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Even after Falcons’ late escape, Matt Ryan knows he has to be better


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https://theathletic.com/1214218/2019/09/16/schultz-even-after-falcons-late-escape-matt-ryan-knows-he-has-to-be-better/

 

The Falcons crept to the edge of 0-2 and potential early season doom before something unexpected happened late Sunday night. They won. They rallied to win a game over their recent tormentors from red-zone ****, Philadelphia. They managed to win on a night when their $30 million starting quarterback threw three interceptions in a span of four possessions, making everybody wonder, “What the **** happened to Matt Ryan?”

“Turning the football over three the times, it’s hard to win when you do that,” Ryan said. “But you keep telling yourself, ‘All right, the score is where it’s at. We’re in a good position. Forget what’s happened until this point. Trust the play that’s coming in. Trust what you see on the other side. Go execute.'”

Ryan makes it all sound so simple and systematic and tunnel-vision like. That thinking is what allows athletes to compartmentalize the noise and disasters and move forward. So the positive is that Ryan again proved he could face-plant in the mud — more than once — and still do something right in the hit. He read Philadelphia’s all-out-blitz, cover zero (no safeties) defense and burned the Eagles with a screen pass to Julio Jones, who blasted off 54 yards for a touchdown.

The Falcons won 24-20. But there’s so much to forget.

Early film review:

• The first interception near the end of the first half when Ryan tried to stop Mohamed Sanu in his route but threw behind him, leading to a turnover and a Philadelphia field goal.

Ryan: “I probably shouldn’t attempt that.”

• The second interception against all-out pressure in the third quarter when he got hit as he threw and the ball was well short of Jones, leading to another pick and setting up a Philadelphia touchdown.

Ryan: “It sucks when that happens.”

• The third one, the worst of all, the one in the red zone when the Falcons had a chance to expand their lead from 17-12 when Ryan didn’t see weakside linebacker Nathan Jerry and Ryan’s pass for Austin Hooper was intercepted.

Ryan: “That’s just a mistake on my part. But it’s something I can clean up.”

He needs to. Otherwise, forget about the Falcons accomplishing anything of significance in 2019.

They won a big game. They blew a 17-6 lead and allowed 14 straight points before winning on the last spasm. A beautiful game, it wasn’t. The teams combined for six turnovers.

Instead of 0-2, the Falcons are 1-1. They might be the sudden favorites in the NFC South, with New Orleans losing quarterback Drew Brees to a potentially serious thumb injury.

But slow down. Ryan has thrown five interceptions in two games, the worst start of his professional career. Some of it can be blamed on defensive pressure. But he has made far too many poor decisions for an 11-year NFL quarterback, let alone one whose pay ranks him among the elite. He knows this. Head coach Dan Quinn knows this.

Turnovers submarine football teams, and right now Ryan is sinking his own boat.

“He gets pissed,” Quinn said of Ryan’s response after interceptions. “But he resets quickly, whether it’s good or bad.”

So it’s visible?

“Yes, visible. And audible.

“I don’t think (five interceptions in two games) is going to be the norm. It hasn’t been his history. It’s obviously not what he wants or we want. But it’s not a concern for me.”

Ryan was not without impressive moments Sunday. He threw for 320 yards. He also threw three touchdown passes against an Eagles defense that held the Falcons to one touchdown and a field goal in a 15-10 Falcons playoff loss in 2017 and to four field goals in an 18-12 loss in the 2018 opener. Both games ended inside the Philadelphia 5-yard line. So greased the exit ramp for former offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.

Ryan also deserves credit for perhaps his greatest trait of all: resolve. He helped win a game that he surely would’ve been blamed for losing.

“We’ve got each other’s backs. It don’t matter,” Jones said. “We’re an extension of one another. It’s not one person did that or one person did that. We set out to get a W, and we got a W.”

Tight end Austin Hooper said even after the interceptions, Ryan’s mood was, “Unwavering. You’ve got to always believe, right? We’ve seen Matt do great things here. The true competitor, the fire, the spirit, the tenacity. That never goes away, whether a ball goes to our team or the other team. You saw him battle back. That’s what he does.”

After Jones broke into the open field toward the end zone, Ryan ran around celebrating and pointing to nobody in particular on the Falcons’ sideline.

“I honestly couldn’t tell you what was going on,” he said, laughing. “I was just running around like I was 10 years old.”

His third touchdown was the 300th in his career. More importantly, it allowed him to move on from three throws he would like to have back.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

The pick that he threw that popped off of Sanu's hand was a bad one. He was already smothered in the area. But all in all, there's only 2 starting qb's in todays NFL that I can think of that wont accept responsibility for his bluff ups and Ryan isn't one of them

 

"Glad I'm not one of those guys".

 

- Ben Roethlisberger

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1 minute ago, Mid-Nite-Toker said:

I was more upset at the missed td to Hardy than the ints. Hopefully, MR got the wtf moments out early.

 

If Hardy was a tad faster, that would've been 6.

 

Ridley should've had 3 tds. One was a little bit overthrown by Ryan when he scrambled out of the pocket and threw on the run to the endzone. Another was when Ryan threw it deep to the endzone when Ridley was double covered, Ridley had it but just couldn't bring it in quick enough before the Eagles DB broke up the catch.

