QB Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons
|6-4, 228||Born: 5-17-1985||College: Boston College||Drafted: Round 1, pick 3|
Week 21: bye week
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2015 Week 17 vs NO (24 / 36 / 334 / 2 / 1 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)
The Falcons quarterback had several good plays in this game and a productive yardage output. In addition to finding Julio Jones on digs, crossers and deeper routes, he also hit Jacob Tamme and Tony Moeaki on bootleg action routes to move Atlanta down the field. Moeaki had consecutive receptions in the second quarter and one of them was a 42-yard score on a drag route that he took up the sideline. Ryan also found Roddy White on multiple intermediate routes but overshot the receiver a couple of times when White didn't drop the ball. One of those drops was a perfect throw in the second half up the left sideline. Ryan also overshot Jones on some deeper routes. The Falcons line allowed one sack all game and Ryan was able to keep the game close, taking the lead with a drag route to Devonta Freeman under the zone in the second half. But after the teams traded fumbles in each opponent's red zone, Ryan delivered a check-down over the middle to Freeman with 1:42 left at the Atlanta 25 that a Saints defender jumped for the interception. From the broadcast angle, it appeared to be an egregious error on Ryan's part. From the overhead angle of the replay, a decent amount of credit must go to the defender anticipating the route and leaving his zone to jump the route as the assigned zone defender inside also converged. This turnover cost Atlanta the victory. Ryan's production was once better than we've seen much of the season thanks implementing concepts that took advantage of zone coverage. The team still needs a second receiver capable of winning man coverage if it wants a more competitive and consistently productive passing game in 2016.
2015 Week 16 vs CAR (23 / 30 / 306 / 1 / 0 pass, 6 / 1 / 0 rush)
The woes of the snap continued for the Falcons, including a bad snap on a zone read to begin the game and a 3rd and 10 snap that Ryan didn't realize was coming that Carolina recovered in the fourth quarter that put their lead in jeopardy. Despite these chronic issues, Ryan found wide open receivers working inside Carolina's defensive scheme that featured deep safeties to take away the threat of Julio Jones and outside shade by the corners to prevent separation on the perimeter. This opened the middle of the field for Julio Jones and Roddy White for a series of targets on slants, dig routes, and skinny posts for first downs. White was the focal point early for Ryan on these zone routes. Despite five drops in this game, Ryan and the Falcons were successful with a lot of completions in tight zone, especially to White, who has always been great in these situations. The best aspect of Ryan's performance was his grit. He took multiple sacks in this game, including two from Kawann Short and one from Thomas Davis, to keep Atlanta in the game. His best play was the 70-yard score described above. Give Ryan some protection and a second receiver who can beat man-to-man coverage and this offense can propel the team into playoff contention in 2016.
2015 Week 15 vs JAX (22 / 35 / 246 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 0 / 0 rush)
The Falcons took more deep shots in this game than previous weeks, but without fantasy success. This included plays to Julio Jones that drew penalties on the defense and a scramble to the left where he nearly hit Roddy White for a long play. Ryan began the game with a successful drive predicated on bootleg action passes. Jacksonville shut this down during the second, third, fourth, and fifth series and stifled drives that had promise. Ryan had multiple tipped passes in this game and one resulted in an interception that led to Jacksonville tying the game. Ryan was able to find Roddy White and Justin Hardy in mismatches over the middle or in open zones to sustain a late drive that kept Atlanta ahead for the day. Jacksonville's defensive shortcomings lent more to the modest success of the Falcons' passing game that led to a win, but this matchup still didn't produce better than usual fantasy production for players beyond Jones and Devonta Freeman.
