What is Matt Ryan's excuse going to be this year? New offense he still hasn't gotten used to? Bad offensive line? Lack of receiving threats? None of those will work as the Falcons have surrounded him with a better offensive line and a younger receiving corps to work with in his second season under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. So now it's on Ryan if he doesn't improve on his numbers. Over his last three seasons, he's posted 20-plus Fantasy points just 19 of 48 times (39.6 percent of the time). At a time when Fantasy owners have so many quarterbacks to pick from and don't necessarily need two of them, why should Ryan be a priority? Grab him with a late-round pick if you'd like to speculate on a career year, but do not overrate him based on the weight his name carries.
Ryan completed 6-of-11 passes for 78 yards in Thursday's preseason win over the Browns. Although he was technically the least effective of the three guys named Matt who took snaps on Thursday, he's in no danger of losing his job to Matt Schaub or Matt Simms. He'll likely see a bigger workload in the third preseason game against the Dolphins.
Ryan failed to complete any of his four pass attempts in Thursday's preseason opener against Washington. The Falcons went three-and-out on both of Ryan's drives, starting the preseason in rather unimpressive fashion. There's hope for improvement in his second season under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, but the Falcons may still lack receiving threats to complement Julio Jones. Offseason acquisition Mohamed Sanu could help, though he was mostly unimpressive during his time in Cincinnati. Third-round rookie TE Austin Hooper is the other key addition, but the recent track record of rookie tight ends in the NFL isn't encouraging.
Ryan acknowledged that he had a tough time adjusting to Kyle Shanahan's scheme, but the quarterback also said that his offensive coordinator did a nice job late in the season, ESPN.com reports. This is one of the more amusing January storylines, as the early-season narrative gave new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan a significant portion of the credit for Atlanta's September success. If adjustment to a new scheme was really the problem, the Falcons offense probably wouldn't have been at its best at the beginning of the season. The obvious issue was the lack of a secondary receiving threat behind Julio Jones, which led to a massive number of dump-offs to Devonta Freeman. It may be more interesting to blame Ryan or Shanahan, but both have proven to be perfectly competent during their successful NFL careers. The Falcons will likely prioritize the acquisition of a starting-caliber No. 2 wide receiver and/or tight end this offseason.
Ryan completed 24 of 36 passes for 334 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and a fumble in Sunday's loss to New Orleans. Ryan was consistently sloppy with the football for much of the season, recording a turnover in 11 of Atlanta's final 12 games, including each of the team's seven games following its bye. It hasn't been as if Ryan has been incredibly productive to make up for his penchant for turnovers. Ryan threw multiple touchdown passes in just six games this season, Sunday breaking a five-game streak of one or fewer scoring passes per game. Getting the franchise quarterback on the same page as offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be one of the stories of the offseason in Atlanta.
Ryan (hip) is active for Sunday's game against the Saints. Ryan took a shot to his hip last Sunday versus the Panthers, yet the ailment didn't affect his practice participation one bit in the subsequent week of prep. Because the Saints' pass defense has given up an all-time worst 43 touchdown throws this season, he should be afforded plenty of opportunities to pile on with Drew Brees operating on the other side.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/11||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||25||22.06|
|3||09/27||@New Orleans Saints||33||29.31|
|7||10/23||San Diego Chargers||14||19.56|
|8||10/30||Green Bay Packers||15||19.78|
|9||11/04||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||25||22.06|
|13||12/04||Kansas City Chiefs||6||18.00|
|14||12/11||@Los Angeles Rams||10||18.56|
|15||12/18||San Francisco 49ers||7||18.06|
|17||01/01||New Orleans Saints||33||29.31|
|3 Year Avg||66.6||4600||25||16||88||0||328|