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Quarterback Comparison Of The Atlanta Falcons’ Depth Chart


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By Brendan Rowe

June 03, 2014 9:59 am EDT

While Matt Ryan is set in stone as the franchise quarterback for the Falcons’, the entirety of the Falcon’s back-up quarterback situation remains quite muddy. Incumbent Dominique Davis underperformed last preseason and many predict that former 7th round pick from Duke Sean Renfree is set to take is position behind Ryan, and finally dark horse UDFA Jeff Matthews from Cornell remains a possibility to sit at #2 on the depth chart. For both Ryan and the unnamed back up, this season is going to be a critical one with many questions needed to be answered: Can Ryan finally make the jump to elite status? How will Ryan perform without the legendary Gonzalez as his safety blanket and perhaps most intriguing who will be there if the nightmare becomes reality and Ryan goes down for an extended period of time?

Matt Ryan

While this is by no means a “make or break” season for Ryan, in the same way it is for Andy Dalton, there is little doubt that this is Ryan’s most important season under center. Ryan became a 100 million dollar quarterback last off-season and last year was supposed to be the year Ryan was sure to cement himself as a top-5 quarterback. But we all know what happened. Ryan had little to no talent surrounding him, save for Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez and Darius Johnson at times. Nobody can fault Ryan for last season, and nobody with an inkling of rationality does. This season Ryan looks to prove what he could not last season, and while I’m not certain he place himself with the likes of Rodgers, Manning, Brady and Brees, I imagine that Ryan will place himself in contention with Rivers and as the 5th best quarterback in the league. Ryan will no doubt benefit from an offensive line that should be able to provide at the very least adequate protection. Every season since coming into the NFL, Ryan has played behind a declining pass protection, and every year he has been sacked more and more, culminating in the 44 sacks he took last year. This is likely the first season that Ryan takes less sacks then the year previous, although I wouldn’t expect the sack total to go any less than 25.

Ryan should also benefit from a great supporting cast around him. Even without Gonzalez, Ryan will be sure to look to Julio Jones who set the NFL a blaze for the five games he played, to fill the void left by Gonzalez. An aging Roddy White will hopefully have enough left in the tank for a couple of more seasons and while I don’t expect him to put up a thousand yard season, or dominate like he once did, White should still be able to put up respectable numbers while facing the #2 corners of the league. It is Harry Douglas who I believe will end up the most surprising of the Falcons receivers this season. After being the Falcons most successful receiver last season, Ryan should be looking to Douglas in the slot consistently. With the Tight ends moving into the line almost exclusively, Ryan will be looking to the slot more often and I quite like Douglas’ chances against other teams’ nickel corners.

All in all, with every variable in place the way it is now. Ryan has the perfect opportunity to be the quarterback the Falcons and their fans have expected him to be, and to put us into play-off consideration late into the season.

Projected Stat Line:

623 Attempts, 427 Completions (68.5 %) 4,619 Yards. 35 TD, 13 INT.

Dominique Davis

While many predict that Sean Renfree will take the place of Davis as the back up this season but I enjoy the struggle of being a dissenter. While Davis isn’t as polished as Renfree in the passing game, Davis adds a wrinkle to the offense with his scrambling ability. While he certainly isn’t as fast or as exciting as Vick in his prime. Davis is perfect in the back up role behind a pocket-passer like Ryan because teams do not game plan for mobile QB’s and if Ryan is forced to come out of a game, I would expect Davis to take over with his legs. Last year, Davis only enetered a game once (in the blowout to Tampa Bay) and managed to go 5/7 for 34 yards. While against backups, and perhaps not the most exciting of stats, It shows that Davis can enter a game and perform in the regular season. For this reason, I would expect him to be the only quarterback behind Ryan on the depth chart going into 2014.

Projected Stats: 5 Attempts, 3 Completions. 17 Yards.

1 Rush 12 Yards

Jeff Matthews

I imagine that Matthews is put onto the practice squad and given a year to adjust to the NFL pass rush as he begins the development process into a potential franchise backup for the Falcons. I like what he has to offer in terms of size and arm ability. The real question will be whether he can develop mentally.

Projected Stats: None

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Guest King Jigsaw
This is likely the first season that Ryan takes less sacks then the year previous
While many predict that Sean Renfree will take the place of Davis as the back up this season but I enjoy the struggle of being a dissenter.

These made my brain hurt.

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It was not Ryan's fault but expectations were raised due to the huge contract he received. There are few QB's who can carry their team and Ryan is not one of those guys.

He needs and decent running game, average defense and a clean pocket to play to his strengths.

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"Nobody can fault Ryan for last season, and nobody with an inkling of rationality does."

Gotta agree with that.

From the same one-man-fansite writer at the end of April:

"I had Ryan ranked as the 5th best quarterback in the league going into the 2013 season, and looking back that may have been too high."

Seems he is faulting Ryan after all.

http://cover32.com/falcons/2014/04/21/a-critique-of-matt-ryan/

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Look at DD rotting on the bench. Can't ******* believe all that elite talent is going to waste. Smith should be arrested as far as I'm concerned for stunting the growth of this future legend.

what's was is if he was given 6 years with the likes of Turner , Roddy, Julio Jones and the greatest TE to ever play I truly believe he would lead the Falcons to 1 single playoff win

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what's was is if he was given 6 years with the likes of Turner , Roddy, Julio Jones and the greatest TE to ever play I truly believe he would lead the Falcons to 1 single playoff win

We found Swifts talking point for the day.

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Aww man! Had it quoted and ready to go but you beat me to it. lol

Did you have this one quoted?

It is Harry Douglas who I believe will end up the most surprising of the Falcons receivers this season. After being the Falcons most successful receiver last season, Ryan should be looking to Douglas in the slot consistently. With the Tight ends moving into the line almost exclusively, Ryan will be looking to the slot more often and I quite like Douglas’ chances against other teams’ nickel corners.

**********************************************************************

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Did you have this one quoted?

It is Harry Douglas who I believe will end up the most surprising of the Falcons receivers this season. After being the Falcons most successful receiver last season, Ryan should be looking to Douglas in the slot consistently. With the Tight ends moving into the line almost exclusively, Ryan will be looking to the slot more often and I quite like Douglas’ chances against other teams’ nickel corners.

**********************************************************************

Of course not. Douglas is non existent in my book. Strange question though. Are you looking to turn this into a Dougy Fresh thread? I've heard your side , you've heard ours. Not really much to discuss. It's up to Harry now.

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Of course not. Douglas is non existent in my book. Strange question though. Are you looking to turn this into a Dougy Fresh thread? I've heard your side , you've heard ours. Not really much to discuss. It's up to Harry now.

Who is ours? Those that plug DJ with no realistic proof?

This article was not solely about Qbs. It's up to Ryan as well if the O-line is fixed.

Edited by Mid-Nite-Toker
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Who is ours? Those that plug DJ with no realistic proof?

This article was not solely about Qbs. It's up to Ryan as well if the O-line is fixed.

Uhh ... lets say the Pro Dougy vs the Con Dougy folks. I can't stand when people act as if they're ignorant about things and that bolded question is one of those times. I think you're a smart guy and don't need anyone to explain "our".

Anyways this is not a Ryan vs Douglas debate. We aren't comparing their caliber of play compared to each other. That would be completely asinine.

I do think you're absolutely correct about it being up to Ryan as well though. This is a big year for him if the Oline is actually fixed.

Well Im done with this conversation though. I certainly don't want to hijack this thread and send it on a idiotic debate that's been had literally 1000s of times here.

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