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What the haters got wrong about Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense


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By Jeanna Thomas

Yes, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan should be the NFL’s MVP for the 2016 season. This isn’t even a question.

Ryan led the league’s top-scoring offense in 2016. He hit 13 different receivers in the end zone, setting an NFL record. He threw 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions, and he dropped 40-plus points on four different teams this season.

He did that on the heels of a season in which he passed for just 21 touchdowns while throwing 16 interceptions and fumbling the ball away four times.

The 2015 season ended with the Falcons improving upon the previous two seasons with an 8-8 finish, but it still felt like an abject failure for the most part, especially after the team jumped out to a 6-1 start.

 

To have talent like Ryan and Julio Jones, and considering Devonta Freeman’s early-season emergence as one of the best running backs in the game, to hit a six-game losing streak and finish at .500 was anticlimactic.

And fans responded poorly. Ryan was booed during Falcons games. Loud boos rained down on him when he was simply minding his own business, trying to enjoy an Atlanta Hawks game. Ryan even got booed at the 2016 Season Huddle event for season ticket holders.

Ryan’s response to that was to get to work.

“I think it all started in the offseason, when (Ryan) flew everyone down to Miami and we got together as a whole group in the offseason,” wide receiver Eric Weems said. “He paid for the rooms, our food and everything. I think it started then. He let us know then that, hey, it’s time. He’s done playing. He’s done fooling around, and he’s trying to get better.”

 

And he did get better. As a matter of fact, he’s been extraordinary. In addition to earning his fourth Pro Bowl nod, Ryan earned first-team All Pro honors for the first time in his career. The Pro Football Writers of American named Ryan its MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. He’s the favorite to be named the NFL’s MVP for 2016, and it’s deserved.

And here the Falcons are, on the cusp of the final game in the Georgia Dome, and looking to close it out with one last win — one that will send the team to its second Super Bowlappearance in its 51-year history. If they’re able to do it, if the Falcons manage to get past the Green Bay Packers and advance to the Super Bowl, we’ll all have Matt Ryan to thank.

Ryan has played with a different level of poise and confidence this season. That’s the key difference in his game.

Some of that comes from the stability at center brought about by the addition of Alex Mack. Some of it is just improved wide receiver depth, and the host of playmakers the team has on offense. Much of it, though, is just Ryan.

Left guard Andy Levitre cited Matt’s preparation as a key factor in the team’s success.

“I’ve never been around a player in this league who is as sharp as he is every day on the football field, and knows everything that’s going on,” Levitre said. “He knows the whole offense the day we install it, it seems like.

“So it’s a credit to him for his determination and everything he puts in to help us be successful.”

Ryan has always been a leader. He has always been a good quarterback. He has always been too good to justify the boos.

“He’s always been that good of a player,” left tackle Jake Matthews said. “I just think this year we’ve really put it all together. So yeah, I just think we’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing.”

But this year Ryan has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Let’s hope he does it again this week against the Packers.

 

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2017/1/21/14294658/what-the-haters-got-wrong-about-matt-ryan-and-the-falcons-offense

 

It's pretty sad really. I've talked to Falcon Fans who swore up and down that Ryan was not a good QB, and when you tried to explain to them about Matt learning a new system, no O-line or running game for 3 years, they just brush the facts aside. I know he struggled last year and made mistakes, but how anyone who actual watched this man play can come up with the notion that he isn't any good is beyond me. Look at what's happened this year by just adding a probowl center! Matt is our best chance to a SB and I know that even if we can't get it done this year, I know we will eventually. Right know I hope we beat the Pack and people start giving Ryan and this team the props they deserve.

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1 minute ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

I don't have a problem with fans responding vocally during a game. Emotions are high.

But booing the guy at a different sports events where he's just a spectator and then at the season ticket holder event? That's kinda low.

Good on Matt for simply using it as motivation. 

The chants sure sound different now. 

Yep. When the preseason started I had fans behind me at the Dome saying that Schaub was a much better QB then Ryan, and I was like WHAT?!! SINCE WHEN????!

Now those same fans shout MVP! LOL

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4 minutes ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

I don't have a problem with fans responding vocally during a game. Emotions are high.

But booing the guy at a different sports event where he's just a spectator and then at the season ticket holder event? That's kinda low.

Good on Matt for simply using it as motivation. 

The chants sure sound different now. 

Exactly! I was one of his main critics but only because I wanted better and knew he had it in him, not because I hated the guy. I never boo'ed the man, though, and if I ever was to, it wouldn't be taken to this extreme. Let the man enjoy being out in public without this foolishness.

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I always said that the boo's he got at the offseason event was the best thing to happen to Matt. It put him at an immediate crossroads he's never been at before then. Either respond in a major way or fold and prove the boo's right. He answered like we all knew he could. That's the only reason he was boo'd. There were high expectations for him and he wasn't meeting them. 

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13 minutes ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

I don't have a problem with fans responding vocally during a game. Emotions are high.

