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Despite the imperfections, Atlanta leads second-place Carolina and Tampa Bay by three games in the NFC South.

“I’m aware of it, but I don’t pay attention to it,” Smith said when asked about the big lead in the division. “This early in the season, you’ve got to concern yourself with your team. You don’t even think about what is going on with the other teams until you’re getting ready to play them.

“We’ve started out fast, and it’s just a start.”

The seven sacks allowed are the most obvious concern. Ryan was sacked only four times in the team’s first three games.

“We gave up way too many sacks, but they weren’t all on the offensive line, I can assure you of that,” Smith said. “It was an effort that everybody was a part of.”

Smith said if wide receivers don’t run proper routes, Ryan “is going to be left with nowhere to go with it and have to eat it. That happened a couple times.”

Ryan still passed for 369 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He set up Bryant’s go-ahead field goal by driving the team 77 yards with no timeouts in the final minute.