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Matty Ice Cool as Ever


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Hadn't seen this posted. Nice read, not only about MR but the whole team in general


By John Manasso


November 12, 2010

Habitually a polished picture of Brooks Brothers rectitude, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan stood at the podium shortly after midnight following his team’s 26-21 win over Baltimore with his eye-black still smudged and a T-shirt with a team logo hastily thrown on.

The 25-year-old had arguably the best and most significant performance of his young career, achieving a career-high in completions (32), tying a career high in touchdowns (three) and producing the second-highest yardage total of his career (316).

For once the cautious-speaking Ryan actually seemed excited and caught up in the moment – a win over a team that many have touted as a Super Bowl contender will do that. But asked to look at the big picture and to analyze what it meant to be 7-2, the best record in the NFL, Ryan quickly reined in any talk that might be too loose, self-aggrandizing or speculative.

“You know it’s tough as a player to think big picture,” said Ryan, Matty Microcosm. “You really have to focus on the small things and it’s a good win for us tonight, certainly, that’s a good football team we played against tonight. Nine games into it we’re in good position, 7-2. You know, we need to continue to do what we’ve done, which is to continue to work hard during the week, prepare as hard as we can, make sure we dot all of our ‘i’s and cross all of our ‘t’s when we’re getting ready to play on Sunday and then on Sunday go out and have fun.

“Our preparations are in the book and we need to go out there and have fun and cut it loose. We’ve done a pretty good job of that so far.”

Ryan may talk more like a lawyer than a football player, but the approach preached by head coach Mike Smith and dutifully followed by Ryan and his 52 other teammates is working. With more than half of the season complete, the Falcons have been virtually distraction-free and with true professionals like Ryan leading the way in their preparation, the Falcons certainly could be considered to have as good of a chance as any team right now to win their conference and, dare we say it, the Super Bowl.

They are not New Orleans coming off the hype of winning the Super Bowl and struggling to maintain their focus. They are not the daily drama of the Minnesota Vikings with constant reports of feuding between the head coach and the quarterback. They have yet to suffer the numerous injuries that Green Bay has, turning the Packers into more of a one-dimensional team. They are as far as they could possibly be from the imploding Dallas Cowboys and they have even been spared the quarterback carousel of Philadelphia and the New York Giants’ early season theatrics that included Brandon Jacobs’ helmet-throwing and subsequent sulking.

No, the most drama the Falcons experienced was cornerback Dunta Robinson’s hit on the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson for which Robinson was fined. That registered only a slight blip, with perhaps more of the drama going in the direction of the Steelers’ James Harrison for his higher fine and refusal to practice in light of his penalty.

Robinson’s incident was nothing that might have drawn away the focus from matters at hand and, so, the Falcons have tended to business. In many ways, they now seem headed on a collision course with the Giants, who now stand far removed from Jacobs’ Sept. 19 incident.

In a number of respects, the two teams resemble each other. Both have low-key, business-like coaches. Both like to run the ball and have strong run-blocking offensive lines. Both have efficient quarterbacks – provided they avoid interceptions – capable of late-game heroics. The Falcons have the best individual wide receiver with Roddy White but the Giants’ group is probably better as a whole. Of course, the Falcons have Tony Gonzalez, a weapon that the Giants cannot match. Defensively, the Giants probably have a stronger pass rush while the Falcons defensive backfield might have the edge.

So while Ryan may refuse to take his eye off the ball and look at the bigger picture, there’s nothing preventing the sports media from doing so. That’s what we’re here for, after all. If the Falcons keep dotting their ‘i’s and crossing their ‘t’s they may have a lot of football left – possibly even a match-up with their doppelganger Giants.

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We can take the Giants down in the Dome. In NY, that is a different story.

I am glad we played them last year now, as our team may have some good confidence going up against them seeing we lost in OT.

If any team hasn't beat a quality team, it is the NYGiants. Lost to the Titans and the Colts (couldn't muster more than 14 points in either occasion). They beat the Bears who is the only team they beat above .500 but the Bears were a fluke team the first 3 games.

Falcons are in great position. 13-3 at worst!

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