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QB Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons

6-4, 228Born: 5-17-1985College: Boston CollegeDrafted: Round 1, pick 3

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Photo: Matthew Emmons, US Presswire

Preseason player page

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Oct 20): Ryan's offensive line was already a question coming into this season. With injuries mounting, it has gotten to the point that you feel sorry for him and his targets trying to make something good happen with the deck stacked against him. He shouldn't be in your lineup against Detroit in London this week.

General News (Tue Oct 21): was sacked five times as the team's offensive line continues to struggle with injuries and poor play. "We had way too much pressure," head coach Mike Smith said. "Our quarterback was hit and sacked way too much. There were times where we really didn't have a chance to get the play off, and that's very difficult for a quarterback, and we have to do better with our protection."

Week 8: vs Detroit Lions

Detailed matchup analysis coming soon.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDFumL
4 at MIN 25 41 298 3 2 2 2 0 0
5 at NYG 29 45 316 1 1 0 0 0 0
6 vs CHI 19 37 271 1 1 1 -1 0 0
7 at BAL 29 44 228 1 0 1 7 0 1
8 vs DET PROJ-Dodds 25 40 * * * 2 * * *
8 vs DET PROJ-Tremblay 25 40 * * * 2 * * *
8 vs DET PROJ-Bloom 24 41 * * * 1 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 5 vs NYG (29 / 45 / 316 / 1 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

The Falcons offensive line was missing three starters in this game and it ultimately led to Atlanta's downfall in this contest. Early on, Ryan and the offense managed to stay in this game with an even balance of run and pass, often from jumbo sets where Atlanta used six offensive linemen to run block and pass protect. Although Atlanta was able to prevent sacks during the first half, pressure routinely reached the pocket and forced Ryan to throw on the move and make difficult plays from unbalanced throwing positions. The most successful plays continued to be the play action boot legs or skinny posts off short play action drops where Ryan could thread the needle to Julio Jones. Atlanta's quarterback leaned heavily on Jones all afternoon. He also used Steven Jackson as a frequent check-down option in the first half. Once Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul surged in the third quarter, Atlanta had to keep Jackson in the pocket to chip the Giants' star who was wreaking havoc despite not earning a sack. Pierre-Paul forced Ryan into the arms of Robert Ayers in the third quarter and then induced an interception when his pressure forced Ryan to airmail the ball to the right flat where defensive back Quentin Demps cut off the target. Pierre-Paul later pressured Ryan into the arms of defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins on a 4th and 1, effectively ending this contest. Ryan was productive and accurate in a tight game, but his offensive line could not sustain its first-half play.

2014 Week 6 vs CHI (19 / 37 / 271 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

The biggest takeaway from the Bears' game was the seven drops that Ryan's receivers committed during the contest. Chicago's pressure forced Ryan to throw from constricted pockets and into tight zones where the defensive backs repeatedly nailed Falcons receivers as those targets arrived down field. The first drop was a throw to Julio Jones from a constricted pocket that reached the receiver low and away and rebounded of Jones' hands. It forced Atlanta to settle for a 50-yard field goal. During the next series, Ryan had his pass deflected by defensive tackle Stephen Paea and later in the series, Jones nearly dropped a 3rd and 10 pass, which cornerback Kyle Fuller stripped from the receiver's possession and guaranteed Atlanta would have to punt. Jones dropped three passes in this game, including two after contact. One of them was a wide-open, backside skinny post off play action that Atlanta loves to run. This play set up a Paea sack that pushed Atlanta out of field goal range. Ryan's one touchdown was a 41-yard screen pass to Antone Smith up the right flat. Where Ryan and the Falcons succeeded was the constant variety of formations and personnel to keep Chicago from keying on one specific player. Of course dropped passes kill an offense and in addition to Roddy White dropping one on a play that could have been called for a helmet-to-helmet hit, Levine Toilolo dropped three, including two in a row in the fourth quarter. By the final quarter, the Falcons' offensive line could not contain Jared Allen, Willie Young, and Paea, who managed to sack Ryan a few times in this span. After Young's sack, Ryan threw an interception on a fourth-down pass intended for Jones that was undercut. Ryan continues to find open receivers and thread the needle despite pressure forcing him to leave the pocket or take punishment, but it is becoming a common refrain to see Atlanta's line fall apart in the fourth quarter and make Ryan's job next to impossible.

2014 Week 7 vs BAL (29 / 44 / 228 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 7 / 0 rush)

The offensive line continues to weigh down the Falcons and it manifested in the play calling and game-changing plays for the opposing defense. Atlanta was so concerned about affording Ryan time the game plan was short passing: screens to backs and receivers, swing passes, and quick perimeter and seam routes. Ryan appeared especially sensitive to the potential for pressure early in the game when his first target was almost too short of target and he had 3-4 targets that were rushed or with low and away placement. Ryan's concerns grew worse when Peter Konz, the Falcons' backup center, was rolled up by a teammate during the third series and taken to the locker room on a cart, forcing Atlanta to use a third-string lineman at center. At this point, the Ravens pressure wore down the Falcons' front, sacking Ryan five times in this game. One was a 3rd and 10 strip sack from Pernell McPhee - one of two sacks from the lineman. Two more sacks came from Elvis Dumervil and the final sack was from Terrell Suggs, who finished any hope of Ryan earning more garbage time yardage late in the game with a sack for a safety in the final minutes. Ryan's best throws down field came in the third quarter and Atlanta was already well behind. The pressure also forced Ryan to make difficult throws into coverage and had at least two targets that should have been intercepted. Once again, Ryan isn't playing bad as much as he's coping with and offensive line that is banged up, at a competitive disadvantage, and lacking rapport that comes with stability. It's preventing Ryan and the Falcons from stretching the field on a consistent basis and makes Ryan easier to defend.

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Latest News

Falcons | Matt Ryan heavily pressured (Mon Oct 20, 05:20 PM) - Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was sacked five times as the team's offensive line continues to struggle with injuries and poor play. 'We had way too much pressure,' head coach Mike Smith said. 'Our quarterback was hit and sacked way too much. There were times where we really didn't have a chance to get the play off, and that's very difficult for a quarterback, and we have to do better with our protection.'

Our View: Ryan is getting blitzed on 29.3 percent of his dropbacks (league average is 29 percent). However, the pressure is getting to him on 26.7 percent of his dropbacks, above the league average of 24.4 percent.
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Atlanta Falcons Team Links

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Staff Dynasty Rankings

QB Dynasty - 6, 5, 7, 7, 7
Overall Dynasty - 56, 54, 55

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Schedule

8vs Detroit Lions
9--- BYE WEEK ---
10@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11@ Carolina Panthers
12vs Cleveland Browns
13vs Arizona Cardinals
14@ Green Bay Packers
15vs Pittsburgh Steelers
16@ New Orleans Saints
17vs Carolina Panthers