QB Watch: Falcons' Matt Ryan

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Falcons’ quarterback play:

Ryan
Ryan
Rewind: Matt Ryan passed for a career-high 421 yards while completing 34 of 54 passes in the Falcons’ 30-23 loss to the Patriots. But Ryan admitted missing on some key passes in the red zone. On his team’s final drive into the red zone, Ryan was 1-of-4 for 3 yards. The Falcons were 1-of-6 in terms of red zone efficiency.

Fast-forward: The Jets don’t have shutdown corner Darrelle Revis anymore, so at least Ryan can attack the entire field come Monday night. Although the Jets have struggled as a team, their defense is capable of causing problems. Ryan completed 16 of 34 passes for 152 yards and a quarterback rating of 69.7 in a 10-7 win the last time he faced the Jets (2009).

Not-so secret weapon: Ryan obviously found his comfort zone with Tony Gonzalez the last time out. He targeted Gonzalez a team-high 14 times Sunday, and
Gonzalez responded with 12 catches for a career-high 149 yards with two touchdowns. When Gonzalez draws added attention, it gives Ryan’s other targets one-on-one matchups. Ryan understands how valuable Gonzalez is to the offense’s success, so expect him to keep looking the tight end’s way.

Prediction: Ryan will get more help from his receivers after they dropped eight passes against the Patriots. And expect Ryan to improve his precision in the final quarter. Right now, he ranks 23rd in the league in fourth-quarter passing, completing 36 of 57 passes for 502 yards with one touchdown, three interceptions, and a QB rating of 75.3. He needs his line to hold up, though.

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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