2015 Week 14 vs CAR (22 / 34 / 224 / 0 / 1 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
Ryan was limited to throwing the ball short for the first quarter and he was dumping the ball off fast to initial reads for minimal gains. He found Devonta Freeman on a quick hitter up the middle in the second quarter against a corner blitz and then went for it with Roddy White on a back-shoulder seam route under the safety to convert a fourth down play. But Ryan was sacked by Kawann Short up the middle on a play beginning with a fake screen and the hit jarred the ball loose for a loss of 26, later forcing another punt. Ryan took another sack up the middle on 3rd down during the third series of the second quarter on third down. Then he got hammered up the middle on a blitz by Luke Kuechly to begin the second half on his first pass. Two plays later, Thomas Davis hit Ryan on 3rd and 2 and Atlanta was forced to punt. Ryan was sacked by Short again late in the third quarter after mounting a small drive nearing mid-field and fumbled it away a second time. With less than a minute in the third quarter, Luke Kuechly undercut an intermediate crossing route intended for Justin Hardy for an interception. Atlanta reached the Carolina red zone once in this game and with Julio Jones out on a fourth and goal from the six; Ryan found Roddy White a yard shy of the end zone. From that point on, Sean Renfree was put in the game to mop up this blow-out loss.
2015 Week 13 vs TB (30 / 45 / 269 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
Ryan faced pressure throughout the game thanks to successful blitzes up the middle by Buccaneer linebackers. One drive was stalled inside the 10, resulting in a field goal and the other three drives that didn't result in punts during the first half ended with field goals. Ryan and the Falcons offense could move between the 20s because of the short passing game, but once the field was compressed, the Buccaneers pressure hastened Atlanta's timeline. Even when Ryan bought time while flushing from the pocket, the defense did a good job covering Ryan's receivers. One of these plays was a third-down throw to Julio Jones in the first half off a scramble, but Jones was well-covered at the end line and the receiver couldn't rebound the defender's tip of the ball. The one touchdown Ryan had was a play-action bootleg to the right with a drag route to Nick Williams in the fourth quarter to take the lead. This drive was successful thanks to a hurry-up scheme. But beyond the predictable skinny posts to Jones, there wasn't another player who could beat man coverage and these dump-offs could only get Atlanta within scoring range, but not punch it in. Ryan's game-sealing intercept for Tampa was a predictable crossing route for Jones that Lavonte David anticipated with a deep drop and cut off. Although Ryan has been inaccurate in the vertical game and he has made mistakes, until Ryan has time to throw the ball deep without play-action and a receiver capable of beating man coverage emerges whose last name isn't Jones , this offense is going nowhere.
2015 Week 12 vs MIN (22 / 31 / 230 / 1 / 2 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
It was a bad day for the Falcons' quarterback. Julio Jones faced physical coverage off the line of scrimmage and well into his routes. Despite Ryan targeting Jones with some success in tight coverage, the Falcons failed to earn time or opportunities to hook up with Jones deep and the Vikings coverage was physical enough to prevent enough catches for Ryan to look elsewhere. Roddy White was one of those options in the middle of the field as a slot option and Ryan found the veteran on deep crossers off boot action, hooks up the seam, and in openings of the Vikings' intermediate zone. Next week should give better indication if this wrinkle of White in the slot becomes an enduring part of the game plan or it's a one-week thing. Although Jones and White had moderate production, Ryan didn't play well enough to support more. He threw two interceptions in this game, including a 3rd and goal throw undercut by the defender after the Vikings flushed Ryan to his left. Ryan's best throw came late in the game on a deep wheel route up the sideline to Tevin Coleman, but the running back let the ball bounce off his hands after linebacker Anthony Barr made contact with the runner's arms. Barr also had a strip-sack of Ryan on a 4th and 1 red zone play that stopped Atlanta from realistically getting back into this game late.
2015 Week 11 vs IND (25 / 46 / 280 / 3 / 3 pass, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)
Atlanta earned two early opportunities on turnovers but the offense could not convert. The Falcons went to Roddy White on three straight attempts early in the game and White could not achieve more than a slight amount of separation on any of those targets despite catching two of the routes. Some of Ryan's throws on slants and outs lacked velocity and it was difficult to tell whether Ryan was hurt or the ball came off his hand funny. Even the deep-intermediate dig routes to Julio Jones lacked a touch of velocity and bears monitoring. One major positive is that Julio Jones is healthy enough for the Falcons to target him on fade routes, deep comebacks, and deep dig routes, and Ryan and Jones were on the mark. Unfortunately, Leonard Hankerson dropped multiple passes, White couldn't get open, and Ryan's only reliable options were fullback Patrick DiMarco, who he found for two touchdown passes as a check-down option sneaking into open zones, and desperation outlets to Terron Ward. Without the ground game, Ryan was forced to throw a play action pass deep in Atlanta territory over the middle and linebacker D'Qwell Jackson dropped into the zone deep enough to earn a pick-six. Ryan's first interception came in the end zone during the first quarter, a debatable call where Ryan forced the ball into Roddy White high and the veteran receiver tipped the ball, giving safety Dwight Lowery a chance to trap it in the end zone and the officials to call it a turnover. Ryan is still capable of good production with enough surrounding talent, but it's impossible for Julio Jones to do it all and that's the situation in Atlanta.