But booing the guy at a different sports event where he's just a spectator and then at the season ticket holder event? That's kinda low.

Good on Matt for simply using it as motivation. 

The chants sure sound different now. 

Yeah. Definitely rude outside the dome. Glad he took it as motivation and got better instead of bitter.

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1 minute ago, vel said:

I always said that the boo's he got at the offseason event was the best thing to happen to Matt. It put him at an immediate crossroads he's never been at before then. Either respond in a major way or fold and prove the boo's right. He answered like we all knew he could. That's the only reason he was boo'd. There were high expectations for him and he wasn't meeting them. 

He isn't better this year because he was booed.  That isn't the reason at all dude.

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17 minutes ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

I don't have a problem with fans responding vocally during a game. Emotions are high.

But booing the guy at a different sports event where he's just a spectator and then at the season ticket holder event? That's kinda low.

Good on Matt for simply using it as motivation. 

The chants sure sound different now. 

It's absolutely disgraceful. If I had a guess its the same people that still vehemently cheer for the other guy that used to play here.

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2 minutes ago, Bullitt said:

He isn't better this year because he was booed.  That isn't the reason at all dude.

Not the sole reason but I'm quite sure it was motivation. No way Matt didn't feel that. Any competitor that gets boo'd like he got has to feel it and will respond to it. Some shrink, some rise. 

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1 minute ago, vel said:

Not the sole reason but I'm quite sure it was motivation. No way Matt didn't feel that. Any competitor that gets boo'd like he got has to feel it and will respond to it. Some shrink, some rise. 

Any competitor on Matt's level has the motivation already built in.  His problems last year were 1) shirtty center 2) not fully grasping the new system 3) receivers that had less of a grasp of the new system than he did  - he would have to correct them and tell them where to line up.  You think they were running the correct routes when they couldn't even line up correctly? 

I don't get where you guys think he wasn't motivated last year.  He hasn't always had everything he needed but motivation has never been an issue with him.

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2 minutes ago, Godzilla1985 said:

Honest question. Has there EVER been a starting QB transform themselves like this? It seems totally unprecedented.

Like this? Don't think so. To be fair though, I believe Matt always had "it" in him. But after 3 Offensive Co, a more than shaky O-line, and no real center in 3 years while still putting up over 4,000 yards each season, to be in the position he is in now, is almost unprecedented. 

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29 minutes ago, vel said:

I always said that the boo's he got at the offseason event was the best thing to happen to Matt. It put him at an immediate crossroads he's never been at before then. Either respond in a major way or fold and prove the boo's right. He answered like we all knew he could. That's the only reason he was boo'd. There were high expectations for him and he wasn't meeting them. 

+1

No better way to shut fans up (myself included ) with an MVP performance and getting back to NFCCG.

He handled his business accordingly.

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5 minutes ago, BoomGoesTheDynamite said:

Like this? Don't think so. To be fair though, I believe Matt always had "it" in him. But after 3 Offensive Co, a more than shaky O-line, and no real center in 3 years while still putting up over 4,000 yards each season, to be in the position he is in now, is almost unprecedented. 

I always felt he was this good I don't know why, I'm just happy to finally see him put it all together even more so than 2012. 

Seems so stupid to boo the guy at other events. He's our qb through good and bad I hope a lot of fans also showed him love last offseason.

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His transformation started way before the boos, he met Shanny in LA to get on same page. Trained with throwing coach who worked with Brady and Rodgers in past. If you have watched Macks and Ryan's interview, Alex Mack took over run and pass blocking assignments from Ryan. Having a veteran pro bowl center took lot of thinking from Ryan's game. He is like an autopilot at QB in this offense, 

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Matt Ryan has always been good.  He's always been in the top 10 of QB's year in and year out.  He's never played this good and for me the #1 QB and no one could honestly say he's much worse than that.  Mack has made a huge difference but Matty himself has gotten better.  The time he spent with House this offseason clearly shows itself.  I'll leave off his downfield throws but man his intermediate passes have had some serious zip to them this year.  He's throwing the ball 15-30 yards downfield into small windows on a rope.  Matt Ryan's been giving indigestion to a lot of people with the amount of crows he's serving up and i'm not talking about Falcons fans.  

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50 minutes ago, Bullitt said:

He isn't better this year because he was booed.  That isn't the reason at all dude.

Agreed. Shows more about us than him. He's always been a great QB, just never had a coach that catered to his ability, nor an OL that could give him a pocket. 

 

I also think that the Morris doing WR coaching taught situational football from a defensive point of view which takes the pressure off Matt to have to throw a perfect pass every time. Rodgers makes circus throws but he needs WRs to make circus catches. The WR improvement is remarkable. 

 

I think Matt has always busted his ***, to act like he did all this extra work takes away from how good he's always been. The team improved as much or more than he did. 

 

The haters are rationalizing and jumping back on his bandwagon so they don't have to be embarrassed. 

 

The media narrative about QBs is the worst. All QBs need to be put in good situations by dozens of variables. Coaching, scheme, supporting cast, schedule, etc. 

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