NFC South: 2013 Week 6 QB Watch NFC

QB Watch: Falcons' Matt Ryan

October, 16, 2013
10/16/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback play.

Ryan
Ryan
Rewind: Matt Ryan and his teammates got a much-needed bye this past weekend after coping with the loss of top receiver Julio Jones to season-ending foot surgery. Ryan remained optimistic about the offense moving forward even with receiver Roddy White (hamstring) banged up. He realizes the Falcons might have to scale back their high-powered attack while remaining effective and efficient. Ryan has thrown 10 touchdowns with three interceptions.

Fast-forward: If untested Philadelphia Eagles starter Nick Foles was able to throw three touchdowns and post a 133.3 passer rating against a shoddy Buccaneers defense, Ryan shouldn't have a problem at Tampa Bay on Sunday despite being short-handed. His best QB rating of 146.3 came against Tampa Bay on New Year's Day 2012.

Secret weapon: The expected return of Steven Jackson from a hamstring injury shouldn't make Ryan overlook what he has in the diminutive Jacquizz Rodgers. Maybe Rodgers won’t get that 1 yard up the middle on fourth-and-goal, but he can be dynamic in space against a linebacker. Keeping Rodgers involved in the game plan gives defenses something else to think about. Plus, Rodgers has been solid as a blocker in pass protection.

Prediction: Ryan has engineered two eight-game winning streaks since joining the Falcons in 2008. He might not duplicate the feat this season, but he’ll do enough to get the Falcons above .500. Will that be enough to make the playoffs?

QB Watch: Buccaneers' Mike Glennon

October, 16, 2013
10/16/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback play.

Glennon
Rewind: Mike Glennon completed 26 of 43 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns and an interception in a 31-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Overall, Glennon showed improvement from his first game.

Fast-forward: Like the Buccaneers, the Falcons are struggling. The good news for Glennon is that Atlanta’s pass defense ranks No. 25 in the league.

A new weapon: Glennon seems to be developing solid chemistry with rookie tight end Tim Wright, who had seven catches for 91 yards against Philadelphia. In the four games before that, the Bucs had completed only nine passes to their tight ends.

Prediction: This will be Glennon’s first road game, and the Georgia Dome isn’t a friendly place for visiting teams. But Glennon is improving, and the coaching staff seems to be opening things up for him. Against a struggling pass defense, he should be able to throw for at least 250 yards and a touchdown or two.

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