2015 Week 9 vs SF (30 / 45 / 303 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
The Falcons' quarterback benefitted from great field position numerous times thanks to Eric Weems' work in the return game. But Atlanta stuck to the outside zone throughout the game despite it failing repeatedly. Ryan was forced to throw from compressed pockets due to 49ers pressure and he was off-target more on a majority of his passes--even completions. His accuracy included over throws, underthrows and placing the ball behind his receivers. Ryan's best throw was a deep post to Julio Jones late in the first half on the opening play of the drive. It was the first deep throw Atlanta has attempted--and completed--in a month. Ryan continues to look to Jacob Tamme on short routes and the pecking order for the passing game is Jones, Tamme and Devonta Freeman as the main targets with the occasional out, slant, or inside seam route to Roddy White. Justin Hardy also earned a few targets today, but the routes were all short plays over the middle. Until Atlanta finds a target that can win single coverage and stretch the field in addition to Jones, defenses will continue to compress the field and make the passing game inefficient -especially with scoring --even if producing at a high-yardage volume.
2015 Week 8 vs TB (37 / 45 / 397 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 2 / 0 rush)
The biggest news is how much Ryan and TE Jacob Tamme are clicking. Ryan and Tamme routinely hooked up in the middle of the field between linebackers and in the flats between the openings in Tampa's Cover 2. This bodes well for Atlanta down the stretch if Julio Jones' recovery from a leg injury continues trending upward to the point that Jones can begin earning deep targets. Once again, Atlanta didn't go deep in the passing game, but Ryan found Jones on backside slants and deep outs. The deep outs were a new element to this offensive game plan since Jones' injury. What we have not seen from Ryan to Jones is go routes, deep posts, or deep sideline fades. The rest of the passing game has been reduced to short plays to Roddy White in the flats, a couple of looks of similar nature to Justin hardy to get his feet wet in this offense, and check downs to the running backs. Tamme has offered versatility on crossing routes, seam routes, and plays to the flats. Ryan's best play of the day was a roll left in the red area where he pumped and hit Jones in the back of the endzone for the game-tying score. His worst was an overtime attempt where he was wrapped by a Buccaneers lineman and still tried to throw the ball. The lineman jarred the ball loose and if not for Devonta Freeman recovering the ball, the game would have been over. Sooner after, the Buccaneers pressure wrapped Ryan and forced a bad fourth-down throw for the game-ender. Ryan's accuracy issues, a non-existent deep game, and turnovers in the red area involving poor execution by the center and/or Ryan were the difference.
2015 Week 7 vs TEN (22 / 38 / 251 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / -3 / 0 rush)
The Falcons began the game throwing the ball more than it ran and it resulted in two truncated series, including a second series where Ryan missed Julio Jones on a deep in-cut and then the next play when pressured and forced to climb and throw a low and away target in tight coverage on a slant, forcing a punt. The Falcons heavily targeted Jones on slants, outs, and crossers in tight coverage with mostly poor results. Ryan either placed the ball in low or awkward spots to Jones, had the ball tipped at the line of scrimmage, or Jones dropped the ball after contact from a defender. One of Ryan's tipped passes was a screen play to Tevin Coleman that resulted in an interception in the first half. Ryan was off-target multiple times in this game, underthrowing Jacob Tamme on an end zone fade where the receiver had a step on the defender and then throwing an interception after placing the ball behind the open tight end on 4th and goal with a 3-point lead. Most of these off-target throws were not the result of pressure and Ryan's issues were widespread: too high, too low, too wide, or behind the target. Ryan still displayed good pocket presence to slide from pressure or stand tough to find a receiver. If he were a little more on-target today, there would be more talk about the budding Ryan-to-Tamme connection in this offense.
