Matt Ryan hopes to bounce back from poor showing

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had the fourth-lowest passer rating of his career last week against Houston.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had the fourth-lowest passer rating of his career last week against Houston.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has made a habit of dragging his team from the fire and carrying it to victory.

He earned his nickname “Matty Ice” in college, and his flair for dramatic comeback victories has continued in the NFL. Over his 58-game NFL career, he has posted 15 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.

He has posted comeback wins against Philadelphia and Carolina this season.

But against Houston last weekend, his pass into the end zone as the buzzer sounded hit Julio Jones’ hands before falling harmlessly incomplete. There would be no thrilling comeback, and the Falcons went down 17-10 to the upstart Houston Texans.

“We always expect to win in those types of situations,” Ryan said. “As many mistakes as we made, we still had a chance, and that’s what it’s all about, having a chance at the end of the game. We just didn’t get it done.”

Matt Ryan led the Falcons to a comeback victory earlier this season against the Eagles.

Matt Ryan led the Falcons to a comeback victory earlier this season against the Eagles.

It was just that kind of day for Ryan, who finished with his fourth-lowest passer rating (50.6) of his career. Ryan completed 20 of 47 passes for 267 yards and a touchdown and threw two interceptions.

Before the Houston game, Ryan had passed for 1,204 yards and nine touchdowns and had only two interceptions in the previous four games. He had his highest passer rating (128.2) of the season in the game before, against Minnesota on Nov. 27.

As the Falcons enter the fourth quarter of the regular season, Ryan hopes to rebound from the Houston game.

“That’s part of the deal,” Ryan said. “There’s going to be weeks when you don’t play as well as you would like to. In this league, it’s all about how you respond. It’s all about how you bounce back.

“Having that mental toughness, to be able to put those kind of things behind you and not let them kind of lurk around the locker room, lurk around in your head, that’s part of being a professional. So that’s going to be my mindset.”

The Falcons have juggled players along the line this season. They’ve used four different starting lineups because the left tackle and center spots have been unsettled with surgeries to Todd McClure (knee) and Sam Baker (back). At right guard, they’ve switched starters from Garrett Reynolds to Joe Hawley for personnel reasons.

Ryan’s protection has suffered.

He has been hit 65 times, which is the sixth-highest total in the league. Only Seattle (89), St. Louis (88), Washington (84), Miami (71) and Cleveland (68) have given up more quarterback hits. The line has given up 22 sacks, which is 21st in the league.

“That was a good defense that we went against [in Houston],” tight end Tony Gonzalez said. “We did move the ball. We were a little inconsistent. Once we get that inconsistency out, we’re a good football team, a really good offense, and we know it. We just have to go out there and do it.”

Ryan, a student of the game, hasn’t changed the way he prepares.

Ryan in the preseason against the Steelers.

Ryan in the preseason against the Steelers.

“He comes in here on Tuesdays, and he’s already got a lot of the plan figured out before he has to come in here and hear it from us,” offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey said. “He already knows what’s going on. Now, when he’s meeting with other players, it’s like meeting with a coach.”

Despite the poor showing in Houston, which included Ryan overthrowing open receivers on deep passes and several dropped passes by his receivers, the Falcons are pleased with his play this season.

“Matt has done a lot of good things, especially with our no-huddle situations,” Mularkey said. “He’s done a great job. He just knows what’s going on with everybody right now. He’s in total command of the field.”

Gonzalez is a solid backer of the quarterback.

“One thing about Matt, he’s in his fourth year now. I think he’s figured this game out,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t have to say too much to him. I don’t think anybody else does either. He knows exactly what he wants to get accomplished. Where he failed and where he succeeded and what he can improve on. He’s a self-check type of guy.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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56 comments Add your comment

12 men in the huddle

December 11th, 2011
8:08 am

We lose to these clowns today….it will be two weeks in a row that we were favored and lost. We can slit our throats and be done with it! But I think we will win!

