Ryan doesn't expect the Falcons to have any hangover from their Super Bowl collapse, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "We're already back at it," Ryan said. "When we started as a team in April, we got together before that as players down in Miami, it was time to move one. It was time to look forward.
Moving on from such a crushing defeat might seem difficult, but the Falcons can take comfort in knowing they're well positioned for another deep playoff run, having avoided the kind of exodus which often plagues Super Bowl participants. Fullback Patrick DiMarco, who only played 31 percent of the snaps last year, was Atlanta's biggest offseason loss on the offensive side. Ryan essentially will get to work with the same group of weapons that helped him to an MVP last year, though he will have to adjust to new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who's replacing current 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. While Shanahan will be missed, Sarkisian is expected to retain the core principles of the departed coordinator's offense, implementing his own version with a light touch. It will be hard for the Atlanta offense to match what it did last season, but the unit still figures to be among the best in the NFL.
Ryan, and the Falcons offense he helmed, were masterful for two quarters-plus before Tom Brady's killer instinct kicked in. Ryan started to heat up on Atlanta's third possession, completing passes of 19 and 23 yards to Julio Jones on a drive that ultimately culminated in a five-yard Devonta Freeman touchdown run. The veteran quarterback came back on the next drive to connect with Taylor Gabriel for 24 yards and Jones for another 18, before capping matters off with a pretty 19-yard scoring connection with rookie Austin Hooper. After an eight-play, 85-yard scoring drive early in the third quarter that featured a 35-yard connection to Gabriel and a six-yard touchdown strike to Tevin Coleman, Ryan and the Falcons appeared to be in the proverbial driver's seat, but ironically would fail to score the rest of the game. One of the subsequent unsuccessful possessions came in the early part of the fourth quarter, when Ryan lost the ball after getting hit by Dont'a Hightower on a play where Freeman whiffed on his block. The turnover would lead to one of the Patriots' second-half touchdowns, and Ryan ultimately would never have a chance to touch the ball in overtime after New England drove for a touchdown on the opening drive of the extra period. The record comeback brought about an ironic and disappointing conclusion to Ryan's MVP season, a campaign in which he threw for a career-best 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns.
Ryan has two years remaining on his current contract, but after an MVP-caliber 2016 season, his representation is anticipated to pursue a deal to secure his long-term future in Atlanta. According to the report, Ryan's potential extension with the Falcons could make him the NFL's highest-paid player. With those negotiations not slated until this offseason, Ryan will be able to focus on the task at hand, which is attempting to secure the Falcons' first Super Bowl victory in franchise history on Feb. 5 versus the Patriots.
Ryan led the
Ryan shredded the Seahawks all day, finishing with a passer rating of 125.7. He's in line for another huge game Sunday when the
|P1||8/10/17||@ MIA||7:00 pm|
|P2||8/20/17||@ PIT||4:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 5|
|7||10/22/17||@ NE||8:30 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|11||11/20/17||@ SEA||8:30 pm|
|15||12/18/17||@ TB||8:30 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|