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Matt Ryan hits rookie 'wall' at inopportune time...


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In the 2008-2009 season, the Atlanta Falcons exceeded expectations with a 11-5 record and a playoff birth. Part of the reason why the Falcons have been successful is because of the exceptional play rookie quarterback Matt Ryan has exhibited. Throughout the season, Ryan has thrown pass after pass that many thought only veterans could make. He has been crucial to the quick turnaround of the Atlanta Falcons, giving the city something to cheer for after the tumultuous season last year.

However, while the Falcons have been good, they can go only as far as Matt Ryan will take them. When Matt Ryan does good, the team does good and wins. When Ryan does bad, the team also struggles. This is especially evident in today's game against the Cardinals in which Ryan's lackluster play led to a loss. Ryan accounted for four turnovers, and three resulted in Cardinal scores, which gave the Cardinals an insurmountable lead.

Matt Ryan's struggles were not unforeseen. Whether it be the dreaded rookie 'wall' or the even more infamous Decemberitis (think Tony Romo), something went awry with Ryan's hot start. Prior to December, Ryan threw for 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He also had a completion % of 63.2 and a QB rating of 92.6. In the four December games he has played, Matt Ryan has passed for only three touchdowns while throwing five interceptions. He has also fumbled the ball 4 times during this stretch of games. In fact, in the last game against the Rams, which many considered a walkover, Ryan completed a meager 47.6% of his passes.

He continued his spotty play today, in which he helped contribute to 16 Cardinals points.

But then again, Matt Ryan is just a rookie, and there will be bumps in his career path. What remains to be seen though, is how he will do next year. Will he step out of his rookie shell and consistently perform well in his games? Or is this year's December woes a precedent as to what may come?

Next year will be a lot tougher though. The Falcons will have to play the NFC East, AFC East, and NFC South, which field 10 opponents with a record of .500 or above. The Falcons will also probably play the Bears and the 49ers, which had 9-7 and 7-9 records respectively. In total, the opponents next year had a combined 150 wins this year.

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Yeah, I think it's pretty safe to say Ryan hit his rookie wall, and that's not a bad thing at all. People often associate the term "rookie wall" with something negative. It's something all the greats have faced. Ryan has never played this many games before in his life, and he STILL reached the playoffs in his rookie season.

If that's not something to be excited about I don't know what is. Ryan will only be better next year!! Go Falcons!

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I didn't see Matt Ryan struggling, I saw a offensive line that was not blocking anyone. I saw a stat some time in the 2nd half that showed 3 sacks, 7 hits and 7 hurries. We saw in the Superbowl last year than even Tom Brady can't play well when he doesn't have time to throw.

Not to mention that Turner barley got 60 yards.

Oh, why do I bother. I tend to forget that you don't really believe the things you say, you have no other agenda than to make people angry.

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In the 2008-2009 season, the Atlanta Falcons exceeded expectations with a 11-5 record and a playoff birth. Part of the reason why the Falcons have been successful is because of the exceptional play rookie quarterback Matt Ryan has exhibited. Throughout the season, Ryan has thrown pass after pass that many thought only veterans could make. He has been crucial to the quick turnaround of the Atlanta Falcons, giving the city something to cheer for after the tumultuous season last year.

However, while the Falcons have been good, they can go only as far as Matt Ryan will take them. When Matt Ryan does good, the team does good and wins. When Ryan does bad, the team also struggles. This is especially evident in today's game against the Cardinals in which Ryan's lackluster play led to a loss. Ryan accounted for four turnovers, and three resulted in Cardinal scores, which gave the Cardinals an insurmountable lead.

Matt Ryan's struggles were not unforeseen. Whether it be the dreaded rookie 'wall' or the even more infamous Decemberitis (think Tony Romo), something went awry with Ryan's hot start. Prior to December, Ryan threw for 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He also had a completion % of 63.2 and a QB rating of 92.6. In the four December games he has played, Matt Ryan has passed for only three touchdowns while throwing five interceptions. He has also fumbled the ball 4 times during this stretch of games. In fact, in the last game against the Rams, which many considered a walkover, Ryan completed a meager 47.6% of his passes.

