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Ajc: What's Wrong With Matt Ryan?


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http://mikecheck.blog.myajc.com/2015/11/23/whats-wrong-with-matt-ryan/

There were a handful of throws by Matt Ryan in the past two games that made me wonder: What’s wrong? I’m not talking about inexplicable interceptions like that pick six against the Colts. That’s just a bad decision. No, what I mean are those plays in which Ryan makes a good decision but just can’t put the ball where it needs to go.

Passes sailed well over the heads of open receivers on intermediate routes. They fell short of streaking targets on deep patterns. There’s no zip on his passes, which tail off late. The accuracy isn’t there.

“Matt Ryan, he’s getting worse,” Rodney Harrison said, and not for the first time, on NBC’s Football Night in America.

Four head-scratching Ryan throws stood out for me on Sunday at the Dome, all of them in the fourth quarter:

  • On first down Julio Jones got a couple of steps behind safety Clayton Geathers, who has no hope of covering Jones. Ryan’s pass fell short about 58 yards downfield. Jones shook his head, hands on hips.
  • Two plays later Ryan had Leonard Hankerson open on left sideline beyond the first-down marker. The pass, from the Falcons’ nine-yard line to the Falcons’ 34, sailed high and well wide of Hankerson.
  • Jones had another mismatch, this time against second-string cornerback Josh Thomas, on another third down. The threat of Jones going deep had Thomas backpedaling and giving five yards of cushion, so Jones was wide open when he broke for the sideline. Ryan’s pass was nowhere near Jones and sailed out of bounds, prompting boos from frustrated Falcons fans (and another hands-on-hips pose by Jones).
  • And, finally, there was the Hail Mary pass to end the game. Ryan rolled to his right and put everything he had into the throw from the Falcons’ 38-yard line. The ball made it to the Colts’ eight-yard line, 54 yards away.

Ryan also had some off-kilter throws against the 49ers. Most of them were sideline routes beyond the sticks that fluttered high and wide, like those passes to Hankerson and Jones on Sunday. It’s true that he’s never had elite arm strength but those are the kind of throws Ryan usually makes, so why isn’t he making them now?

You won’t get much insight from coach Dan Quinn, who has established that he’s not going to publicly scrutinize his quarterback’s play—a question about Ryan’s play Sunday got an answer about the Falcons not being their best in “all phases” Ryan has always accepted his share of the blame but he’s not inclined to into specifics about his struggles.

My eyes tell me that something just isn’t right with Ryan. I figured that once he solved his fumbling issues he’d get back on track. He’s not fumbling anymore but now his accuracy is an issue, for some reason.

“It happens,” Jones offered in defense of his quarterback. “You are going to have your ups and your downs. It is all about how you deal with it. If you are down, are you going to stay down, or you are going to get up? It depends on the individual. We are here for him and vice-versa. When we are down, he is here for us.”

Matt Ryan is trending down. Maybe his teammates can figure out what’s wrong.

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something is amiss!

I don't know what is going on w/ Matt - but something is not adding up. I realize it is a different system - maybe that is it - but you don't generally see someone suddenly get much worse with accuracy like what is going on now w/ Matt. I don't get it.

Is it the system?

Is it an injury?

Is it something else?

I don't know.

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something is amiss!

I don't know what is going on w/ Matt - but something is not adding up. I realize it is a different system - maybe that is it - but you don't generally see someone suddenly get much worse with accuracy like what is going on now w/ Matt. I don't get it.

Is it the system?

Is it an injury?

Is it something else?

I don't know.

You could tell in the game he is stressing on receivers assignments and is not comfortable. I think it is either the system or injury,

Passes are overthrown or off target , his medium range passes seem to be the only ones without issues

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Its a lack of confidence in himself and the system as well as his receivers. How many times does he have to throw the ball into the hands of his receivers only to watch it bounce onto the ground. That drop off the hands of the franchise's all time leading receiver that bounced off the ground and into an interception of some sort was tough. It could have been a touchdown. Then he had two passes that could have set up a late FG fall out of the hands and chests of two more receivers. This doesn't excuse the bad throws but it seems to happen a lot.

Matt also seems to be thinking too much and not reacting. Football is a game where if you think too much you make mistakes or get flattened. It's a head game and he needs to sort his out.

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something is amiss!

I don't know what is going on w/ Matt - but something is not adding up. I realize it is a different system - maybe that is it - but you don't generally see someone suddenly get much worse with accuracy like what is going on now w/ Matt. I don't get it.

Is it the system?

Is it an injury?

Is it something else?

I don't know.

Unless he's lying or covering up Matt is on record as saying there's nothing to any suspicion of any friction with Shanahan and the new offensive system is not an issue. Offenses are more complex than when I played but football is still football and it still comes down to making plays and avoiding dumb mistakes and penalties.

Here's what I think. I know that Ryan can throw a football more than 54 yards and I can pull up videos of him throwing a nice, tight spiral 63-65 yards. Matt himself has said if he had to he could throw the ball about 70 yards. I think something is going on with his arm like a pitcher who suddenly goes from 96-98 MPH to 91-92 from one season to the next. I think either he has an undiagnosed injury, is suffering through a "dead-arm" period and this is causing the weak throws referenced in the article above. I think Matt is bothered and now confused by this and this is leading to some indecision and poor decisions; in other words, it's reeking havoc on his mind and greatly affecting his confidence. He doesn't yet know how to compensate.

