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Ryan Finally Takes Center Stage Over Vick By Jeff Schultz


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Ryan leads Falcons and finally takes center stage over Vick

2:34 am September 19, 2011, by Jeff Schultz

When Matt Ryan became a Falcon on draft day in 2008, Michael Vick was sitting in a prison cell at Leavenworth. So there was no ceremonial passing of the torch. Maybe just an easing of Arthur Blank’s headache.

To Ryan, Vick has been only a shadow, a ghost, a name he hears in press conferences. But the reminders have been constant, particularly with Vick’s remarkable rebirth in Philadelphia, and the biggest question going into Sunday night was how Ryan would handle his predecessor’s return.

“To me, having not been here and having not played with him and understanding how difficult it is to play regardless of what the circumstances are in this league, I wouldn’t allow myself to get caught up in it,” Ryan said late Sunday night.

Was it really that easy? Or is this just one of those things where we’ll never really know how much it has bothered him? No matter. Even if Vick’s first start against the Falcons — and against Ryan — stirred fans and maybe some members of the organization (Blank?) into a far greater frenzy than Ryan, this much is certain: The exorcism is complete. The Falcons didn’t just beat Philadelphia, 35-31. They beat Vick.

Ryan beat Vick.

Yes, we are reminded constantly it’s all about team. Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez and so many others certainly played key roles in this game. But Ryan is the face of this team. A team that used to be Vick’s, in a city that used to be Vick’s, in a league that used to Vick’s 24/7 — and recently it seems like it is all over again.

If the Falcons had lost, Ryan’s face would’ve been targeted for most of the pies. That’s just the way it works in football, and certainly in Atlanta, given the backdrop.

It wasn’t nearly the best game of Ryan’s career. But in some ways, it might’ve been the most impressive. The Falcons had flat-lined. Ryan had two interceptions. The air had gone out of the offense and the building. Ryan was getting hammered behind an ever-collapsing offensive line. Philadelphia had turned a 21-10 deficit into a 31-21 lead. Even with Vick now on the sideline and looking woozy, the game appeared over late in the third quarter. Vick would win again, just as he did as a backup in the Georgia Dome in 2009, when he ran for a touchdown and threw another in a 34-7 Philly win.

Ryan was injured that night. But he watched. He saw. He knew what it meant.

On Sunday night, with the Falcons losing by 10 points, Ryan showed his greatest strength. He didn’t change.

“In the huddle, he just said ‘Let’s go down and score. We’ve got this,’” wide receiver Harry Douglas recalled.

And the Falcons did. Twice.

Through nearly three quarters, Ryan completed only 8 of 17 passes for 102 yards. But he came out firing in a no-huddle offense. On first down, he completed a 17-yarder to Roddy White (”You want to get that first big play to get you moving,” he said.) Then came a 13-yarder to Gonzalez, a 14-yarder to Julio Jones, a 15-yarder to Douglas. He went 7 for 9 on the drive, the last being a one-yard touchdown flip to fullback Ovie Mughelli to close to 31-28.

It was like Ryan suddenly plugged the team into a light socket. He even called his own plays in the no-huddle.

“He was going up to the line, calling the plays that he likes to call, and he was getting the ball in good positions for us,” White said.

The winning touchdown drive was mostly about Turner, who broke off a 61-yard run on first-and-17 from the Falcons’ 13. But Ryan hit Douglas and Gonzalez on consecutive passes, the latter coming on third down to set up Turner’s go-ahead touchdown.

“I thought our quarterback really showed his toughness,” coach Mike Smith said. “He took a number of shots and he kept going. When you’ve got guys like that, you’ve got a chance to be successful. He’s a tough Irishman.”

In the end, it was Ryan who brought his team back, rebounding from a poor opener in Chicago. It was Ryan who threw a career-high four touchdown passes and won the game, while Vick was sitting in the locker room with a concussion, a sore neck and three turnovers (two led to Falcons’ touchdowns).

Ryan downplayed the significance of this night.

“We have a big game against Tampa Bay next week,” he said, as if reading from a cue card.

Something tells me it means more than he will ever admit. It certainly did for others.

By Jeff Schultz

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We definitly should think about converting the Offense towards some Manning style ... When Ryan went no-huddle the Eagles heavily struggled stopping them and suddenly the offense look like the promised "the greatest show on turf part II ).

If it were the first game in that this happened when i would say coincidence - but the last season is even more proof - when the game was on the line we went no huddle and Ryan called all shots and *snap* it worked like charm ...

MM should start thinking about this or leave for someone more competend - he hasnt any more excause for this struggling offense ...

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Pat Yasinskas wrote an article this morning opining that Turner is still the heart of the Atlanta offense. I'll have to disagree with PY on this. The Heart of Atlanta's offense is Matt Ryan. The way he carried the Falcons back in the 4th quarter after getting completely abused from the Eagle pass rush during the first three quarters, speaks volumes for his leadership. No, he can not single-handedly win games through passing alone, without some semblance of a ground game. However, I would like to see any QB in the NFL play at Ryan's level with this awful excuse for an offensive line.

