EXCLUSIVE: Matt Ryan notches biggest win of young career

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes in the first quarter against the Saints. Associated Press

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes in the first quarter against the Saints. Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — The victory over the Saints has to be the biggest of Matt Ryan’s young career.

In 2008, he had the big win at home over the Chicago Bears, when the team pulled it out  in the final 12 seconds. There was also the big win at Green Bay his rookie season.

Last season, the Falcons beat the New York Jets on the road. They went on to reach the AFC championship game.

In an AJC exclusive, Ryan talked about some of the key plays and how he was going to sleep well, dreaming about that 19-play drive:

MATT RYAN, quarterback

WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT THE TEAM: “I definitely speaks to the character of the guys on our football team. We continue to fight and play hard. But that’s kind of been our M.O. for the last couple of years. We continue to battle regardless of what is going on out there. When you do that, it gives yourself a chance.”

ON GONZALEZ AND RODDY: “Just reading it out. That’s the biggest thing.  Early on, the ball kind of found Tony and he was huge on the first touchdown drive. Later on, Roddy started to get some catches. We kind of spread the ball around to the backs as well. I thought we did a good job offensively of taking what they gave us all day and we were able to put some points in doing that.”

ON THE 19-PLAY DRIVE: “That was a great drive and it ate up a lot of clock in the second quarter. 10:38. With that said, I’m going to sleep pretty good tonight as a result of the 19 play drive.”

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

317 comments Add your comment

Jeff

September 26th, 2010
10:12 pm

Sun Tzu 7

September 26th, 2010
10:18 pm

I only have one thing to say…

GEAUX Falcons!!!!!

Savannah Fan

September 26th, 2010
10:19 pm

Second-Great Great win!!!!!!!!!

elvisaintdead

September 26th, 2010
10:23 pm

4th and sexy and I still wouldn’t go for it

elvisaintdead

September 26th, 2010
10:26 pm

But WOO-HOO!
Damn fine performance on both sides and the booth.
That’s was a game plan Dan Reeves literally could not conceive.
A++, would cheer again.

elvisaintdead

September 26th, 2010
10:27 pm

reckingball

September 26th, 2010
10:31 pm

Bring on the Ryan haters.

Football fan

September 26th, 2010
10:37 pm

Too bad his greatest win isn’t a Super Bowl win. It will never happen.

Reid Adair

September 26th, 2010
10:38 pm

This was a great performance by Matt Ryan, plain and simple. He was very smart running the offense today.

Falconite

September 26th, 2010
10:39 pm

After today, no such thing

reckingball

September 26th, 2010
10:43 pm

What, only one saints fan has showed up?
There is nothing to be ashamed of saints fans, it is simply a matter of the best team winning a hard fought, tight football game.

Falconite

September 26th, 2010
10:46 pm

I wouldnt expect to see any until about week 15, the bandwagoners will be nicely quiet for a while now.

hiramsaint

September 26th, 2010
10:47 pm

you can’t claim to be the best till you beat the rest . lot of season yet to go . congrats on the win , it’s going to be one of the classics in our rivalry and series.

preston Drake

September 26th, 2010
10:54 pm

Football fan,

You’re an idiot….. he’s in his THIRD year. It took Brees 9 years to get one.

geez, give the man some time. and what do you mean “it will never happen”

God your an idiot…

Dale_in_NC

September 26th, 2010
10:54 pm

LOL @ Matty. In interviews last year he was Matt “No doubt about it” Ryan. So far this year he’s Matt “With that being said” Ryan. Haha.

JV

September 26th, 2010
10:56 pm

The sample size is still quite small, but I like what I’m seeing. The way the Steelers are playing, the loss up there looks less awful every week.

Gwinnett Fred

September 26th, 2010
11:02 pm

Any update on Weatherspoon????????????????????

Dale_in_NC

September 26th, 2010
11:06 pm

@Gwinnett Fred

Weatherspoon tweeted that he was fine and could have walked off the field, but the cart is protocol.

Gwinnett Fred

September 26th, 2010
11:15 pm

Thanks Dale – that’s great to hear!

