QB Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons
|6-4, 228||Born: 5-17-1985||College: Boston College||Drafted: Round 1, pick 3|
News you need to know
General News (Wed Feb 1): is the only quarterback in playoff history to throw for at least three touchdowns in four straight playoff games.
Week 21: vs New England Patriots
Detailed matchup analysis coming soon.
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2016 Week 20 vs GB (27 / 38 / 392 / 4 / 0 pass, 3 / 23 / 1 rush)
Atlanta stuck to a similar game plan that worked against the Packers earlier in the year, targeting Mohamed Sanu against the Packers' zone coverage with initial success. Ryan targeted Julio Jones on a pair of perimeter routes, but could not connect. Jones dropped a catchable target. But as the game progressed, Ryan and Jones connected on wide open routes in the middle of the field and Jones either ran away from defenders for big yards or ran over them. There were no new wrinkles to this game plan--Ryan spread the ball around, targeted Jones deep and Taylor Gabriel in the middle when the Packers used man coverage and Sanu, Freeman, and Coleman against zone.
2016 Week 19 vs SEA (26 / 37 / 338 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / -3 / 0 rush)
Ryan took some hits throughout this game as well as two sacks, including a sack fumble but that was the extent of his obstacles. The Falcons QB routinely took advantage of game planned formations that stacked Julio Jones behind a teammate and forced Richard Sherman to play off coverage. The result was big plays including a slant for a touchdown early in the second quarter off a rub route with Mohamed Sanu. Ryan wasnft accurate on deep passes to Taylor Gabriel and Tevin Coleman, but with substitute safety Steven Terrell failing to tackle well, Ryan exploited the middle of the Seattle defense with completions to Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Taylor Gabriel for yards after the catch. Ryan also managed to slide from pressure and find open receivers. Despite a couple of near interceptions where he failed to get on the same page with Gabriel on a Run-Pass Option in the second half that was nearly a pick-six and a misread of a coverage, Ryan spread the ball around and made efficient throws to build a commanding lead.
2016 Week 17 vs NO (27 / 36 / 331 / 4 / 0 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)
Atlanta's quarterback had a day reserved for a practice session. He found wide-open players crossing the middle of the Saints defense or leaking to the flats. Ryan routinely found open receivers lurking behind Saints' blitzes. All four of Ryan's touchdowns came in the first half. The first was a low-and-away flat route to Tevin Coleman that the RB scooped off his shoetops in a wide-open flat for the first score. Later he hit a corner fade to a wide open Jones that ended with a pretty toe-tap in the end zone. Then, he climbed the pocket to his right and found a wide-open Sanu along the end line. HIs final touchdown was a fade to Justin Hardy at the front right pylon. With a 35-13 lead at the half, Atlanta let off a bit and pressure got to Ryan more often. He took a sack in the third quarter and had a dangerous play on the move in his own red zone that ended with a nice grab by Jones over the middle for a 15-yard gain. Ryan followed up with a deep cross to Jones near midfield in a wide-open space off play action. The 14-play drive culminated in the final score of the day, a 22-yard field goal.
2016 Week 16 vs CAR (27 / 33 / 277 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 9 / 0 rush)
He hit Jones on a quick slant to begin the game and two plays later avoided a strip attempt from the right edge to find Freeman while under pressure and Freeman earned the first down on the dump-off during this first drive. Ryan delivered a back shoulder fade that arrived perfectly over Thomas Davis and under the safety help for the first touchdown. Perkins, a rookie from Washington, made a good catch with his hands between the two defenders tight to him and he fell into the end zone from the two. It was the throw outside Davis' coverage and under the safety that made this play so good. Ryan avoided pressure after a good bit of time in the pocket on a first down after an Atlanta interception of Cam Newton and the QB flushed right and found Julio Jones at the 28 of Carolina on a crossing route for a first down. Ryan found Robinson in the middle of the field with his third read for a first down near midfield to begin the third drive. A double-A Gap look forced the line to squeeze inside and the outside pressure arrived to force Ryan to slide and hit the outlet to Patrick DiMarco for enough yards to give Atlanta a 51-yard field goal on the following play and a 13-point lead. Ryan got sacked by Shaq Thompson on an LB blitz past FB Patrick DiMarco on the fourth series. Ryan found 8 receivers within the first 20 minutes of this game. He took a hit hitting Gabriel on a slant while hit in the chest from the Carolina 5 to the 1. Ryan got sacked on an A-gap safety blitz past Alex Mack who missed his protection assignment. Ryan got discombobulated in the pocket on a 3rd and 3 inside the 15 of Carolina and had a settling for a short gain. The resulting field goal attempt was blocked. Ryan was strip-sacked by Kony Ealy past Jake Matthews inside the Carolina 8 but Atlanta recovered and added another 3 points. Ryan found Jones on a deep cross to begin the fourth quarter, but underthrew it and let the cornerback rake the ball away. He was sacked on the following play up the middle. Ryan found Coleman for a gain of over 30 yards on 3rd and 21 and set up a 55-yard TD by Coleman on an outside zone play.