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Pat Yasinskas wrote an article this morning opining that Turner is still the heart of the Atlanta offense. I'll have to disagree with PY on this. The Heart of Atlanta's offense is Matt Ryan. The way he carried the Falcons back in the 4th quarter after getting completely abused from the Eagle pass rush during the first three quarters, speaks volumes for his leadership. No, he can not single-handedly win games through passing alone, without some semblance of a ground game. However, I would like to see any QB in the NFL play at Ryan's level with this awful excuse for an offensive line.

Post of the day! Says it all...

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Matty Ice has finally killed 1 of the elephants in the room now its time to make our playoff run. Beat Tampa beat GB and we'll be no.1 bye week

I think Ryan's next elephant to be killed is Winning a playoff game, not necessarily getting us to the playoffs. However judging by the way Atlanta has played the first two games, just getting the Falcons to the playoffs again will certainly not be easy.

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We definitly should think about converting the Offense towards some Manning style ... When Ryan went no-huddle the Eagles heavily struggled stopping them and suddenly the offense look like the promised "the greatest show on turf part II ).

If it were the first game in that this happened when i would say coincidence - but the last season is even more proof - when the game was on the line we went no huddle and Ryan called all shots and *snap* it worked like charm ...

MM should start thinking about this or leave for someone more competend - he hasnt any more excause for this struggling offense ...

I thought the coaching staff, for all their faults, made several good adjustments from Week 1 to Week 2. The best adjustment we could make moving into Week 3 would be to run the no-huddle more. I've been hoping we would for a LONG time now, and I would be absolutely ecstatic to see us use the no-huddle offense against Tampa Bay on 50-60% of our drives.

I will also be really interested to see if we shuffle the offensive line up next week.

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I can understand the new guys adjusting, but Sam Baker is no starting LT. He's garbage and has been from day one!!! Smitty and TD better not start him because he was a first round selection...bring someone else in or play Reynolds in the LT position.

After the first couple of games last season, I remember reading that Atlanta was seriously considering benching Baker in favor of Svitek. Baker began to play a little better last year, so they never tried anyone else at left tackle. I now believe that the Falcons desperately need to consider and hopefully implement some type of change at the left OT position, before Ryan gets killed.

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Center stage over Vick my ***. Refs were awful last night what about that pick that Vick threw, that really wasnt? The ball hit the ground on that play. Ryans last TD pass was B.S it was off a free play when a flag was thrown and the defense gave up on already. When Vick left the game the score was 31-21. If anything Vick outstaged Ryan. Thats why Falcons fan cheered when Vick got hurt, because theyre weak ,scared,cowards , always looking for a cheap victory,and they were afraid Vick was gonna blow them out.You know it and I know it as well. Hold off on talking crap because Andy Reid has the Falcons number and you will have to see Vick again n the playoffs and he will have extra motivation

CT_Why%2Byou%2Bmad.jpg

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This Falcons win was one of the most unlikely and emotionally gripping in the history of the franchise, considering it was with Vick coming back to the Dome and the team looking completely inept vs GB and the Bears last week. The glue that held things together was Matt Ryan. You have to give the man credit, he doesn't have a great arm, can't run at all, has almost no ability to move around in the pocket, has the worst Offensive Coordinator in pro, college or high school football and half of his offensive line shouldn't even be NFL practice squad scrubs. Said sorry linemen had left Ryan at the mercy of the Eagle rush, and they mauled him all night.

Yet, somehow he overcame his miserable first half, his turnovers, the unrelenting rush from the Eagle defense and a 10-point deficit to get this team ~ and Atlanta fans ~ a crucial win.

I wish Ryan was a little more agile and had a little stronger arm, but this guy is a gamer and he proved that to a national television audience last night. Whether what he brings to the table combined with our current OC and OLine will be enough to make the play-offs is still very much in doubt, but I think a boatload of other changes/replacements need to be addressed before anyone questions our QB again.

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Sniffle, sniffle, whine, "Oh Vick", sniffle....."why do you carry the ball like a loaf of bread".....whine, sniffle...."how come you're such a whimp and get hurt all the time"......waaahhh, whine, sniffle, sniffle....." I still love you though, have to have my Cream of Vick every morning because I love you man"....sniff, sniffle, whine....."that's my quarterback".

I hear ya brother...we went through the same thing when he was here.

Same 'ol Vick.....turnovers galore, gets hurt, leaves the game like a whimp and then the Vickies cry and whine. Don't worry, you'll get used to it in time.

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I can understand the new guys adjusting, but Sam Baker is no starting LT. He's garbage and has been from day one!!! Smitty and TD better not start him because he was a first round selection...bring someone else in or play Reynolds in the LT position.

