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 27 of 39 passes for 334 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in Sunday's 31-24 loss to the Bucs. He also gained 10 yards on three rushes. Ryan didn't have his usual rapport with Julius Jones, with the latter looking to be affected significantly by the ankle injury that's hampered him since preseason. He didn't connect with Jones until the fifth drive of the game, but did show some encouraging synergy with offseason acquisition Mohamed Sanu, connecting on an early 59-yard score on what appeared to be a busted coverage. Despite an impressive stat line, the Falcons only scored once in four trips to the red zone, leaving Ryan's day unfulfilled. He'll look to bounce back in a Week 2 trip out west against the Raiders.
Ryan completed 12 of 22 passes for 129 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in Thursday's 17-6 preseason loss to the Dolphins. Despite not getting his team into the end zone and losing Julio Jones early to an ankle injury, Ryan was reasonably effective. He did have one glaring gaffe, however, appearing not to see safety Rashad Jones lurking near the goal line on 3rd and goal in the first quarter, resulting in a drive-killing interception. Otherwise, Ryan looked comfortable in connecting with both Mohamed Sanu and Aldrick Robinson on several occasions, as well as in executing a couple of designed rollouts and bootlegs, which are reportedly slated to be a larger part of the offense in 2016 than in seasons past. Assuming Jones' injury is minor, Ryan and the rest of the Falcons starting offense look to be prepared for the start of the regular season.
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.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/27||@New Orleans Saints||13||18.00|
|7||10/23||San Diego Chargers||28||28.50|
|8||10/30||Green Bay Packers||17||20.50|
|9||11/04||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||27||28.00|
|13||12/04||Kansas City Chiefs||8||15.00|
|14||12/11||@Los Angeles Rams||7||13.00|
|15||12/18||San Francisco 49ers||18||21.50|
|17||01/01||New Orleans Saints||13||18.00|
|3 Year Avg||66.6||4600||25||16||88||0||328|