Ryan said Friday that the Saints deploy a number of different defensive looks, making it all the more challenging to prepare for Sunday's matchup, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The New Orleans secondary has been absolutely torched in each of its first two games of the season to the tune of 325.5 passing yards per game, while allowing a league-worst passer rating of 133. Still, Ryan isn't taking the Saints defense lightly, as he knows Marshon Lattimore is one of the NFL's elite cornerbacks. "(Lattimore) is a good player and he had a great year last year," Ryan said after practice Friday. "He's solid in man-to-man, he's solid in playing off in zones coverage, too. I've certainly been impressed with him thus far."
Ryan completed 23 of 28 pass attempts for 272 yards, two touchdowns and one interception Sunday against the Panthers. He also carried four times for 18 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 31-24 win. After a bit of a slow start, Ryan led the Falcons on back-to-back touchdown drives to end the first half, completing touchdown passes to Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper. He then plunged into the end zone himself from one yard out in the third quarter and scored on an eight-yard rush in the fourth. Ryan was held in check in the season opener against the Eagles, so this bounce-back effort was a great sign for the veteran, despite the fact that Julio Jones had a quiet game in his own right. He should be in for another big outing at home next week against the Saints.
Ryan addressed Atlanta's red-zone woes with optimism Wednesday, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "It's a long season. I believe the work we put in is going to pay off moving forward. I hold the belief that that the job is going to get done when we get those opportunities again." Ryan and the Falcons' offense managed one touchdown and just nine points on five red-zone trips against Philadelphia in last Thursday's season opener. Granted, Atlanta could have added three more points to that tally had the team elected to kick a field goal on the game's first drive instead of attempting to convert on a fourth down -- but the offense nevertheless continues to struggle putting teams away when it gets inside the 20-yard line. A central focus of the offseason program, Atlanta desperately wants to improve upon last year's red-zone touchdown rate of 49 percent (a drastic dip compared to 2016's figure of 65 percent).
Ryan strives to improve upon a turbulent Week 1 outing, admitting that "(he) didn't play well enough" in the season opener against Philadelphia, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The veteran signal-caller is aiming to get on track against a stingy Carolina defense in what is a vitally important game for the Falcons to win at this early juncture of the schedule. Ryan only had 172 passing yards against Philadelphia prior to marching his offense down into the red zone on the game's final drive -- a total that would have been his lowest output since Week 10 of the 2013 season. Sunday's matchup against the Panthers is no walk through the park, either, as the secondary contained Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to 170 yards and no touchdowns in a 16-8 Week 1 victory.
Ryan completed 21 of 42 passes for 251 yards while tossing one interception during the Falcons' 18-12 defeat to Philadelphia on Thursday night. Atlanta's red-zone struggles from last year have persisted into the opening act of the 2018 season, as Ryan was picked off by Rasul Douglas on a crucial third-and-medium situation midway through the fourth quarter when targeting Julio Jones on a fade. The Falcons got another chance in the game's waning moments -- with a final sequence that eerily resembled the conclusion of the divisional round tilt between these same two teams. Ryan once again targeted Jones, but the All-World wideout was unable to come down with the ball in bounds as the clock expired. For those banking on a Matty Ice resurgence, the debut outing against Philadelphia was largely discouraging. The veteran quarterback was held to single-digit fantasy production in standard scoring formats, while failing to score a touchdown for just the second time in his last 35 games.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/23||New Orleans Saints||30||33.50|
|6||10/14||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||27||27.00|
|7||10/23||New York Giants||8||15.50|
|12||11/23||@New Orleans Saints||30||33.50|
|14||12/09||@Green Bay Packers||26||26.50|
|17||12/30||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||27||27.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||66.9||4543||26||12||108||0||331|