2016 Week 15 vs SF (17 / 23 / 286 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
As Atlanta coasted to the comfortable home win against the 49ers, Ryan's passing prowess was not required in high volume. Ryan threw a season-low 23 passes and was hyper-efficient to the tune of 12.4 yards-per-attempt. Ryan operated from a clean pocket on a vast majority of dropbacks. Aldrick Robinson and Taylor Gabriel piled up after-catch yardage with their speed, adding to Ryan's strong statistical day. Ryan's highlight throws included a deep comeback to Robinson while Ryan was on the run outside the pocket and a throwback design to Levine Toilolo in the fourth quarter. A majority of the starters, including Matt Ryan, were pulled by the mid-fourth quarter with the game in hand.
2016 Week 14 vs LA (18 / 28 / 237 / 3 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
After the give-me TD to Hardy off the Mike Thomas fumbled kickoff, the Falcons quarterback faced heavy pressure throughout the first half. He was hit while throwing to Taylor Gabriel on a 3rd and 10 route deep in their territory, leading to a punt. A steady diet of screens to the receivers and Devonta Freeman followed, setting up deeper outs to Gabriel, Aldrick Robinson, and Nick Williams. He found Robinson on a 25-yard play on a deep out in the fourth series. During the same half, Ryan delivered a hard pump fake to the left and threw back to Levine Toilolo in the right flat for a wide open play yielding a first down and yards after the catch. The play put Atlanta in the red zone thanks to the yards after the catch and a roughing the passer penalty. Ryan was also hit hard trying to deliver the ball to Nick Williams up the left seam on a third down, forcing an errant throw and a punt on the next play. Despite the steady pressure, hits, and a sack to end the first half, Ryan remained poised, found the open man, and eventually broke the back of the Rams with a 64-yard deep cross off play action in the third quarter. The Rams were game on defense, but the LA offense was a mess--dropping passes, giving up sacks, and delivering turnovers leading to points that made the game easy for Atlanta's offensive figurehead.
2016 Week 13 vs KC (22 / 34 / 297 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 23 / 0 rush)
The Falcons quarterback had strong moments during this game, but his mistakes cost Atlanta dearly. He routinely found Julio Jones on slants, intermediate crosses, and deep outs and corners throughout the first three quarters. He also hit Mohamad Sanu and Devonta Freeman on short crossers for yards against the blitzing Chiefs defense. One of the better plays in the half was a screen to Freeman up the right flat for a long gain. But The Chiefs sacked Ryan multiple times in the first half and Ryan delivered a pick-six to Eric Berry in the middle of the field on a pass intended for Taylor Gabriel. This extended the Chiefs' lead late in the half when Kansas City was scoring touchdowns and Atlanta twice got inside the Chiefs' 10 and only came away with field goals. Ryan made some tough throws in tight pockets down field but each time Atlanta scored a touchdown, the Falcons opted for a two-point conversion and failed. The last time was after Ryan found Aldrick Robinson in the middle of the end zone on a trips left pass against a blown zone coverage and the resulting two-point attempt was picked off again by Berry and taken over 100 yards the opposite way to turn a one-point lead into a one-point loss.