He continued his spotty play today, in which he helped contribute to 16 Cardinals points.

But then again, Matt Ryan is just a rookie, and there will be bumps in his career path. What remains to be seen though, is how he will do next year. Will he step out of his rookie shell and consistently perform well in his games? Or is this year's December woes a precedent as to what may come?

Next year will be a lot tougher though. The Falcons will have to play the NFC East, AFC East, and NFC South, which field 10 opponents with a record of .500 or above. The Falcons will also probably play the Bears and the 49ers, which had 9-7 and 7-9 records respectively. In total, the opponents next year had a combined 150 wins this year.

Good post, as always you make a good,constructive posts.

Wow, you guys flame the **** out of "Ryan-2" for very constructive posts he makes before today. Usually about being "negative" and being a "fairweather fan".

But turns he was right about his expectations of his Falcons all along--and now that it's over, you guys agree with him and kiss his ***.

wow.

Edit: oops, I spoke too soon. "Wheele" is still the blind, delusional homer he always was.

I guess a loss in the play-offs, and reality slaps him in the face-- and he still doesn't get it.

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I didn't see Matt Ryan struggling, I saw a offensive line that was not blocking anyone. I saw a stat some time in the 2nd half that showed 3 sacks, 7 hits and 7 hurries. We saw in the Superbowl last year than even Tom Brady can't play well when he doesn't have time to throw.

Not to mention that Turner barley got 60 yards.

Oh, why do I bother. I tend to forget that you don't really believe the things you say, you have no other agenda than to make people angry.

This game was not the only game Matt Ryan struggled in. He has struggled the entire month of December.

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Good post, as always you make a good,constructive posts.

Wow, you guys flame the **** out of "Ryan-2" for very constructive posts he makes before today. Usually about being "negative" and being a "fairweather fan".

But turns he was right about his expectations of his Falcons all along--and now that it's over, you guys agree with him and kiss his ***.

wow.

Edit: oops, I spoke too soon. "Wheele" is still the blind, delusional homer he always was.

I guess a loss in the play-offs, and reality slaps him in the face-- and he still doesn't get it.

That's because you are new here and don't really know him. He is not only a troll, but a pathetic human being.

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This game was not the only game Matt Ryan struggled in. He has struggled the entire month of December.

Matt Ryan played better than the pro bowler Kurt Warner for most of the game, and Kurt warner had NO pressure. There stats, except for 1 interception were almost identical, and Warner had better WR, more time and a running game.

The offensive line and Turner clearly played a way worse game than Ryan. Your agenda is showing.

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Matt Ryan played better than the pro bowler Kurt Warner for most of the game, and Kurt warner had NO pressure. There stats, except for 1 interception were almost identical, and Warner had better WR, more time and a running game.

The offensive line and Turner clearly played a way worse game than Ryan. Your agenda is showing.

Again, this was not the first game Matt Ryan struggled in. He has struggled throughout December. Just look at the Rams game. The running game shined yet the game was still closer than it should have been due to Ryan's poor play. He completed less than 50% of his throws and threw for 2 interceptions.

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It isn't a rookie wall.....it is called a bad game.

All Superstars have them........

I've seen Manning throw 4 INT in a playoff game. Guess he is hitting the Superstar probowl wall.

A rookie wall is normally a point in a rookie's career in which he starts struggling after he hits the wall. Today's game was just another chapter after Ryan hit the rookie wall. He hit the wall in December when in four games he threw for 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.

