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 said Monday that he and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian have reached a new comfort level with one another heading into the coach's second year with the Falcons, Kelsey Conway of the team's official site reports. "A lot of the situational stuff comes up in practice more so than it's come up in games for us," Ryan explained Monday. "There have been a handful of times specifically in two-minute situations or low red-zone situations where we've had those things come up during practice and I'm kind of already thinking the way he's thinking before the play comes in."
Just two years removed from MVP recognition, Ryan finds himself amidst a slew of solid middle-to-late round quarterback options. He's a potential league-winner so long as he and Sarkisian can find ways to take advantage of the signal-caller's outstanding accuracy on intermediate-to-deep routes. There's no denying that the 10-year veteran regressed in his first season under the new offensive coordinator, as he failed to throw three touchdowns in any game last season after throwing three-plus touchdowns in seven games in 2016 under Kyle Shanahan.
Ryan responded to Jalen Ramsey's comments from last week, in which the Jacksonville cornerback tabbed the 2016 MVP as overrated, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports. "Playing as long as I have in this league.... I don't worry too much about it," Ryan said after practice on Tuesday. "My responsibility is to go out there and play the best football I can."
The 10-year veteran endured significant statistical regression last year following the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, as his touchdown total was nearly sliced in half between 2016 and 2017 (from 38 to 20), while his completion rate dipped from 69.9 to 64.7 percent. Still, Ryan managed to finish tied with Drew Brees for the second-highest quarterback grade last year, per Pro Football Focus. With an offensive line returning all five starters as well as the addition of Calvin Ridley to an already explosive group of skill players, Ryan carries a high probability of outperforming his ADP of 13th at the position in standard ESPN drafts.
Ryan completed five of seven passes for 90 yards and a touchdown in Friday's preseason game against the Chiefs.
After attempting just one pass in the preseason opener, Ryan made the most of his two drives Thursday, getting some help from Tevin Coleman and Austin Hooper. The Atlanta offense will be even more dangerous once Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones are available, which could happen in the third week of the preseason against the Jaguars on Saturday, Aug. 25. With rookie first-round pick Calvin Ridley replacing Taylor Gabriel and Steve Sarkisian in his second year as offensive coordinator, Ryan should find a middle ground between his stat lines from 2016 and 2017.
The starting unit's showing (albeit in a minute sample size) was abysmal as Tevin Coleman couldn't find any room to run, the offensive line got flagged with a holding penalty, and Ryan's only passing attempt to rookie Calvin Ridley was snuffed out behind the line of scrimmage. Bulletin board material for Ryan and the offense to build upon going into Week 2 of the preseason, when the starters may see an extra drive or two to ramp up towards a potential full half of play in Week 3.
|5||10/7/18||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/4/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|12||11/22/18||@ NO||8:20 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|