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Falcons QB Matt Ryan reluctantly picks Panthers to win Super Bowl 50

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Matt Ryan: We need to finish better (0:47)

Falcons QB Matt Ryan explains what has to happen for Atlanta to get back into the playoffs following a three-year absence. (0:47)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan appeared on ESPN's First Take on Wednesday from Super Bowl 50, addressing a number of topics, including the game itself.

Ryan was asked for his pick between NFC South foe Carolina and Denver to win Sunday's championship.

"It's definitely tough to pick somebody in division," Ryan said. "But I know, having gone against them twice this year, they are about as complete a football team that I've played against during my career. I mean, they're solid on the defensive side of the ball. They play great offense. They're good on special teams. They don't beat themselves. I just think they're a team that's tough to beat."

That being said, Ryan's Falcons were the only team to knock off the Panthers this season with a 20-13 win at the Georgia Dome. The win was aided by Ryan's 70-yard touchdown hookup with Julio Jones on a play where Jones leaped in the air to make the catch over defensive player of the year candidate Luke Kuechly and then sprinted the final yards for the score.

Maybe the Falcons gave the Broncos the blueprint on how to beat the Panthers. Then again, not too many teams have playmakers as dynamic as Jones, although Denver's Demaryius Thomas is pretty talented himself.

"The first time we played them, we got behind so early," Ryan said of the 38-0 loss at Carolina on Dec. 13. "They've been able to start as fast as anyone in the league. The second time that we played them, we were able to stay in that ballgame and we were able to stay balanced on offense. I think when you go against their defense, if you become one-dimensional, you have no chance."

Ryan went on to say the Broncos need to take advantage of play-action with how fast the Panthers' linebackers move downhill to attack the run.

"You can make some yards behind [the linebackers] with that play-action pass," Ryan said.

Ryan also said the Carolina secondary can be attacked, even with Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman back there.

"You have to make a couple of explosive plays throughout the game," Ryan said. "We had a long touchdown to Julio that kind of change the momentum in that game. I think that's the recipe for success."