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Excuse me sir, but Matt didn't struggle in this game. Did he make a poor decision in the first, sure. But that second INT is on Roddy. A QB has to be able to throw the ball downfield and expect his WR to make a play on the ball. If it's thrown short, the receiver has to become a CB and make sure no one catches it. Watch Finn, he does this on misthrows. Roddy has been failing to do this all season long. Not every deep throw will be on the money and it's up to the WR to make a play on it (see Fitz on the first TD). This really is Football 101. You might want to take a class or something. ;)

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Excuse me sir, but Matt didn't struggle in this game. Did he make a poor decision in the first, sure. But that second INT is on Roddy. A QB has to be able to throw the ball downfield and expect his WR to make a play on the ball. If it's thrown short, the receiver has to become a CB and make sure no one catches it. Watch Finn, he does this on misthrows. Roddy has been failing to do this all season long. Not every deep throw will be on the money and it's up to the WR to make a play on it (see Fitz on the first TD). This really is Football 101. You might want to take a class or something. ;)

Matt Ryan also threw the ball too late and completely under threw the receiver. If you watched the play, White had a step or two on DRC. Ryan way under throws the ball and any receiver would have a tough time making a play on it. Also, DRC is 6'2 and White is 6'0. At best, White could have only batted the ball down.

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you know someone is a moron when they have Vick and Deangelo hall in their avatar. Go away, and take your agenda to the redskins or whatever team vick goes to. thank you. The oline struggled today and ryan was forced to win the game. Turner did nothing, and White should have made a play on that one pick in the second half. he barely even came back to the ball to try to break it up (which he has done all his career, sometimes a WR has to be a CB). Also, Brooking should have had a int and made a horrible decision on a 3rd and 16 to end a drive to get us the ball back. there are a lot of people to blame, not just Ryan. He can't do it by himself. And Douglas was no existent.

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Matt Ryan also threw the ball too late and completely under threw the receiver. If you watched the play, White had a step or two on DRC. Ryan way under throws the ball and any receiver would have a tough time making a play on it. Also, DRC is 6'2 and White is 6'0. At best, White could have only batted the ball down.

and batting the ball down would have been awesome. you are a moron.

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I didn't see Matt Ryan struggling, I saw a offensive line that was not blocking anyone. I saw a stat some time in the 2nd half that showed 3 sacks, 7 hits and 7 hurries. We saw in the Superbowl last year than even Tom Brady can't play well when he doesn't have time to throw.

Not to mention that Turner barley got 60 yards.

Oh, why do I bother. I tend to forget that you don't really believe the things you say, you have no other agenda than to make people angry.

Offensive line slept.. defense was playing like there was a force field around the WRs and we loved opening up big opportunities for the cards on the line. Oh matty ice.. He looked like he was made of it.

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We definitely struggled in the month of December and you're right Ryan did hit the wall. Was it how defenses were playing him? Possibly but there were throws that I've seen Matt throw all year that he'd underthrow or overthrow in the last few weeks. I think most here ignored the teams shaky play due to the fact that we were winning but it was definitely a concern of mine. Playoff teams get hot in the month of December and we kind of fizzled down the stretch. Deep down I knew that if we made the same mistakes with the offensive turnovers and defensive play that it would be a quick entry and exit for us. Against the Cardinals today, we saw a month full of struggles that fans wrote off come back to bite us.

That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.. We'll be better for it in the future that's for sure.

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...and any receiver would have had a hard time doing that with the ball Matt Ryan threw.

You're showing either a lack of intelligence or an agenda. Which is it?

On a underthrown ball (and, yes I admitted it was a misthrow) a WR is SUPPOSED to bat the ball away. That is fundamental football that is taught at an early age. A receiver cannot expect a perfect throw and must either catch the ball or make sure no one else does. IT IS HIS JOB!! Roddy has failed to do this multiple times this year. Look, Roddy is great, but this is a weakness in his game he needs to work on.

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Do you not REALIZE that for THE ENTIRE LAST TOUCHDOWN DRIVE of the falcons there was not a SINGLE RUNNING PLAY CALLED?!!?!?!

If it wasn't for Ryan the game wouldnt have been as close as it was!!!!!

After 12 perfect passes in a row, the RUNNING GAME is gonna have to step in. it's not a matter of IF a bad throw is gonna be made, its a matter of WHEN. IT's INEVITABLE, I don't care who is QB.

We got to the playoffs as a TEAM

and we LOST as a TEAM

We as falcons fans should be nothing but greatful for this seasons experience that we had.

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