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Matt Ryan: Judge Him by the Interceptions he HAS Thrown


HolyMoses
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Matt Ryan has thrown 8 interceptions so far this season, which ties him with Joe Flacco for sixth among NFL QB's who have thrown for 2000 or more yards. (His TD/INT ratio is 5th)

Certainly, any NFL QB with less then 10 interceptions is careful with their throws, but, after the interception Ryan threw in the Panther game Sunday, I wondered how many of Ryan's interceptions were actually mistakes, and of those, how many were COSTLY mistakes? Put it another way, how many were calculated or reasonable risks, and how many were just screw ups?

Fortunately, the analysis does not take too much time:

1)4th quarter pass on first and 10 at the Falcon 21 against the Steelers. OUCH! Ryan is not the first elite quarterback to have Boy Troy get the best of him. GREAT play by Polimollo, but still a MISTAKE. Fortunately, thanks to the missed field goal, not as costly as we would have thought at the time.

2) Trailing San Fransisco by 7, threw a 3rd down interception from the '49'er 18 yard line. COSTLY MISTAKE. Although we did not give up points after the turnover, we could have kicked a field goal on the next play.

3) Two minute drill interception against the 'niners on 2nd and 9 at ATL 46. MISTAKE in high risk situation. There was still plenty of time, no need to take the risk on 2nd down. Thanks to Roddy, it was not a costly mistake at all!!!

4) Late 2nd quarter interception on 3rd and 6 at PHI 22. EDIT thanks to dmite: NOT a MISTAKE the ball was thrown right to Gonzo and bounced off him to the Eagle.

5) Third Quarter interception against the Bengals on third and eight from our 33. This was on a fairly deep pass and the play netted just a little less that we would expect from a punt. REASONABLE RISK, NOT A MISTAKE

6) Against Tampa, first half interception on 2nd and 10 from the Atlanta 39. COSTLY MISTAKE (Lead to Buc TD)

7) 2nd half interception against Tampa in which Roddy White fell down on sloppy field. NOT A MISTAKE. Ryan's strength is "throwing receivers open". His game is to make the throw while the receiver is in the break. Pretty tough to blame him when the receiver falls. (Tough to blame the receiver, too, when the field is that sloppy)

8) Interception against the Panthers at the end of the first half. NOT A MISTAKE. This was a good risk. A big completion could lead to another score before the half, a long interception doesn't hurt. May as well take the free shot.

So, out of eight interceptions, you have four mistakes. Of these, only two were costly and neither actually cost the game (both came in wins.) The two non costly mistakes were in situations in which the defense was sitting on routes, knowing we would have to throw.

At the risk of sounding like guy making the "our running defense is strong because you shouldn't count cut back runs" I think this analysis reflects pretty well on Ryan, and the team. Ryan is willing to help the team at the expense of his stats. The team is able to bail him out when he makes rare mistakes.

Last year, behind by only two in Carolina, Ryan through an interception early in the fourth quarter on first and ten from midfield. There were many other failures by many other players in that game, but I thought that was the ONE single play that cost the game. Ryan just is not doing that this year, and that is why we are 11-2.

Edited by holymoses
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I disagree about the Eagles one. That was a perfect ball but Tony dropped it and it went right to an Eagle.

Thanks, I will edit. I did NOT go back and actually watch each interception. In fact, I was at my son's baseball game during the first half the the Philly game and saw no reason to go back and watch that half on DVR!

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I think the INT in Pitt was much more a case of going to the well one too many times than something that we can blame on Ryan...they threw that same out route like 4 times in the game and with a safety as smart and athletic as that you are going to get burned...the coaching staff set him up to fail on that one...I am very very happy with the production and development of Ryan this year and I sincerely think he will be one of the top 3 QB's in the league over the next 10 years.

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Thanks, I will edit. I did NOT go back and actually watch each interception. In fact, I was at my son's baseball game during the first half the the Philly game and saw no reason to go back and watch that half on DVR!

Others have disagreed with me over it though. It was a high throw, but it was right where Tony likes it and I think Tony should have gotten it, and I think Tony probably believes that as well.

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I think the INT in Pitt was much more a case of going to the well one too many times than something that we can blame on Ryan...they threw that same out route like 4 times in the game and with a safety as smart and athletic as that you are going to get burned...

That is exactly what it was. I think they did it more than 4 times. Roddy alone had 13 catches in that game and i'd say half were those comeback routes. Ryan stared down Roddy, Roddy pulled up, Troy and everyone else watching knew what was coming next.

I cant wait for the day that teams have scouted this and are waiting for it, only Roddy comes back, Ryan pump fakes, and Roddy streaks down the field after the DB bites, for a huge play.

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I think the INT in Pitt was much more a case of going to the well one too many times than something that we can blame on Ryan...they threw that same out route like 4 times in the game and with a safety as smart and athletic as that you are going to get burned...the coaching staff set him up to fail on that one...I am very very happy with the production and development of Ryan this year and I sincerely think he will be one of the top 3 QB's in the league over the next 10 years.

I am amazed how well the deep out in crucial situations continues to work for Ryan. You'd think the league would be sitting on that route since the Bears game in '08. But time after time, when it matters most, Ryan hits that play (most recently on 3rd and 20 against the Bucs.) Maybe the league is sitting on it and it's just a good thing the league only has one Troy Pollimollo.

Actually, the Steeler interception was not the DEEP out that has been so effective. It was a ten yard comeback route.

Edited by holymoses
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