The Boss

December 11th, 2011
8:11 am

Its win or bust today!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 11th, 2011
8:23 am

12 men in the huddle — They need to keep the sharp instruments away from you if things start getting ugly for the Falcons today.

Nativebird

December 11th, 2011
8:29 am

Falcons issue’s are certainly not at quarterback. In fact, that position and the defensive play that has kept us in games are the strengths of this team. ALL of the good teams in the NFL currently have big time offensive lines, and offensive scheme that attacks (Mularkey is a joke) and flat out PLAY MAKERS at receiver and RB that GET IT DONE. This offense simply doesnt have that. Drops, sacks, hits and penalties (in week 13!) is an indicator of your OFFENSIVE coaching cant get it done.

MUST WIN

December 11th, 2011
8:30 am

IM WITH THE BOSS TODAY, IT’S PUT UP OR SHUT UP…..NO EXCUSES SMITH, RYAN, WHITE, OR GONZO….PUT UP OR SHUT UP NUFF SAID….

joe

December 11th, 2011
8:46 am

they got JJ to stretch the field, they overlooked the fact that they drafted a QB who has no ability to get the ball down field accurately. I like MR, but let’s be honest and admit he is good at short to medium throws and relativly inept at deep throws….

Tank

December 11th, 2011
8:47 am

Panthers are gonna try all they can to be spoilers. They play dirty and will go for Turners ankles again.

joe

December 11th, 2011
8:52 am

I thought the Falcons drafted J. Rogers to try and duplicate D. Sproles production with their rivals in N.O. and they have underutilized him to say the least. I would say that the players have had a poor year, but to be fair I think the coaching staff has been poor as well. The Falcons have regressed to a mediocre team…..

Regression

December 11th, 2011
9:00 am

The confusion and regression in Flowery Branch continues. This team is cursed and will always find a way to embarrass itself. Matt Ryan is a serviceable QB but not the core weapon needed to build a high profile offense.

Falcons need to decide WHERE THEY WANT TO EXCEL AND BUILD THE TEAM ACCORDINGLY! Until then, the guessing games, charades, and mediocre play will continue.

[...] Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Atlanta Falcons and tagged back, bounce, from, hopes, Matt, poor, Ryan, showing. Bookmark the permalink. ← Green Bay Injuries Could Help the Oakland Raiders to Victory: Fan’s Look (Yahoo! Contributor Network) Matt Ryan hopes to bounce back from poor showing → [...]

julio down by the school yard

December 11th, 2011
9:15 am

they will get beat today because their offensive line is terrible. Nuff said.

julio down by the school yard

December 11th, 2011
9:16 am

over – under on number of dropped passes today for the Falcons ( 4 )

falconsrelax

December 11th, 2011
9:30 am

Ryan is fine in my eyes. In a lockout season where you get a rookie WR, and new o-line, and have a o-coordinator who doesn’t know how to put the pieces together and you get this. The facts are at the o-line and the system. Ryan is still top 10 passing. I didn’t even know that. They’re forcing to much on these deep passes. A full off-season and ryan should get it corrected but overall we need a different system. this system doesn’t fit his strengths. West Coast would be perfect for ryan.

Dick M

December 11th, 2011
9:31 am

Something is drastically wrong. We gave up a bunch to draft J. Jones to improve the deep game and we still do not have a deep game. Could it be the offensive coordinator who is bringing this team down or is Ryan over-rated?

just sayin'

December 11th, 2011
9:56 am

melt has had three off seasons to ‘figure it out’…..what makes u think this off season will be different?..he has no arm strength…i think we have all figured that out…he looks great on those 5 yd dink and dunk passes..he will be on his backside multiple times today..bank on it….

Why Chipper Why?

December 11th, 2011
10:00 am

Joe is absolutely correct.

It also shows how inept our management is. The trade for Julio was beyond misguided. Matt cant pass. He cant. You cant argue about it. You cant say he’s still developing, he simply cant pass.

