Wednesday, October 9, 2013
QB Watch: Falcons' Matt Ryan
By Vaughn McClure
A weekly analysis of the Falcons' quarterback play.
Rewind: Matt Ryan completed 36 of 45 passes for 319 yards, two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 111.0 in the Falcons’ 30-28 loss to the New York Jets on Monday night. Both of his scores came in the red zone, where the Falcons improved to 4-for-5 in terms of red zone efficiency. Ryan was sacked twice.
Fast-forward: Ryan has the bye week to get up to speed with unfamiliar targets as top receiver Julio Jones (foot) could be lost for the season and No. 2 receiver Roddy White (hamstring, ankle) could be sidelined for some time as well. Ryan has targeted tight end Tony Gonzalez more than anyone over the past two games (28 targets). Expect that to trend to continue.
The wild card: Tight end Levine Toilolo, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound rookie, felt he let Ryan down with a dropped touchdown against the Patriots. He made up for it with a 3-yard touchdown catch against the Jets. His emergence could lead to more two-tight end sets, particularly without Jones in the lineup.
Prediction: Ryan will rally his troops despite the rash of injuries and lead the 1-4 Falcons to three straight victories following this week’s bye. Then the 4-4 Falcons will take on the mighty Seahawks at home, and get humbled.