Fin

September 26th, 2010
11:15 pm

I’m with you JV…that Steelers defense is a MONSTER right now…maybe other than Peyton Manning, no team is going to score many points against them. I don’t think ANYONE had the Steelers going at a minimum 3-1 w/ Big Ben out

yo mama

September 26th, 2010
11:17 pm

I told you, I told you, I told you, I told you. Yo mama knows best, and I said on friday that we will go down there, and play the saints straight up, no turnovers and win in a close one. I said it, and now, where is Hiramsaint. Dude, you are like the biggest redneck hiding behind you moonshine. The Falcons took the Aints gameplan, and rubbed it in their faces. WHO DAT DEM FALCONS DONE BEAT? WHO DAT DEM FALCONS DONE BEAT? THE aints, THE aints, THE aints, THE aints, THE aints. There is a new sheriff in the NFC south and its the ATLANTA FALCONS!

bigslow

September 26th, 2010
11:20 pm

lets get in there and support our birds next sunday.

tt33

September 26th, 2010
11:23 pm

2008 all over again. RUN THE BALL!! Looks GREAT!! We ran the ball down their throats and broke their will in overtime. RISE UP!!! If we continue to run and then pass when we want I think it is OUR TIME. RISE UP!! Nothing gets a defense down like our “GROUND and POUND” attack. I LIKE IT!!

Big Ray

September 26th, 2010
11:31 pm

That’s weird. I coulda sworn hiramsaint’s adage last week was “To be the best, you have to beat the best.” Now it’s “you have to beat the rest”?

Keep munching on the crow pie. If you think it tastes bad now , wait until you come to OUR dome. :twisted:

Tron5000

September 26th, 2010
11:31 pm

Pat Yasinkas from ESPN.com had this to say about Brees’s underhanded INT to DeCoud: “Drew Brees made what might have been his first truly bad play since he joined the Saints.” Could ESPN be on Brees’s jock any more? That’s just silly.

The Grinch

September 26th, 2010
11:37 pm

Very proud of the team today. Good, solid overall effort and I like the way Matt got the offense fired up on the sideline before the final drive. Also nice to see Smith going for it on 4th. We’re on the way up.

myles

September 26th, 2010
11:37 pm

man oh man i love it when u can hear the crickets chirping in new orleans. No matter how much voodoo ya’ll use or jumbalaya u make your still the ‘Aint’s now your jus the defending champ ‘Aint’s but an ‘Aint none the less lmao i wonder if their fans still have the paper bags they used too wear lol

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 26th, 2010
11:44 pm

There wasn’t a big crowd at Lucy’s tonight. Saints fans are not partying in the streets tonight.

Billy

September 26th, 2010
11:46 pm

So much for doubting Matt Ryan’s ability and leadership, as was rumored!

Keith

September 26th, 2010
11:46 pm

Re: D

Not surprised. Loved silencing the crowd @ the other Dome. :)

DR. FALCON

September 27th, 2010
12:09 am

A DIVISION ROAD WIN OVER THE SUPERBOWL CHAMPS, SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF THE FALCONS! THIS IS BIG BOY FOOTBALL! THE NFC SOUTH IS OURS FOR THE TAKING. I KNOW ITS EARLY, BUT, MATT RYAN PASSED THIS TEST! HIS GROWTH AS A BIG GAME QB WILL FLOURISH AFTER A GAME LIKE THIS. OUR DEFENSE WHICH GETS LITTLE RESPECT, DID A GREAT JOB AGAINST ONE OF THE MOST PROLIFIC PASSERS IN INFL HISTORY! 2 INTS, AND 2 SACKS ONTHE ROAD! CANT ASK FOR MORE. GO BIRDS!

drew

September 27th, 2010
12:22 am

great play calling all game by the OC. i love the going for it on 4th downs. def is starting to gel and limit big plays. great win. i was at the game last year at the superdome, and man i wish i could have been there today to hand out paper bags to all the saints fans. bout time we got a competant kicker too, damn. matt ryan showed he is the leader on the team today during that last drive when he got up someones ass. he was fired up. i hope we can take this confidence and momentum into the rest of the games. if we play like this the resst of the way we will be hard to stop.

