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Shotgun formation not helping Falcons

In theory, the shotgun formation is supposed to buy a quarterback a little bit more time.

In reality, that theory is not working for the Atlanta Falcons. When lining up in the shotgun formation, quarterback Matt Ryan has been sacked a league-high 10 times for a league-worst 77 yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Ryan’s been sacked 13 times overall as the Falcons have been having all sorts of problems with their offensive line. But putting him in the shotgun isn’t doing anything to slow the pressure.

Ryan has completed 45 of 77 passes (58.2 percent) for 425 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions out of the shotgun. In that formation, his Total QBR is 36.7, which is well below the 50.0 rating that is considered average.

New Orleans’ Drew Brees is the NFC South quarterback having the most success out of the formation. Although he’s been sacked five times, Brees has completed 57 out of 80 passes (71.3) percent for 761 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Brees’ Total QBR out of the formation is 92.8, which ranks second in the league to Matt Hasselbeck’s 93.2.

Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman is close to Brees. Freeman has completed 52 of 68 passes (76.5 percent) for 464 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He’s been sacked three times and has an 84.1 Total QBR, which ranks fourth in the league.

Carolina’s Cam Newton has been sacked five times while in the shotgun formation. He’s completed 45 of 78 passes (57.7 percent) for 630 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. His 25.4 Total QBR is No. 25 in the league.