On Matt Ryan's oddly bad 2012 home stats

January, 10, 2013
1/10/13
12:51
PM ET
The Atlanta Falcons have a 33-6 record at home with Matt Ryan as their starting quarterback.

That counts the team's home playoff defeat to the Green Bay Packers following the 2010 regular season. It counts a 7-1 record at home this season heading into a divisional-round playoff game against Seattle on Sunday.



That's why it is odd to see Ryan's stats so disproportionately better on the road than at home for the 2012 season.

The chart breaks down the numbers: a 21-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio on the road, compared to 11-9 at home. Arizona picked off Ryan five times in the Georgia Dome. Oakland picked off Ryan three times there.

There is nothing about playing at home that puts Ryan at a disadvantage. But for Seahawks fans fearing their team could be walking into a house of horrors where Ryan plays his best no matter what, these numbers might provide some relief, at least.

Ryan ranked fifth in Total QBR at home from 2008, his rookie season, through 2011. He had 50 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions in those games. But the numbers have skewed the other way this season, for whatever reason.

Ryan posted his best home QBR scores against the New York Giants (96.2), Dallas (82.0) and Denver (77.6). He was closer to the 50-point average against Oakland (53.1) despite those three picks. The figures were below average for home games against Carolina (47.9), New Orleans (35.4), Tampa Bay (34.1) and Arizona (31.2).

If Ryan's diminished home stats run counter to perception, consider this: Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had a higher QBR score on the road (69.9) than he had at home (69.1) during the regular season. That is because some of Wilson's very best games were on the road, particularly late in the season.

I reached out to NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas for thoughts on Ryan and the Falcons at home this season. This was what he wrote in reply:
"This really is one of the great mysteries of the season and I don't have any simple explanation for it. The Arizona and Oakland games and a meaningless regular-season finale against Tampa Bay, in which the Falcons didn't put forth much of an effort, might be skewing the numbers a bit. But the fact is Ryan was much better on the road than at home this season.

"The flip side of that is that he debunked one myth -- that he's not as good and can't win outdoors. But that's not going to matter this postseason because the Falcons won't be playing outdoors.

"One other thing worth looking at in connection with this is Julio Jones' numbers on the road compared to at home. The difference in those numbers might be even more peculiar than the difference in Ryan's numbers. At home, Jones had 31 catches for 447 yards and two touchdowns. On the road, he caught 48 passes for 751 yards and eight touchdowns.

"Whatever was behind all this, Ryan and Jones need to be comfortable, and productive, in the Georgia Dome on Sunday if the Falcons are going to beat Seattle."

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