Are We Really Blaming Matt Ryan For Falcons' Problems?

99 Problems, Matty Ice Ain't One

Thomas Mott
September 25, 2019 - 12:18 am
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So most of you know that I do not just host Ready or Mott but I also host the “Falcons Flyover” after every single Falcons game.

The goal of this show is to let you guys react to what you just saw on the field. I try to combine my knowledge with what I saw in the game with what you guys saw to find solutions, address problems and give credit where credit is due to players, coaches and opposing teams.

Now, with taking a lot of your phone calls inevitably, we get some hot takes. Some good, some bad.

However, what surprised me this past Sunday on the Falcons Flyover was the widespread blaming of Matt Ryan. Now I’m not just talking about blaming Ryan in general. I’m talking about pinning the Falcons loss to the Colts specifically on one bad Ryan throw which resulted in an interception and a field goal for Indianapolis.

Let me be very very clear. I have not necessarily been a proponent of Ryan this offseason. You’ll remember me constantly choosing other NFL QBs over him in my NFL ratings. I’d consider myself the biggest Ryan skeptic of anyone at this station. With all that being said, I have to come to Ryan’s defense. The reason the Falcons lost had nothing to do with Ryan.

In fact, he probably had the best day out of any Falcons player not named Devonta Freeman.

Quickly, just so we are all on the same page. Matt Ryan was 29 for 34 for 304 yards with three touchdowns, a 93.3 QBR and ONE interception.

The interception occurred when the Falcons were driving in an already 10-0 hole.

Now, was the interception costly? Did it take potential points off the board? Yes, but to place the whole loss on this one play is insane.

You know who also threw an interception this week? Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Josh Allen, Dak Prescott and Mitchell Trubisky. Guess what they all have in common? They all won.

Now, don’t get me wrong, interceptions are bad. Ryan is one interception away in just the first three games of the year, from tying the amount he threw all 16 games last year. It’s a problem, he’s got to take care of the ball.

The Falcons had six legit drives on offense on Sunday. Three of those drives resulted in TDs, one resulted in a field goal, one was a punt due to a holding penalty and one was the interception. That’s a really good day at the office for most offenses in the NFL.

But the point is, if we need to blame someone for the loss to the Colts. Don’t blame Ryan.

The culprit here is Dan Quinn and the defense.

This defense gave up Indy scoring drives of nine plays, seven plays, 15 plays, 10 plays, 11 plays and nine plays (this one ended the game). The Colts punted one time all day. At one point, Jacoby Brissett was like 17 for 17.

Yes, the offense has struggled to start fast. Yes, the run game has been pretty much nonexistent. Yes, Ryan has thrown interceptions.

But the real reason the Falcons keep losing is because their defense cannot get off the field.

 

If you search Falcons Defense, on paper, they're top 10 in total defense. They’ve shown flashes of potential, especially in the win over the Eagles. However, Sunday comes down to the defense not being able to get off the field.

So let’s cut the narrative at least for a week that this is somehow Matt Ryan’s fault. I’m not a huge Matt Ryan guy and even I had to stop and go, “Whoa, we need to get off this guys case for at least this week”.

If the defense does it’s job, the Falcons can be a good football team. Yes, Matt, kill the turnovers, but you balled out on Sunday and we need to recognize that.