Couldn't agree with you more. Watching the replays of Baker getting knocked backward for 2 or 3 yards every play was disgusting. I can only compare it to watching a large, angry person beating a mentally diminished child. Whatever Baker's getting paid, whatever length of time remains on his contract, he needs to be paid off and released. Ryan has no chance to stay healthy with Baker playing in front of him. Whatever FAs are out there, there should no longer be any question that some of them, if not most of them, would be more effective blockers than this pathetic poser.

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Center stage over Vick my ***. Refs were awful last night what about that pick that Vick threw, that really wasnt? The ball hit the ground on that play. Ryans last TD pass was B.S it was off a free play when a flag was thrown and the defense gave up on already. When Vick left the game the score was 31-21. If anything Vick outstaged Ryan. Thats why Falcons fan cheered when Vick got hurt, because theyre weak ,scared,cowards , always looking for a cheap victory,and they were afraid Vick was gonna blow them out.You know it and I know it as well. Hold off on talking crap because Andy Reid has the Falcons number and you will have to see Vick again n the playoffs and he will have extra motivation

Lmao. You Lose.

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Center stage over Vick my ***. Refs were awful last night what about that pick that Vick threw, that really wasnt? The ball hit the ground on that play. Ryans last TD pass was B.S it was off a free play when a flag was thrown and the defense gave up on already. When Vick left the game the score was 31-21. If anything Vick outstaged Ryan. Thats why Falcons fan cheered when Vick got hurt, because theyre weak ,scared,cowards , always looking for a cheap victory,and they were afraid Vick was gonna blow them out.You know it and I know it as well. Hold off on talking crap because Andy Reid has the Falcons number and you will have to see Vick again n the playoffs and he will have extra motivation

"Points to the scoreboard"

Hey don't blame the refs if Andy Reid is too dumb to throw the challenge flag. Don't blame us for the Eagles defense giving up on a play, Don't make excuses for us mauling your boy so bad he had to leave the game. You just better hope he can play next week after that butt whooping we laid on him. Yeah it was his own players helmet that hit him in the head, but our player that slung him around like a ragdoll. The only thing I will agree with you on is Andy Reid does have the Falcons number, but not last night my friend.

BTW I am a HUGE Michael Vick supporter, and always have been. BUT not when he plays the Falcons, and I am tired of people like you that just won't let the guy go. He blew it in Atlanta and all that blame is on him - get over it. I do hope he recovers fully from the mauling we gave him last night. But next time we play him I hope we maul him again. Nothing personal but just the nature of the game. However, I will be rooting for him in games against anyone but us. The guy is still the most exciting player I have ever seen in the NFL.

The only thing we can agree on is the horrible officiating. They don't throw a flag on a blatant helmet to helmet hit on Matt Ryan, but throw a VERY questionable one on Abraham for leading with his helmet on your backup.

Edited by FalconFanForLife
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I thought the coaching staff, for all their faults, made several good adjustments from Week 1 to Week 2. The best adjustment we could make moving into Week 3 would be to run the no-huddle more. I've been hoping we would for a LONG time now, and I would be absolutely ecstatic to see us use the no-huddle offense against Tampa Bay on 50-60% of our drives.

I will also be really interested to see if we shuffle the offensive line up next week.

I have much greater trust in Ryan's play-calling from the no-huddle, than Mularkey's play-calling. I particularly liked the Ravens game last season, when Atlanta ran the no-huddle offense the majority of the game. If a running play is more likely to succeed over a passing play, then Ryan is certainly aware enough to call it even in the no-huddle, like he did on Turner's 61-yard run last night.

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Mon Sep 19 12:09am EDT

Vick points out scoreboard to booing fans, then Eagles lose

By Chris Chase

As an injured Michael Vick(notes) walked to the locker room and was showered with jeers from Atlanta Falcons fans, he brazenly pointed twice at the scoreboard. The Philadelphia Eagles were leading 31-21 and Vick was letting his old fans know it.

Vick was still in the locker room getting care for his injured neck when the game ended. Had he been on the field, Falcons fans surely would have helpfully pointed out the adjusted score: Atlanta 35, Philadelphia 31.

Given a boost by Vick's absence, the Falcons offense began to click and scored 14 unanswered. Backup Philadelphia quarterback Mike Kafka(notes) performed admirably in his reserve role, but a dropped fourth-down pass late in the game sealed the Falcons victory.

For all the improvements Vick and the various sycophants who blindly defend him say he's made, one thing he hasn't changed is that cocksure braggadocio. Pointing to the scoreboard is hardly a capital offense. It's still juvenile and petty and should be beneath most professional athletes, particularly ones who are in the midst of major career rehabilitation. Plenty of stars get booed and don't point up to the scoreboard like a hotshot high school quarterback.

At least Vick used his index finger to point out the score. He's been known to walk off the field in Atlanta raising a different one.

http://boards.atlant...s.com/index.php?

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