifth-best rushing attack in the NFL (156.7 yards per game) entering Week 4, when it will host the Cleveland Browns.
A big reason for that is an offensive line that's made a lot of progress from last season.
"Numbers can be deceiving sometimes," Smith said. "You could see the progress last year. There are a lot of things we changed behind the scenes. But those guys are doing a really good job."
Third-year pro Colby Gossett got the start against Seattle at left guard in place of Elijah Wilkinson, who was ruled out due to personal reasons. Smith says he expects Wilkinson to be back in the starting lineup when Atlanta hosts Cleveland (2-1) Sunday.
"I thought Colby played pretty well," Smith said. "But we'll start with Elijah this week and see how it goes."
Patterson's effectiveness out of the backfield complemented Marcus Mariota and the passing game. Mariota passed for 229 yards and a score and orchestrated an offense that scored three touchdowns on four red zone attempts.
Add it together, and Atlanta ranks ninth in the league in scoring offense (26.7 points per game) despite its sub-.500 start.
The Falcons' offense now must prepare for a rugged Browns defensive front. Smith said it will be a test, but Atlanta's second-year head coach likes the way his guys are competing.
"We've got a really big challenge up front against Cleveland with Myles Garrett and those guys," Smith said. "They've got a really good front. But I like the way are guys are playing."
--Field Level Media