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QB Matt Schaub - Atlanta Falcons

6-5, 237Born: 6-25-1981College: VirginiaDrafted: Round 3

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Week 7: at New England Patriots

All QB vs NE

FBG says: Great matchup. Naturally, Matt Ryan has regressed noticeably from his electrifying 2016 season, but the drop has been quite noticeable. Ryan is throwing for 12% fewer yards and "boasting" his worst passer rating (87.3) since 2009, his second NFL season. He's also showing that last year's touchdown explosion was largely a fluke; his touchdown rate has been cut by more than half, and he's on pace to throw a pitiful 19 of them. A hefty chunk of the fall can be blamed on the team's downfield game, which has all but disappeared in 2017. With bracket coverage limiting Julio Jones and speedster Taylor Gabriel mostly neutralized, Ryan has completed just 10 of his 28 deep passes (15+ yards). He's also been uncharacteristically leaking turnovers, with 6 interceptions through 5 games after just 7 over 19 games last year (playoffs included). Jones himself has disappointed thus far, averaging 32% fewer yards per game than over his 2014-16 stretch and entering Week 7 still touchdown-less. The lack of scoring presence is a long-term thing for Jones, who's rarely targeted in the red zone has ineffective when he is. But in general, the Falcons need him to start dominating matchups on a 2015 level if this passing game is going to truly break out. A return by Mohamed Sanu, the team's top possession threat behind Jones, would also help, but he looks doubtful for Sunday. In any event, though, the Falcons are facing a "get right" game against the Patriots, so this could kick them into gear across the board. In every game thus far, the Patriots have allowed their opposing quarterback to reach his season high in yardage. That's an incredibly ugly stat, made even worse when we consider Josh McCown's 31-of-47, 351-yard, 2-touchdown performance from last week. The Jets were merely next in line to shred the Patriots' shaky secondary and invisible pass rush, which have collectively allowed the most yards and net yards per attempt in football. They've also given up more completions of 20+ yards than anyone, as well as the third-most passing touchdowns. The often-toothless Jets attack managed to produce 4 receivers of 59+ yards, and McCown's dominance would've been even more apparent had Austin Seferian-Jenkins not fumbled at the pylon in the fourth quarter. Like the Saints of recent years, this is a defensive matchup to target aggressively with opposing passers and receivers, thanks to their sheer ineptitude and the wide-open pace of most Patriots games.

Recent Stats and Projections

7 at NE PROJ-Tremblay * 0 0 * * * 0 * * * *

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7@ New England Patriots
8@ New York Jets
9@ Carolina Panthers
10vs Dallas Cowboys
11@ Seattle Seahawks
12vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
13vs Minnesota Vikings
14vs New Orleans Saints
15@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
16@ New Orleans Saints
17vs Carolina Panthers