Archive for the ‘Matt Ryan’ Category

The details remain a little unclear, and we’ll update this post as they trickle out. But right now, the report circling the Internet’s connecting tubes is that had the Falcons been able to avoid tripping over themselves repeatedly, Matt Ryan would have been forced to sit out the Super Bowl due to a shoulder injury.

In the fourth quarter Ryan rose to his feet slowly after a hit, and was seen favoring what seemed to be his arm at the time. Joe Buck said something, and we mostly ignored it, because that’s what we do when Joe Buck says things.

Now it seems that injury was significant, and it slowed Ryan throughout the game’s final crucial minutes. It could be a seperated shoulder if he wouldn’t have played for a hypothetical Falcons Super Bowl team, even after the bye week to rest and recover.

UPDATE (8:43 p.m. ET): ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Ryan suffered a sprained AC joint. While it’s still unclear if he’ll be getting an MRI tomorrow, there’s confidence that surgery won’t be necessary.

These are trying times for Falcons supporters, and shoulder surgery is never fun, even if it’s a QB’s non-throwing shoulder. So at least now you know that your quarterback won’t be missing a chunk of OTAs. Hooray?

The injury occured after an Ahmad Brooks blitz and hit late in the fourth quarter.

He finally did it. He won a playoff game. A round of applause should be given to Matt Ryan for his gutsy performance on Sunday. It wasn’t without mistakes, as he threw two interceptions, but he fought back and put his team in a position to win with two big throws in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter.

When Ryan walked onto the field prior to taking the first snap of his final drive, Brian Billick was nostalgic. He kept referencing the mighty comeback Ryan led against the Chicago Bears in 2008, which was a very good and somewhat similar one to this. On Ryan’s final throw that day to set up the game-winning field goal, he hooked up with wide receiver Michael Jenkins, as Billick later recalled, around the 30-yard line on a corner route that was ran on the backside of the formation. Then kicker Jason Elam struck the ball through the uprights for a 22-to-20 victory.

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First of all, allow me to express my disdain for my own headline. I’ve berated the quarterback wins and losses stat at every conceivable opportunity, and will continue to do so as long as there are narrative spewing former players and coaches on my TV whose talents for creating discourse are usually restricted to yelling “TUNNELLLLSSSS!!!!”. But this is a subject matter that must be dealt with this week.

It’s Thursday morning now, meaning we’ve been through three full days of hearing how great the Falcons have been during the Matt Ryan and Mike Smith era during the regular season, and how awful they’ve been during the playoffs. By now all work-related paperwork has been instinctively plastered with “0-3″ in some kind of Freudian reaction, which has caused more than a few accounting nightmares. And sure, the playoffs are the time when wins matter the most, and cliché cliché, blah blah. But in a league where merely making the playoffs is still considered a significant accomplishment, having a 56-24 record over five years and advancing to the post-season in four of those years (winning the NFC South twice) is sort of a big deal.

But for a brief moment let’s pretend that the quarterback wins stat matters at all, and it isn’t completely useless and a product of sports talk radio guy. And let’s also fast forward, and imagine a world where Ryan and the Falcons are upset again this Sunday, losing to the Seahawks. That’s a very likely and possible outcome, and in this world I speak of, we will begin eating ourselves while burning effigies of Ryan.

As you do that, know this: by the standards of the wins metric, Ryan in the playoffs isn’t that much different from a lot of quarterbacks. A lot.

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After two straight years of early playoff exits and questions surrounding both sides of the ball, the Atlanta Falcons finally appear to be a formidable force, flying high to a league-best 8-0 record through nine weeks of the season. A big reason for their success is the play of Matt Ryan and the offense, which has been producing on average 27.5 points per game through a lot of big plays off play action.

Former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh would be proud of Ryan’s play-action execution, which Walsh called the “single best tool available to take advantage of a disciplined defense” at a coaching seminar many years ago. The eye-popping numbers Ryan has registered are prime evidence:  117.8 quarterback rating and 8.5 yards per attempt.

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If I could accurately predict every relevant Sunday fantasy outcome, I wouldn’t be typing these words right now, and instead I would live in a gold mountain with several pet tigers. Since I have yet to develop either that ability or cloud psychokinesis, like the rest of you I will on occasion get a prediction laughably wrong. Long ago I stopped caring about this, as the court jester’s purpose is to entertain, and the denizens of the Internet only speak when you’re wrong, and there’s complete silence when a prediction is nailed squarely.

On a day when Robert Griffin III — fantasy’s leading point producer — had only eight rushing yards after averaging 66.9 per game, and Aaron Rodgers had his hind region thoroughly kicked by the Jaguars (seriously), there’s been plenty of laughing and failed predictions. That’s good, because laughing >crying. Always.

With that in mind, it’s onwards with our main observations/rants/statistical surprises from the nine early games in yet another week that has a horrendously unbalanced Sunday schedule. Seriously, NFL, give us more than just two late games.

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With the Bills on a bye week — salvation from the heartache, thank you — I thought I’d stick to what feels natural. In this case natural means watching a horrible football team fail to meet expectations.

If a single play could define the fortunes of a football team Philadelphia’s last ditch, down by 13 in an empty stadium, lateral frenzy was it. As Andy Reid stared into the abyss it was hard not acknowledge the truth. This is the end. Joe Banner, Andy Reid’s long term backer, is now in Cleveland. Reid’s sparkling post bye week record now has a blemish. Read the rest of this entry »

For the first time in the history of the Internet, a sports prediction has failed. Avert your eyes, children. But hey, at least I still have Josh Gordon for my fanboy love.

With that awkward introduction out of the way, it’s onwards with some reaction to the most notable performances and stumbles during the early games today, and the exploration of a philosophical paradox that is the existential existence of fantasy and reality.

Like, whoa.

You failed us, Matt

This wasn’t how it was supposed to end today, Matt Ryan. You’ve shamed the good name of this blog that always strives to maintain high standards of integrity and trust but never, ever posts anything that’s wrong in any way. We’re right 80 percent of the time, every time.

You’ll recall that we pushed Ryan as the most polite fantasy stud to ever assume such an illustrious title, and we weren’t alone. There really was no conceivable reason why Ryan wouldn’t throw for all of the touchdowns against a Raiders secondary that posed little threat, and came into this week as one of only two units still without an interception, while they allowed 283 passing yards per game.

So then of course Ryan threw three picks — two of which came on his first seven attempts — finishing with 249 passing yards and a touchdown for a meager total of 10 fantasy points. Why must you hate us with such fervor, Matt?

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