Thursday, November 11, 2010
Joe Flacco, Ravens visit Matt Ryan, Falcons
The Baltimore Ravens visit the Atlanta Falcons as the NFL resumes Thursday night games. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco were the only quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, with Ryan going third overall.
The Ravens are 6-2, and No. 1 in the ESPN.com Power Rankings, but they will not have it easy in Atlanta. The Falcons are also 6-2, sitting third in the rankings, and Ryan is 17-1 in his career at the Georgia Dome.
Only New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has a longer active home win streak than Ryan, who was won 13 straight games at home.
Ryan and Roddy White have been a prolific big play duo, connecting on 16 throws at least 15 yards downfield, but the Ravens won’t make things easy on them. Only six receivers have had multiple catches on throws 15 yards-or-more downfield against the Ravens this season.
Ravens All-Pro safety Ed Reed, who is back from the Physically Unable to Perform List, has missed 10 games the last two seasons and shockingly the Ravens have been better defending the deep ball without him. This season, they’ve allowed three touchdowns on throws at least 15 yards downfield in the two games Reed played. They had allowed two in the six games Reed missed.
Baltimore will also have to deal with Falcons running back Michael Turner, who is coming off consecutive games with at least 100 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Ravens allow less than 105 rush yards per game, but Atlanta's offense is tied for sixth in the league at more than 136 per game.
Another game like that from Turner will tie him with Gerald Riggs for the most multi-rush TD games in Falcons history. Keep in mind that Turner has played only 35 games in Atlanta while Riggs appeared in 91 games in his Falcons career.