birdz4i Posted September 10, 2015 Share Posted September 10, 2015 Matt Ryan tends to go overlooked as one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks these days, largely due to the fact the Atlanta Falcons are owners of a 10-22 record over the past two seasons. All perceptions aside, the Eagles know they’re preparing to face one of the most prolific passers in the league in Monday night’s regular season opener.Over the past three years especially, Ryan not only has put up numbers among the best in the league but also has been remarkably consistent.Single-season completion totals since 2012: 422, 439, 415 — all top-three finishes. Passing yards since 2012: 4,719, 4,515, 4694 — all top five. Touchdowns: 32, 26, 28 — top 10. Completion percentage: 68.6, 67.4, 66.1 — first, fourth and seventh, respectively.Most of that has been accomplished behind makeshift offensive lines, while lacking a strong complementary ground attack. And although it’s true Ryan has been aided by multiple Pro Bowl targets, Julio Jones missed 11 games in 2013, Tony Gonzalez retired following that season and Roddy White is 33, in and out of the lineup and declining.Ryan’s credentials are unimpeachable, which few players would know than better than Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. As a former member of the NFC South rival New Orleans Saints, Jenkins has gone head-to-head with the Exton, Pennsylvania native nine times in his professional career, more than any other signal-caller.“He’s a smart quarterback,” Jenkins said of Ryan. “He can do all the things at the line of scrimmage as far as checking plays, and he can make all the throws. He has a big arm, gets rid of it quick, understands the game, checks the football. He has everything an elite quarterback needs in this league.“I played against him a lot, and he knows the game. He studies well, so he knows his opponent, he can read defenses. He’s a quality quarterback.”New Orleans was also 7-2 against Ryan during Jenkins’ tenure there, the lopsided nature of the rivalry coming as something of a surprise.It turns out the Saints had become quite good at game-planning for the Falcons’ aerial assault.“You can’t make it easy on him. You’ve got to get some pressure, you’ve got to disguise your coverages,” Jenkins said. “If he knows your game, he’ll carve you up. You have to play around a little bit with your looks, you have to come with some different pressures, and you have to take away their run game.“If they can have balance, that’s going to be tough for us back there, but if we can make them one-handed, it’ll be tough for them.”How effective Atlanta can be on the ground is questionable. The Falcons are set to go with a rookie running back on Monday night in Tevin Coleman. And while Coleman, a third-round pick, rushed for over 2,000 yards as a junior for Indiana in 2014, Atlanta’s offensive line is a bit of a mess heading into the regular season opener, with three new starters up front.The Eagles limited opposing ball-carriers to 3.7 yards per carry in 2014, tied for fourth-lowest in the NFL.Of course, the Eagles also finished 31st against the pass last year, surrendering 18 completions of 40 or more yards in the process — three more than any other team — so the two areas don’t necessarily have to correlate. The hope is a reconfigured secondary will experience more success this season, but Ryan and receivers Jones and White are a tough draw in Week 1.“We think we can get some pressure up front, and we’ll match up well. Obviously, he has a lot of weapons, too,” Jenkins said. “He can get bailed out of a bad situation by just putting it up to those receivers and letting them make plays, so we have to keep the ball in front of us and make them have sustained drives downfield with a short passing game and see where that gets us.”Eagles head coach Chip Kelly agreed that getting pressure on a vulnerable Ryan behind a patchwork offensive line would be a huge help for the secondary.“That's going to be a big matchup,” Kelly said. “Generating the pass-rush and obviously pass defense consists of pass-rush and pass coverage.“So try to get to Matt so we can get the ball out of his hands a little bit quicker than probably he hopes to get it out. But it depends on how their protection can hold up versus our rush, and then how does our coverage hold up against some really talented receivers, especially Julio and Roddy, those are two of the tops and a really good pair.”The Eagles were tied for second in the NFL last season with 49 sacks, but obviously that didn’t always prevent the defense from getting torched through the air.Ryan has one additional advantage, and that would be playing in the comforts of the Georgia Dome on Monday night. The eighth-year veteran has much stronger numbers in his own building.At home, Ryan has compiled a 39-15 record, completed 66.8 percent of his passes and thrown 88 touchdowns to 36 interceptions. On the road, he’s just 27-29 with a 61.8 completion percentage, 93 touchdowns and 55 interceptions.The Falcons haven’t exactly been unbeatable with Ryan at the helm the past two seasons, but that’s been through no fault of the quarterback. Jenkins and Kelly laid out the game-plan to stopping Ryan, and it’s one that’s been executed before. Whether the Eagles can accomplish all of that remains to be seen.http://www.csnphilly.com/football-philadelphia-eagles/malcolm-jenkins-matt-ryan-atlanta-falcons-carve-you-up?p=ya5nbcs&ocid=yahoo Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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