2016 Week 12 vs ARI (26 / 34 / 269 / 2 / 1 pass, 4 / 15 / 0 rush)
Ryan repeatedly challenged Patrick Peterson during the first series, delivering completions on the cornerback to Julio Jones on a six-yard dig, Justin Hardy in off coverage for a 27-yard sail route, and then forced Peterson to commit a controversial defensive pass interference foul on a pivot route to Jones at the Cardinals one. These plays set up Freeman's first touchdown. During the second quarter, Ryan was off-target with quick passes when he felt the urgency to get rid of the ball and his placement created difficult targets for Mohamed Sanu and Freeman. If not for a second defensive pass interference call on Peterson, a third rushed throw of this type would have resulted in a Deone Buchanan interception. He later threw an interception to Buchanan in the same area of the field when his slant to Julio Jones could not be corralled and bounced off Jones to the Cardinals hybrid defender. Arizona sacked Ryan four times with excellent blitz calls off the edge during the first series of the second half, but only three of these plays counted thanks to an illegal contact penalty downfield that nullified the fourth. Even so, Ryan routinely found six of his eight different receivers throughout this game and maintained a commanding lead in the fourth quarter.
2016 Week 10 vs PHI (18 / 33 / 267 / 1 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The offense began the game with three plays for 18 yards to reach midfield, but a false start penalty led to a punt after Ryan overthrew Jones on a go route on the resulting third and long. Atlanta began with a false start on the second series. Ryan then overshot Jones on a deep route off a fake reverse on the following play. Pressure force Ryan to rush a target to Mohamed Sanu on 3rd and 11 and the receiver couldn't earn enough after the catch for a first down. Sacks, dropped passes, and penalties were a common theme for many of Atlanta's stalled drives due to good pressure by the Eagles. Ryan kept Atlanta in the game with good throws under pressure. He found Jones for 29 yards on a fade up the left sideline. He also delivered a 28-yard strike with his feet off the ground while avoiding pressure in the pocket, hitting Jones on the deep cross. There was also the 76-yard streak up the right sideline to Taylor Gabriel for his only touchdown of the afternoon.
2016 Week 9 vs TB (25 / 34 / 344 / 4 / 0 pass, 2 / 0 / 0 rush)
Ryan found Freeman for 27 yards on a 3rd and 9 outlet pass and two plays later threw a touchdown to Levine Toilolo on after flushing right and finding the tight end up the seam against a blown zone coverage by Brent Grimes. This seam up the right side was exploited for much of the night, including a big plays to Austin Hooper and Taylor Gabriel. Atlanta made enough mistakes on early drives to turn two Tampa fumble recoveries into field goals rather than touchdowns. Ryan also overshot a wide-open Joshua Perkins up the right seam near the end zone after a pump fake and look-off to the safety up the middle form a tight pocket. The right side of the line also gave up two sacks and Gerald McCoy forced a Ryan Fumble, leading to one of two Mike Evans touchdowns. Ryan came out hot in the second half, hitting Julio Jones on consecutive short routes to get close to midfield and after finding Austin Hooper up the right seam he finished the drive to fullback Patrick DiMarco on a one-yard pass to the flat and extended the lead to 12. He later put Atlanta ahead by 20 when he found Julio Jones on a fade route against rookie Vernon Hargreaves. His fourth touchdown went to Hooper on a rub route.
2016 Week 8 vs GB (28 / 35 / 288 / 3 / 0 pass, 2 / 9 / 0 rush)
He began with consecutive first downs in the opening series from empty sets. He hit Mohamed Sanu on a stick route and then a 10-yard run up the middle after breaking the pocket. After consecutive crossing routes to Julio Jones for first downs during the second series, Ryan hit Gabriel for a 47-yard touchdown on a deep post that split the safeties down the middle. Ryan tried to split a tight seam on a double move to Jones but he threw the ball behind Jones and the receiver took a hit to his knees while dropping the difficult target. It was the last target Jones saw until late in the game and Jones was not healthy. Ryan took consecutive sacks in the third quarter that helped Green Bay take the lead in the third quarter. Atlanta reignited its hurry-up offense while down 24-19 and Mohamed Sanu became the focal point of the passing offense with short throws to the flats. Ryan helped Atlanta retake the lead with a seam route to Sanu at the end line.