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2 minutes ago, DawnOfThemBirds said:

 

If Hardy was a tad faster, that would've been 6.

 

Ridley should've had 3 tds. One was a little bit overthrown by Ryan when he scrambled out of the pocket and threw on the run to the endzone. Another was when Ryan threw it deep to the endzone when Ridley was double covered, Ridley had it but just couldn't bring it in quick enough before the Eagles DB broke up the catch.

Hardy ran a good route...errant throw imho. Agree, I thought Ridley should have made that 2x coverage td...he has the talent

 

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Just now, Mid-Nite-Toker said:

Hardy ran a good route...errant throw imho. Agree, I thought Ridley should have made that 2x coverage td...he has the talent

 

 

Yeah the Hardy pass was an overthrow by Ryan, but that would've been almost a sure 6 if it was Ridley, Julio, or Sanu.

 

Ridley is gonna be a really good one.

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8 minutes ago, Mid-Nite-Toker said:

Hardy ran a good route...errant throw imho. Agree, I thought Ridley should have made that 2x coverage td...he has the talent

 

Arch said he threw perfectly to spot and questioned why was hardy on that play, if it was Ridley or Julio it was TD. He did over throw Ridley that could have been 6. I think DK is still figuring out personnel, just like Stocker I’m back of end zone.

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6 minutes ago, falcons007 said:

Arch said he threw perfectly to spot and questioned why was hardy on that play, if it was Ridley or Julio it was TD. He did over throw Ridley that could have been 6. I think DK is still figuring out personnel, just like Stocker I’m back of end zone.

Yeah, I though it was a good throw. Not sure why Hardy was in on that play. He would be the last guy I would use on that play due to his speed. My guess is that play was meant for someone else and they were hurt. I think it was for Gage.

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Another thing we need to do is clean up them flags!! Every kick off we have I see a yellow flag... and a few on false starts!! We need to play a little better on them because we keep hurting ourselves...

 

Or we can complain about the refs after every game like the saints are!! They are doing it now. 

Might work for use for when our Wideout keep getting attacked before the ball gets there lol

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3 minutes ago, AllStarHandyMan said:

Another thing we need to do is clean up them flags!! Every kick off we have I see a yellow flag... and a few on false starts!! We need to play a little better on them because we keep hurting ourselves...

 

Or we can complain about the refs after every game like the saints are!! They are doing it now. 

Might work for use for when our Wideout keep getting attacked before the ball gets there lol

Penalties don’t even bother me anymore. They’re gonna happen whether they’re legit or not. It’s just the timing of certain penalties. When I woke up and saw the play to Julio, I just knew for sure there was gonna be a late flag

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" ...But he has made far too many poor decisions for an 11-year NFL quarterback,..."

Excuse me Jeff, but Peyton had a 6 int game in his 10th year, Brees a 5 int game in his 12th year, Brady a 4 int game in his 12th year, Happens to everyone.

And, Having Ty Sambraillo  blocking the likes of Graham & Cox would speed up anyone's decision making process.

Yeah, there's 4-5 throws Ryan would like to have back, but there's a few throws that Wentz wanted back as well.

I expect Ryan to play better as the season goes on, think the OLine will get better. Think soon, we'll see the game where he doesn't throw a pick and he hits those 5 TDs in a game rather than leaving 2 of them on the ground,.

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2 hours ago, ya_boi_j said:

Penalties don’t even bother me anymore. They’re gonna happen whether they’re legit or not. It’s just the timing of certain penalties. When I woke up and saw the play to Julio, I just knew for sure there was gonna be a late flag

Yea the flags are starting to get a little out of hand.. but every kick off we get them that's my main problem.. we keep starting 10 or less yards from our own endzone

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Just now, AllStarHandyMan said:

Yea the flags are starting to get a little out of hand.. but every kick off we get them that's my main problem.. we keep starting 10 or less yards from our own endzone

You'd think at this point they would know to pull back, especially when the ball is away from them and there's no chance the defender can get to the runner.

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42 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

1) He does need to be better. Everything about his history here suggests he will be. 

2) God I hate the "blew a 17-6 lead!" nonsense. When a good NFL team scores twice, it isnt noteworthy or news. Stop it. 

Yep. The way things can really swing back and forth, that is not noteworthy. They act like this was clawing back from a huge hole. The second half started 10-6 and they fumbled the kickoff and we capitalized. The game was close the whole time. 

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Yup. Of course he has to be better. That game was ugly for long stretches. I trust Ryan to clean up this sudden inexplicable "just throw the ball up there and pray" streak; it's not his norm.

And at the end of the day? On the drive in which he absolutely could NOT screw up, he didn't. He marched to midfield, stayed calm on 4th down, read the play, and let Julio be Julio.

I'll take it.

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4 hours ago, DawnOfThemBirds said:

 

If Hardy was a tad faster, that would've been 6.

 

Ridley should've had 3 tds. One was a little bit overthrown by Ryan when he scrambled out of the pocket and threw on the run to the endzone. Another was when Ryan threw it deep to the endzone when Ridley was double covered, Ridley had it but just couldn't bring it in quick enough before the Eagles DB broke up the catch.

Taylor Gabriel, Aldrick Robinson. Falcons need to find another one like that. I want one speedy over the top guy in there over Hardy.

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