- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Atlanta Falcons continue to lag behind the rest of the NFL when it comes to the screen pass.
Matt Ryan has attempted just 13 screens, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Kyle Orton and Kevin Kolb are the only other quarterbacks who have played enough to make the list with fewer attempts on screens. Orton and Kolb have each attempted 11. Orton has lost his starting job to Tim Tebow and Kolb has missed time with an injury.
Ryan has completed 11 of those screens, but they haven’t amounted to much. The Falcons have gained just 18 yards on screens and have not scored off a screen.
The screen hasn’t been a big part of Atlanta’s offense since Ryan’s arrival in 2008, but I thought it would be used a bit more this season. The Falcons drafted running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who looks like the perfect guy to throw screens to, but he hasn’t had a lot of playing time.
Most of the rest of the NFC South is using the screen pass fairly often. Carolina’s Cam Newton ranks No. 2 in the league in yardage on screen passes (266). He’s completed 31 of 34 screens.
New Orleans’ Drew Brees is fourth in screen yardage (233). Brees has completed 37 of 40 screens with one touchdown. Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman has thrown for 137 yards on screens, while completing 19 of 23 attempts.