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I looked through the first few pages, but didn't see this posted. Here is the link to an article on the Falcoholics web site: Matt Ryan 2018 Matt Ryan’s 2018 was one of his greatest years, and it was spent under siege Ryan got hit a lot. Was it out of line with career norms? By Dave Choate Feb 10, 2019, 8:00am EST SHARE Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images I set out, with this article, to see how Matt Ryan’s 2018 performance stacked up against the rest of his career when you consider the number of sacks and hits he took. I was expecting to see that Ryan, like most quarterbacks, fares best when he’s not getting knocked around by defenses, and that 2018 would prove to be the best year of his career when he was genuinely under siege. A true outlier, in other words. I sort of found that, but I also found that Ryan’s career doesn’t quite follow the neat and tidy narrative. The initial takeaway from this chart is going to be an odd one, one that sort of upends everything the Falcons keep telling us about how important it is to protect Matt Ryan. But that is, quite naturally, not the story we should actually take away from this, so go ahead and review it and let’s come on back. Please note that these numbers are, as far as I am aware, only available back to 2009. 2018: 42 sacks (13th), 102 QB hits (6th) 2017: 24 sacks (27th), 87 QB hits (15th) 2016: 37 sacks (11th), 106 QB hits (6th) 2015: 32 sacks (23rd), 89 QB hits (17th) 2014: 31 sacks (19th), 89 QB hits (13th) 2013: 44 sacks (10th), 100 QB hits (5th) 2012: 28 sacks (25th), 83 QB hits (8th) 2011: 26 sacks (27th), 84 QB hits (7th) 2010: 23 sacks (30th), 69 QB hits (21st) 2009: 27 sacks (25th), 67 QB hits (21st) In light of this, Matt Ryan has had his three best seasons when the Falcons have allowed somewhere in the top ten most quarterback hits in a given season, and a pair of lesser seasons (a still very good 2011 and um 2013) when facing the same. Ryan has been impressively durable all these years taking a huge number of hits and, especially over the last several years, getting sacked quite often. But does that mean he doesn’t need quality protection to thrive? Sort of. The 2016 team was hellbent on making big plays happen, which meant more time in the pocket for Ryan and a greater strain on a very capable offensive line. Ryan took more hits and sacks that year—the highest total in his entire career—because the offense wanted him to hang in there until a killer play materialized. They didn’t always, but they did often enough that the Falcons enjoyed the best offensive season in franchise history, one with a terrific rushing attack to balance things out. The story was similar in 2012, when the offensive line was stone solid and Ryan was trying to push the ball downfield, though he did not have the advantage of a compelling ground game this year. Otherwise, things went as you’d expect. Ryan was quite good in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2017 (even if the stats didn’t show it) when he was pretty well-protected, and in those early years the Falcons weren’t quite so gung-ho about going downfield and largely had a bruising rushing attack to help out. The real outlier on this list, then, still is 2018, when Ryan’s line was crumbling around him, he took the second-highest number of hits and sacks of his career, and he still put together a campaign that would credibly have been MVP-worthy if not for the team’s poor record and the season Patrick Mahomes put together. The upshot of this is that Ryan is still very good, very durable, and very capable of making plays under duress, which sets the Falcons’ offense up quite well for years to come. But the Falcons would not have been able to pull off their 2016 success without an offensive line that gave them the time to unwind some elaborate machinations and get receiving options into positions for big plays, and with Dirk Koetter coming back on board, it would be a mistake to suggest that Ryan’s relative success in 2018 would be repeatable with poor blocking in front of him again.
Goober Pyle posted a topic in Talk About the Falconshttps://www.thefalcoholic.com/2018/12/30/18160945/report-falcons-remain-likely-to-part-ways-with-marquand-manuel-steve-sarkisian The speculation about Steve Sarkisian getting the axe this offseason has been ongoing for many weeks now, and that’s if you don’t count all the talk of him getting fired in like the third week of the 2017 season. Marquand Manuel’s impending doom has been a more recent subject, but all the indications we’re receiving here before the final game of the season is that both men are going to be looking for other opportunities soon. The latest report came from Ian Rapoport at NFL.com, who essentially confirms what we’ve all been thinking about and hearing over the last month. To wit: Coach Dan Quinn is safe, but there will be change. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is seriously at risk, but so is defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel. The Falcons dealt with injuries, especially on the defensive side of the ball but the issues went deeper. While owner Arthur Blank is moving forward with Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff, with a strong belief in both, Quinn should have several new staff members for 2019. Darrell Bevell, who spent some time with Atlanta in the preseason, could be a candidate, but there will be other strong ones. Sark had a shaky start in 2017 but presided over a pretty efbefective offense in 2018, all things considered. If the Falcons can him, he was doomed by his worst efforts—and we all remember too many jet sweeps and 2nd and 10 runs up the middle, to be sure—and Atlanta going slack on offense for five consecutive games to essentially ruin their season. Given that he was a controversial hire when he was added and both Falcons offenses he has run have been disappointing, it’s little surprise he’s likely on the outs and headed back to the college ranks in 2019. The names we’ve seen connected to the Falcons’ vacancy, including Bevell, are not exactly thrilling ones. On defense, Manuel is on the hot seat because of a lack of progress. The 2017 Falcons defense was much better than the 2015 and 2016 versions, certainly, but it still fell short of one of the league’s best units. The fact that the pass rush was non-existent for weeks and key players failed to take a step forward in 2018 will hurt a once-hot head coach prospect a lot, and he’s very likely to be heading out the door as well. There’s been zero talk of who might take over for him, though you could certainly comb through Quinn’s coaching history to find some candidates, especially if Kris Richard might be willing to hop over from Dallas. It’s worth noting, as some of you have, that it’s not a great look for Dan Quinn that he’s had one coordinator hired away (Kyle Shanahan) and has fired three others (Richard Smith, Sark and Manuel) if it comes to this. That’s why I’d expect Quinn to have a relatively short leash going forward, and he and the reportedly safe Thomas Dimitroff front office will have a lot of work to do in a short time to get this football team back on track.