2016 Week 7 vs SD (22 / 34 / 273 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 8 / 0 rush)
Ryan made some success, if not lucky, throws from off-balanced positions from compressed pockets early in the game. One was a third and 9 target off a scramble drill to Julio Jones at midfield. The cornerback undercut the pass, tipped the ball, and Jones made the rebound and drew a defensive pass interference penalty. He actually dropped the ball but the foul would have been applied, so the Chargers didn't challenge. Round found Jones on a series of curls and digs throughout the game and against tight coverage, often Casey Hayward. One of his completions to Jones was a 20-yard play in tight coverage, but he missed a wide-open Austin Hooper behind the Chargers' defense. Defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram routinely harassed Ryan and they often forced run to rush throws. One of them was a 3rd and 5 in the red zone that led to a field goal. Ryan was off-target to Jacob Tamme twice in this game, but one of them resulted in a 17-yard score because Tame made a great catch on the ball while his momentum was taking him against the grain. Ryan threw an interception with 3:32 in the game when linebacker Denzel Perryman undercut Jones on a dig route and it led to San Diego tying the game. There was time to win the game in the fourth quarter but Ryan tried a quick-snap, QB sneak on third and 1 after a completing a pass and San Diego was ready.
2016 Week 6 vs SEA (27 / 42 / 335 / 3 / 1 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
Falcons began early with three play action passes with short routes in rhythm to reach midfield. Seattle responded with blitzes and hard hitting at the catch point from Earl Thomas. Ryan committed the first major mistake on a 3rd down slant from inside Atlanta's 15. Ryan waited too long on Julio Jones working against Richard Sherman and Cliff Avril sacked and stripped the Falcons quarterback, leading to a Christine Michael touchdown run on the next play. In the second half, Ryan found Julio Jones repeatedly on intermediate and deep dig routes behind the linebackers and under the safeties to tie the game after being down by 14. One of those plays was an easy score to Jones on a blown coverage where Richard Sherman was playing man and the safety on Jones was playing zone. The next series, Levine Toilolo gave Atlanta the lead on seam route of 46 yards thanks to Richard Sherman confusing his zone/man responsibilities. With less than four minutes left and up by a point, Atlanta continued throwing the ball and it led to Ryan leading Jones too far on a slant and the ball traveled through the receiver's hands, bounced off Richard Sherman's mitts, and into Earl Thomas' arms. Atlanta had one more drive after Seattle took the lead but pressure hindered Atlanta's passing game on the first three downs and led to a desperation heave up the middle to Julio Jones that should have resulted in defensive pass interference but the officials missed the call.
2016 Week 5 vs DEN (15 / 28 / 267 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 3 / 0 rush)
Denver pressure got to Matt Ryan multiple times and Ryan missed a wide open Julio Jones twice on deep routes but these were the only significant negatives for Atlanta's quarterback. Thanks to great game planning from offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the Falcons repeatedly found ways to match Tevin Coleman in the slot against an inside linebacker for big plays. Ryan found Tevin Coleman on a third-down crossing route from the slot for a 48-yard gain on the first drive. He later found Coleman for an easy score of 19 yards after splitting the back from the shotgun to the inside trips side of the formation on the linebacker and hit the wide open Coleman at the five. Later, Ryan found Coleman up the right sideline on a fade from slot right against a Broncos linebacker for a 49-yard play.
2016 Week 4 vs CAR (28 / 37 / 503 / 4 / 1 pass, 4 / 14 / 0 rush)
The Falcons quarterback found Jones twice on the first two plays for a total of 35 yards. The first was a play-action pass with max protection. He followed up with a third throw to Jones for another 15 yards. Ryan and the Falcons maintained an up-tempo drive culminating in a three-yard flat route to Jacob Tamme to give Atlanta the early reach on an eight-play, 71-yard drive. The second series began with nearly 30 yards of passing on play action passes to backs Tevin Coleman and the fullback Patrick DiMarco on consecutive plays. Ryan started the day 7-for-7. He made it 8-for-8 with a perfect deep fade to Jones for 44 yards. His worst mistake came when Ryan through a pass to the left flat that linebacker Thomas Davis tipped at the line of scrimmage and resulted in a pick-six by safety Kurt Coleman. Ryan underthrew Jones on a go route in the subsequent drive, forcing Jones to slow down and give the trailing CB Berne Benwikere a chance to recover and defend the pass. Two plays later, Ryan found Jones again against Benwikere for 53 yards on 3rd and 17. The Panthers amped up the pressure with blitzes on Ryan but the combination of excellent play-calling and big plays by Jones, Austin Hooper, Aldrick Robinson, and Taylor Gabriel buried the Carolina defense. Jones and Robinson burned Benwikere for two of Ryan's four touchdowns.