2015 Week 6 vs NO (30 / 44 / 295 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 10 / 0 rush)
Ryan and the offense began the game with a lot of play-action boots, hitting his receivers on drag routes and crossers. This was a smart way to use Julio Jones, whose hamstring has kept him from exploiting defenses deep. Ryan was forced to squeeze some throws into tight windows that he couldn't make and had some close calls where he placed targets in position for the Saints corners to undercut them for interceptions. Pressure reached Ryan multiple times up the middle and of the edge. He ws sacked once in the first half and then lost the ball on a sack in the middle of the third quarter. Ryan then gave up another sack fumble in the final minutes. Despite the miscues, Ryan led the Falcons up and down the field and if I weren't for a fake punt and an Evan Stone snap that careened off his leg in the red zone and recovered by New Orleans, it could have been a bigger day for Ryan and Atlanta.
2015 Week 5 vs WAS (24 / 42 / 254 / 0 / 2 pass, 3 / 20 / 0 rush)
The Falcons tried to exploit the Washington defense in the deep middle of the field multiple times in the first half, but Ryan failed to deliver with good placement. He tended to throw the ball high over the middle of the field on route requiring some zip. One went through the outstretched hands of Julio Jones for a drive-ending interception during the Falcon's initial offensive series of the game. Jones' hamstring was an issue throughout the game, costing receiver snaps so he could stretch the muscle. When Ryan tried to go deep or hit Jones on-time with a shorter pass with running room, the star receiver could not fully open his stride. After limited success with White in the first quarter, Ryan went to Leonard Hankerson in the second quarter. After the first completion to Hankerson, the receiver suffered a rib injury and missed the rest of the half. When Hankerson returned he was clearly slowed by the issue and Ryan repeatedly missed Hankerson and Jones on intermediate and deep routes with separation to make the catch and trot into the end zone. Ryan got some help from Jacob Tamme throughout the game, but Washington clearly gave the quarterback these underneath routes because they were confident that they could limit Tamme after the catch. For the most part, this was correct. Ryan also made some poor throws to Tamme and the Washington pressure off the edge reached the Falcons quarterback more than any point this season, including a sack fumble in Falcons territory that helped Washington earn the lead. Ryan also underthrew a fourth-quarter drag route to White that was undercut for a fourth-quarter interception that set up the game-tying field goal that sent the game to overtime. Monitor Jones' hamstring, because it could render this pass offense more one-dimensional.
2015 Week 4 vs HOU (19 / 27 / 256 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
Ryan wasn't needed much in this game thanks to great work up front for the ground game, Devonta Freeman's decisive running, and the opportunistic Falcons defense. One of the bigger plays of the day was a throw to Freeman for 25 yards on a third down during the first quarter where Ryan was forced right and threw on the move. The target may have been intended for the deeper receiver, but Freeman was in the flat and turned to the ball for the catch and broke a tackle for a few more to get Atlanta inside the Houston 20. Ryan also found Leonard Hankerson for a 56-yard play on a short cross with a delayed release behind the tight end by Hankerson. Ryan also found Hankerson for a 15-yard comeback after scrambling right in the first quarter and a TD to Hankerson in the second quarter with a quick look-in audibled versus middle pressure inside the Houston five. As for the few negatives, Ryan took a sack from Watt and nearly threw a pick-six with Watt batting a ball and nearly catching it, but the Falcons quarterback handled the pressure well and effectively managed the game with a big lead in the first half. By the top of the fourth quarter, backup Sean Renfree took over.
