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Falcons' Matt Ryan will enter Week 3 with high marks


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Falcons' Matt Ryan will enter Week 3 with high marks

Vaughn McClure

OAKLAND -- Things certainly worked in Matt Ryan's favor in the Atlanta Falcons’ 35-28 win against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, and Ryan now sits in a rather good spot among NFL quarterbacks.

Make that the top spot.

As of Monday morning, Ryan is the league’s highest-rated quarterback with a passer rating of 121.4, right above Minnesota’s Sam Bradford (121.2), San Diego’s Philip Rivers (120.3), New England Jimmy Garoppollo (117.2), and Arizona’s Carson Palmer (113.5). Ryan has more passing attempts than any of the four players below him.

This is the same Matt Ryan who absorbed his share of criticism after the team's 31-24 season-opening loss to Tampa Bay; the same Matt Ryan who supposedly doesn’t mesh with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s philosophies.

So what changed suddenly? Well Sunday, everything seem to come together when the Falcons (1-1) needed it the most. Ryan completed 26 of 34 passes for 396 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. His passing yardage was part of 528 total yards racked up by the Falcons against the struggling Raiders defense.

Ryan was on point with his passes, particularly off play-action. He shook off a red-zone interception. He was well protected against pass-rush demon Khalil Mack and, in turn, was able to take some shots down the field to Julio Jones and rookie tight end Austin Hooper. And, of course, the no-huddle worked like a charm as the Falcons used it more often.

Ryan engineered scores on six of seven drives over a span between the second and fourth quarters. He helped the Falcons score three consecutive times in the red zone after the Falcons went 0-2 in the red zone in the first half and followed with Ryan’s red-zone interception in the third quarter.

"Yeah, I thought we did a great job offensively getting into a rhythm," Ryan said. "We didn’t do a whole lot in the first quarter, but once we kind of found our stride, we kept going and played really well. We did a better job in the red zone; still have some opportunities to continue to improve, areas we can get better."

Such is true, but the Falcons will take a performance like Sunday’s from Ryan any week moving forward. Inside the numbers, Ryan completed 7 of 9 passes against the blitz Sunday for 129 yards, two touchdowns, and six first downs, according to ESPN Statistics and Information.

Ryan finished 11 of 15 for 196 yards, a touchdown, and nine first downs off play-action, the most yards and attempts off play-action in his career. It certainly helped that running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 139 rushing yards on 29 carries, allowing for the play-action to be more effective. Freeman led the way with 93 rushing yards on 17 attempts.

Ryan found nine different receivers against the Raiders, led by Jones with five receptions for 106 yards and a 21-yard touchdown just outside the red zone. Justin Hardy's first career touchdown came off a jump ball that deflected off the hands of Coleman. And a touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme came on a day Ryan targeted his tight ends 13 times total.

Now Ryan and the Falcons just have to sustain the offensive momentum. He said entering the season that the team is capable of averaging 30 points per game. Well, the Falcons could have hit 50 had a few more red-zone opportunities gone their way in Oakland.

Next up is the rival New Orleans Saints (0-2) in ESPN's Week 3 "Monday Night Football" matchup. In two losses to the Saints last season, Ryan posted passer-ratings of 102.0 and 103.2 respectively, throwing four touchdowns with one interception.

The Falcons don’t need Ryan to be spectacular every week. They just need him to be consistently solid and avoid turnovers.

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How has no one pointed out that Matt stared down Julio on the TD pass! Stared down the receiver and threw a TD!?!?! 

If we don't move him now we won't get that top pick DeShaun Watson! Must get the QB that just destroyed Troy two weeks ago! Then decimated the powerhouse South Carolina State!

 

Wait how come we don't talk about Watson anymore...

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1 hour ago, Jesus said:

Absorb a lot of criticism after week 1.

Not sure what Matt has to do to be recognized as a top QB. Maybe he should floss on the sidelines.

I think if he improves his tackling some around here will finally give him his due. Until then they will hide during periods of success and crawl out from under their rocks and come out from their caves only after suspect performances to celebrate his poor play.

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38 minutes ago, since68andcounting said:

The no huddle. I mean, c'mon. How many times does he have to re-prove that its his strong suit?

I'm glad Shanny showed some flexibility on that. Maybe it was Quinn's call and he didn't have a choice.

Maybe the no huddle works because they use it in situations that maximize its effectiveness.

I know most people are intelligent enough to understand it won't work all the time.  And Ryan was still learning the system last season, so they aren't going to do it as much.  I think this game is obviously proof that Ryan is capable of running this system efficiently.  We scored and moved the ball from the huddle, too.

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2 hours ago, Jesus said:

Absorb a lot of criticism after week 1.

Not sure what Matt has to do to be recognized as a top QB. Maybe he should floss on the sidelines.

but but but..........

 

wasn't he ranked as the 4th best QB in the division somewhere? I mean being 4th, doesn't that mean there's only 3 above you? so 4th isn't really that bad is it????

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't really have to reference /purple, do I?

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2 minutes ago, mdrake34 said:

Through 2 games, TATF savior Tud Gurley has 98 yards rushing and zero rushing TD's. Stay away from Atlantie, Gurlie. 

I like Todd Gurley. I hope he stays healthy enough for us to get him when he inevitably leaves that horrible organization that drafted him. 

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7 minutes ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

Wilson is such garbage, so is Aaron Rodgers. 

C'Mon man. Are you serious? Wilson has one Lombardi Trophy, two Super Bowl appearances, and 4 or 5 times as many playoff wins as Ryan. I like Matt Ryan too, but we don't need to bash a player who wins in the system in which he plays in order to boost our guy up. Ryan still has a ways to go before he's able to accomplish what Wilson and Rodgers have done in their respective systems. 

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3 minutes ago, wizeone said:

C'Mon man. Are you serious? Wilson has one Lombardi Trophy, two Super Bowl appearances, and 4 or 5 times as many playoff wins as Ryan. I like Matt Ryan too, but we don't need to bash a player who wins in the system in which he plays in order to boost our guy up. Ryan still has a ways to go before he's able to accomplish what Wilson and Rodgers have done in their respective systems. 

sarcasm eludes you 

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