2016 Week 3 vs NO (20 / 30 / 240 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 23 / 0 rush)
The Falcons quarterback threw two touchdowns in this game, including a 13-yard pass to Devonta Freeman on a well-designed swing pass to the left flat that had left tackle Jake Matthews work past the line of scrimmage and cutoff the Saints' outside linebacker well before the defender could pursue Freeman--his man on the play. Ryan also delivered a shovel pass off to Justin Hardy for a score late in the half. The play included a ghosted end around before Ryan delivered the pass. New Orleans couldn't stop the run all night and it included Ryan when he broke the pocket or bought time outside the pocket against pressure. Although Ryan got sacked twice, the Falcons' offense was in total control for most of this game and Ryan completed at least two passes to six receivers and found eight receivers total.
2016 Week 2 vs OAK (26 / 34 / 396 / 3 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
When the Falcons can run, Matt Ryan doesn't see a lot of pressure. Other than Ryan Schraeder allowing a bull rush by defensive tackle Stacy McGhee that resulted in a sack and a hit from Khalil Mack on a short drop where Jake Matthews had a brain fart with his set up, the Falcons' line kept the quarterback clean. It helped that cornerback Sean Smith was so concerned about Julio Jones getting outside that he gave up easy plays on the inside, including a 21-yard score on a slant and and a 48-yard gain on a deep crossing route off play action. Ryan also completed 10 passes to three tight ends, including a seam route for a score to Jacob Tamme that was set up by a 34-yard throwback to Austin Hooper. Atlanta also added a slant to its arsenal for Tevin Coleman, shifting him outside when it recognized the defense would cover the RB with an LB and it resulted in a 24-yard gain. Ryan had a lucky score late in the game when he targeted Coleman in the red area on the same type of route and the LB hit Coleman, forced the ball into the air and Justin Hardy was the man on the spot with the rebound just ahead of the unfortunate Sean Smith. Ryan's worst play was also a red zone throw where he placed a throw on Jacob Tamme's inside shoulder and gave the trailing David Amerson the room to undercut for an interception in the end zone. If Atlanta can remain inventive with Coleman but continue to allow Freeman room to run up the middle, the rest of this offense opens up and becomes dangerous.
2016 Week 1 vs TB (27 / 39 / 334 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 10 / 0 rush)
Atlanta had three red zone penalties in the first quarter that limited them to two field goals and left tackle Jake Matthews gave up two of them, including a sack of Ryan on third down in the red area. The team as a whole earned five penalties in the first half alone, which is a continuation of last year's effort as one of the most penalized teams of 2015. Ryan's biggest plays came off a read option play fake from the shotgun. He found Mohamad Sanu wide open in a busted zone coverage for a 59-yard catch and run that set up the first field goal. He also hit A.J. Green a quick dig route off the same play in the middle of the third quarter. But Atlanta went to the well too often on the same drive and Gerald McCoy didn't bite on the same play fake two plays later, sacking Ryan and ending a drive near mid-field that could have cut Tampa's lead to four. Ryan did a good job of finding Sanu early in this game, hitting the receiver three times in the first quarter, including a post route from a bunch trips alignment behind Brent Grimes for a leaping catch near the end line. He had a perfect play action throw to Julio Jones in a deep cross in the early fourth quarter but Jones dropped the pass when hit int he back. Ryan and Kyle Shanahan once again went to the well too often on the read-option play-action pass and it resulted in the Buccaneer's second sack of this play alone--it's third of the day. Ryan threw consecutive passes behind open receivers due to pressure on the final drive and set up a 4th and 10 with 1:18 left and Gerald McCoy tipped the pass and sealed the victory. Ryan's overall output was positive but at least half of his total was accumulated during garbage time.
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