OHIOdirtybird

September 27th, 2010
12:33 am

Our D did the job!!!!!……..nice game all around though….had my lunch bought for me by n aints fan in OHIO!!!, we did da damn thing……..now we gotta keep it up!!……..GO DIRTY BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OHIOdirtybird

September 27th, 2010
12:40 am

i’m STILL WAITIN ON HIRAM N SEENDISB4,,,BRING IT WIT YALL QUIET ASSES !!! hahaha

DudsaSaint

September 27th, 2010
12:43 am

Losing is not that bad I blame the coach for not kickin your hillbilly fa@$#get butts and going for the touchdown when we had the ball on the 12 yard line at the end

zeebrula

September 27th, 2010
12:45 am

Great win, but we should have lost in OT, we was lucky. However, even had we lost, could not feel too bad about that game either way, we played pretty darn good against a pretty darn good team. Go Falcons!

Chubbyboy

September 27th, 2010
12:55 am

Is it just me or is Koenen seemingly hitting his worst punt of the game when it we need a good one the most? He did it against Pittsburgh and again today versus New Orleans. Kudos to Matt Bryant…This game was typically a game the Falcons, in the past, always seem to find a way to lose.
Need to build on it but we must cut out giving up big plays defensively, punt return by Moore and Moore’s 80 yd TD REC. Let’s get ready for Frisco on Sunday!!!! Go Falcons

kaminari

September 27th, 2010
2:04 am

I thought for sure we lost it. Watching Matt go three & out, and then with what Brees was doing out on the field. They cut to a shot of Ryan on the sideline. I was thinking, dude learn from Brees & how he carries the team down the field & carves up the defense. You could see that Ryan wanted another chance. It was pure luck we got it, but like it has been mentioned – luck is just preparation & capitalizing on an opportunity. Sure enough, Ryan & the boys ground out a win, I was so excited. But what I’m most proud of is our defense. Great win for the Falcs.

Lombardi

September 27th, 2010
6:34 am

Start to finish, Ryan was a true leader. Great team win.

Kurt

September 27th, 2010
6:40 am

Still feeling great about the win early this morning. Yes, the Falcons dodged a cannonball with Hartley missing that FG but what about the first possession in OT, when Ryan just missed Douglas for a TD? In any event, the better team won and let’s keep this going!

Sloan

September 27th, 2010
6:51 am

Thanks Falcons for giving me something positive from this weekend! Nice win. Someone needs to send Garrett Hartley a thank you note though!

some sense

September 27th, 2010
7:18 am

Still the biggest weakness on the team, not having a complementary wideout for RW.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

September 27th, 2010
7:19 am

great game yesterday- team is playing with fire. anyone hear from SeenThisB4?? is she hiding?? where is geaux saints, our time??

Season Ticket Holder

September 27th, 2010
7:23 am

Who dat? The Falcons
Who dat? The Falcons
Who dat said they can beat the Saints

Who dat ?

September 27th, 2010
7:37 am

Who is that , Ah, That will be the Falcons that beat the Saints . “Who Dat” even sounds dumb, you don’t need to dumb yourselves down any more than you all ready are, just sayin’. Go Falcons !

Joan

September 27th, 2010
7:43 am

The Falcons have beat the Saints for many years, they had a good run for 4 years, but it’s over now. Back to the way it used to be.

i saw brent grimes

September 27th, 2010
7:47 am

i bet matt ryan never thought he could outthrow harry douglas on a bomb. that was a great play call. kudos to dunta robinson on keeping up with, then breaking up that bomb to henderson earlier in the game too. that would’ve killed us too

Nativebird

September 27th, 2010
8:10 am

“We Dat Say we did’ol beat dem Saints”. Don’t ever, ever, count out the kid, Matty Ice. All he is, is a winner. Something not easily recognized in Atlanta the last 40 years.

RobbE33

September 27th, 2010
8:11 am

DeCoud’ve easily lost this game with crucial miscues and mental lapses but give Smitty’s team credit for hanging tough and not quitting. Ryan should spend extra time with Douglas and work out their long ball timing, though. Finally. We Dat!!!

truth

September 27th, 2010
8:18 am

Why is it when their kicker screwed up and missed the field goal some say we got lucky? Here’s how I see it………..the darn jerk missed an easy chip shot, what a loser. No my friend not luck, a bad play by a kicker.