FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons had their full offensive momentum going in the season opener, scoring 37 points against a New Orleans Saints team that ranked fourth in scoring defense a year ago while allowing just 19 points per game.
Offense obviously will be a key for the Falcons this season, particularly if NFC Offensive Player of the Week Matt Ryan can maintain an elite level of play throughout and if his top receivers remain healthy.
But can the Falcons average 30 points per game?
"That's our goal," receiver Roddy White said. "From the start of the offseason through training camp, we always told ourselves we have to score 30 a game. That's what we want to do. It's hard to score 30 in the NFL, I'm trying to tell you. I mean, we've got the personnel to do it.
"We've got to go out there and execute. We can't get off to slow starts. And we can't come out the second half being slow. You've got to go through quarters and be consistent in putting up points. If we can do that on a week-to-week basis, we've got a chance."
Since 2004, 12 teams have averaged 30 or more points per game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Those teams had a combined record of 155-37. And only one of those teams, the '04 Kansas City Chiefs, failed to make the playoffs at 7-9.
The Falcons' highest average so far with Ryan at quarterback was 26.2 points in 2012, the year they finished 13-3 and lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
Running back Steven Jackson was asked if the offense can score 30 points per game.
"I don't know, man. We're going against NFL defenses," he said. "That's not an easy feat. You just have to take it one game at a time. You go against a [team] that's really strong on defense, they primarily built their team to be defensive-minded. It will be hard to put up 30 points against a team like that."
Sunday's opponent, Cincinnati, might be one of those teams. The Bengals allowed just 19.1 points per game last season, which ranked tied for fifth in the NFL. In this year's season opener, they allowed just 16 points against Baltimore, and the Ravens scored 26 in Thursday's night win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
If the Falcons achieve White's stated goal, it's hard to imagine many teams scoring with them this season outside of New Orleans and Green Bay, although the Packers have offensive line issues.