2015 Week 3 vs DAL (24 / 36 / 285 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 17 / 0 rush)
The only low point for Ryan in this game was a sack he took on the initial third down of the game against a double A-gap blitz that ended with him in the arms of Sean Lee. By game's end, Ryan engineered 5 touchdowns on the Cowboys after Dallas jumped to a 21-7 lead. The ground game consistently opened lanes on runs to the edge and up the gut, which allowed Ryan to use the play-action passing game to find Julio Jones on crossing routes with devastating effect, including a 45-yard play where Jones ended the run as if he was diving onto a beanbag chair as he crossed the pylon. When intermediate and deep crossers weren't gouging the Cowboys, Ryan often hit Jones at will on quick look-ins from the slot for gains of 8-12 yards or found Devonta Freeman in the flat or over the middle on quick-hitting dump-offs, including a 35-yard gain at the end of the half. Ryan had some low throws in the first half that did not connect with his receivers and he also had two overthrows of receivers in the end zone on third downs that were nullified by defensive holding calls. These calls gave Atlanta new life and resulted in scores to keep them in the game. The Cowboys defense is missing key pieces at the line of scrimmage, but this game illustrates how well Matt Ryan can command an offense when the ground game is hitting on all cylinders.
2015 Week 2 vs NYG (30 / 46 / 363 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
Matt Ryan played at a high level for most of this game against the Giants but his fantasy production does not quite reflect this, unfortunately for his owners. Matt Ryan faced an aggressive Giants defense that blitzed often but he did an excellent job recognising this on several occasions and threw the ball in the right direction to escape the pressure. Ryan used slants and quick in patterns heavily in the first half to move the chains and had great success taking advantage of off coverage defense by the Giants. Ryan also got the ball out of his hands very quickly which further helped to negate any potential pressure caused by a blitz. Ryan hit Hankerson in the redzone in the first half on a perfectly placed post route but unfortunately was not credited with the touchdown as Hankerson was ruled 1 yard shy of the goal line and the Falcons punched it in on the ground a few plays later. Ryan was sacked on a few occasions and did have to deal with several of his passes being batted down at the line of scrimmage but this did not put off the Veteran Quarterback from throwing anywhere on the field. The Falcons had excellent play design on several big pass plays from Ryan who used play action and rollouts with great success. Ryan relied heavily on star receiver Jones to move the chains and to get out of bad situations. Ryan threw a pass late over the deep middle of the field from his own endzone and Jones bailed out his Quarterback by making a terrific diving catch sideways to secure the ball with one hand. Ryan did finally connect with Hankerson in the back of the endzone on a post route. Ryan threw a high pass into a highly contested area but Hankerson was able to snag the ball for the touchdown. Ryan finished off his performance with a well thrown fade pattern to Jones for a big play down the sideline. Unfortunately again for Ryan's fantasy owners, Jones was ruled down at the 1 yard line and Ryan was not accredited with the touchdown pass. Regardless, Ryan was very strong against a suspect Giants defense but very unlucky not to have 3 touchdowns in this game.
2015 Week 1 vs PHI (23 / 34 / 298 / 2 / 2 pass, 5 / 7 / 0 rush)
If Monday night's game was any indication of the season to come, the Falcons re-tooled offensive line of Chester and Levitre (acquired during the past 10 days after a horrible preseason showing for the line) has saved this team's 2015 season before it has begun. Ryan got far more time in the pocket and the ground game did well enough to open the perimeter on runs outside despite a sack fumble by Fletcher Cox that was nullified by an illegal contact penalty on the Eagles secondary and a sack that counted later on when Tevin Coleman whiffed on a corner blitz assignment. Those two plays may sound bad, but Ryan was kept clean far more in this game than he has the past three years. The quarterback used that time well to generate big plays. He hit Julio Jones multiple times up the sideline in this game for big gains and also found Roddy White on intermediate routes off play-action. Ryan's red zone interception in the first half was a target intended for White, but Kiko Alonso made a fantastic drop into the zone and a one-handed grab to foil the potential touchdown. Despite two interceptions in the middle of the field on plays intended for White where he didn't spot the coverage and an underthrown wheel route to Devonta Freeman that bounced off Connor Barwin's shoulder pad in the fourth quarter, Ryan was accurate and made good calls at the line to adjust run plays to quick-hitting passes to Jones for strong gains. The only play that consistently failed tonight for Atlanta were short drag routes to the flat by Jones that were repeatedly nullified by holding and offensive pass interference penalties due to late throws by Ryan or early blocks by the perimeter receivers.
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