We can beat him up more or have some compassion but we just could be looking at the end of his career if this isn't sorted out.

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Guest Negatorris

Like his whole career, apologists who think Ryan was the great savior of the franchise will blame everything around him and never hold the golden boy responsible.

-It's his receievers fault

-It's his line's fault

-It's the defense's fault

-It's the coaches' fault

Facts:

-Ryan has had very talented receivers his entire career unlike some QBs.

-The OL is not the best but they are far from the worst. Ryan has had terrible footwork his whole career, a lot of sacks are his own fault...He'll never learn how to navigate the pocket and elude the rush. Brady isn't mobile but does it with ease. Gabbert even did it.

-The D has not given up over 20 points in in 3 of our 4 losses and for our last 4 games altogether. Turnovers by the offense have essentially gifted other teams points(Bucs, Colts). With the talent on our O, why can't a supposedly top 10 QB put up more than 20 points per game? Not even at home...

-8th year vet Ryan in 3 years with Dirk Koetter never had a game with over 4 TDs thrown. Rookie Winston in 10 games with Koetter has had a 5 TD game already... Meanwhile Mularkey has guided his own rookie QB to multiple 4 TD 0 INTs games, while Ryan hasn't thrown one game that well. Shanahan was talked about as a possible HC candidate through the first 5 games, now all of a sudden because Ryan and the offense has turned the ball over at an unusually high rate yall want him canned. Shanahan didn't cause those 13 turnovers by his QB. Ryan is a certified coach killer. Shanahan in his first year with RG3 had him looking like the future of the position. Ryan is somehow looking like he needs to be on the trade block...

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Unless he's lying or covering up Matt is on record as saying there's nothing to any suspicion of any friction with Shanahan and the new offensive system is not an issue. Offenses are more complex than when I played but football is still football and it still comes down to making plays and avoiding dumb mistakes and penalties.

Here's what I think. I know that Ryan can throw a football more than 54 yards and I can pull up videos of him throwing a nice, tight spiral 63-65 yards. Matt himself has said if he had to he could throw the ball about 70 yards. I think something is going on with his arm like a pitcher who suddenly goes from 96-98 MPH to 91-92 from one season to the next. I think either he has an undiagnosed injury, is suffering through a "dead-arm" period and this is causing the weak throws referenced in the article above. I think Matt is bothered and now confused by this and this is leading to some indecision and poor decisions; in other words, it's reeking havoc on his mind and greatly affecting his confidence. He doesn't yet know how to compensate.

We can beat him up more or have some compassion but we just could be looking at the end of his career if this isn't sorted out.

something may be wrong w/ Matt's arm - but it has nothing to do w/ how far he can throw it - Matt has NEVER had a big arm - that has always been obvious - and he has to throw it incredibly high to get it 55-60 yards downfield. In watching Matt over the last 8 years, he almost always throws 50/50 jump balls when he throws it much past 40 yards in the air.

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something may be wrong w/ Matt's arm - but it has nothing to do w/ how far he can throw it - Matt has NEVER had a big arm - that has always been obvious - and he has to throw it incredibly high to get it 55-60 yards downfield. In watching Matt over the last 8 years, he almost always throws 50/50 jump balls when he throws it much past 40 yards in the air.

I won't argue that he's not a great deep passer. My observation is more based on his more routine passes where he has been throwing the ball in the dirt or over their heads. Somethings wrong.

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Funny I watched a gruden tape a few years back and all they showed was how well Matts mechanics are and his drop back plant and throw properly - his pocket awarness has been great at times when he knows where the holes will be and what his options are, Im not blaming his all on scheme but when pocket breaks down now its all over the place, he doesnt just escape like he used to. The whole thing looks very different, go back and look you can find stuff all over youtube showing matt and text book mechanics being used as an example.

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Funny I watched a gruden tape a few years back and all they showed was how well Matts mechanics are and his drop back plant and throw properly - his pocket awarness has been great at times when he knows where the holes will be and what his options are, Im not blaming his all on scheme but when pocket breaks down now its all over the place, he doesnt just escape like he used to. The whole thing looks very different, go back and look you can find stuff all over youtube showing matt and text book mechanics being used as an example.

Very true. That was the book on Ryan coming out of college. Accurate with great footwork.

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Ryan was always prone to throw a couple questionable throws a game, but something is different this season. I noticed it early. I mentioned even when we were winning, that Ryan looks like a deer in headlights. Prior seasons, he would make a bad throw but you could see in his eyes he was gonna make up for it, there was a quiet confidence. Its all gone this year. He looks lost.

As someone mentioned, Ryan has (had) fantastic mechanics. This year, he is dancing in the pocket. He looks like a jitterbug, hes so uncomfortable even when he has time. This is causing awful throws. I honestly think this is a result of getting beat the **** up in '13 and '14 and now he's gun-shy. It's alarming. It's alarming because of just how different (read: worse) he looks. A combination of poor throws and poor decisions. I really hope our boy turns it around.

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