We has almost a championship caliber team last year. All we needed was some help in the secondary and some big time help on the O Line.

Who on this board can honestly say all we needed was a wide receiver after watching us lose to Greenbay?

Arthur Blank should kick the crud out of his management. Fire some people for ruining his team. And yes I said ruin. We are effectively out of the draft for another year.

The only way out is make some blockbuster trade including some of our best players.

We will lose today and Matt Ryan has an injury announcement after the game. You read it here first!

Why Chipper Why?

December 11th, 2011
10:04 am

Dick,

Both.

Matt Ryan is over-rated and Mularkey probably lobbied for the JJ trade to help cover his ineptness.

People wonder why Atlanta fans are a bit grumpy. Hmm. Atlanta Spirit, the Braves trading the future for one year of Mark Texeira, Atlanta Falcon’s idiotic trades.

At least the Bulldog’s future is looking brighter.

mountain_jim

December 11th, 2011
10:05 am

Have to win today or this season is over. Hoping for the best, but not really expecting a great performance out of this year’s team.

just sayin'

December 11th, 2011
10:13 am

rodney and clean shot dunce have more costly penalties…juliet, ray ray and burnout re injure themselves…melt can’t play outside…fall out of the playoff picture

Why Chipper Why?

December 11th, 2011
10:34 am

I was blogging with Mark Bradley about this a few weeks ago. All Falcon’s fans should pray that we lose out.

This most certainly would force Arthur Blank to take drastic measures. Perhaps suggesting that Mularkey pursue that head coaching job on another team.

kevkat

December 11th, 2011
11:04 am

Has Matty ever owned up to his own bad play during an interview?..just curious..I always hear and read “we”. Wait a minute..I think he mentioned a bad pass or two last week…My bad.

HardyFalcon

December 11th, 2011
11:12 am

THE Falcons are headed down hill, The defenses can almost jump Matt count, The Falcons no huddle gives the defense time to recover with all those long counts. If we will WIN today, I’ll be suprised!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

vesaversa

December 11th, 2011
11:13 am

As a Georgia native you have to be happy at Cam Newton success. I just wish the Falcons could have been so lucky to recruit a true QB like Cam who have a strong arm and is accurate throwing the ball down the field .But we an’t that lucky were stuck with “Melting Ice” Matt Ryan . Go Falcons

Dirty Boyd

December 11th, 2011
11:28 am

I still have questions about the “no huddle” schemes on the road. Communicating with the players and managing the play clock amid the din in Houston (a dome) seemed to be a real issue. Carolina, being outdoors, may be a little less of a proble, esp if the Falcons can take the crowd out of it early. But get behind and let the noise build, suddenly the “no huddle” looks like a “fire drill.”

john

December 11th, 2011
11:44 am

Why don’t you point out the Falcons lead the NFL in dropped passes—Roddy White is number 1 in dropped passes in the NFL with 12—where is that story.

Why Chipper Why?

December 11th, 2011
11:47 am

John,

Ive been wondering about that. Did you notice on one of the last plays of the game Roddy was in the endzone and did an amazing 8″ vertical leap. The defense guy jumped up about 2 feet and almost made an interception.

Is Roddy disgruntled about something?

panic fan

December 11th, 2011
11:53 am

Today is show time for MM put up or go get a new job ,just not sure we can count on upper managment to make the tough choces if we can not run,pass,etc NO MORE CORRECTIONS TO THE PROCESS
NO WIN— NO JOB — PERIOD– POINT — MR BLANK

[...] than the one in Houston that held him to his fourth-lowest career passer rating a week ago. As D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, Week 13 was likely an outlier for Ryan, but we’ll quickly find out if it was instead [...]

panic fan

December 11th, 2011
12:03 pm

WORDS FOR THE DAY FROM LOCKER ROOM ZOOM FOCUS WE WILL EITHER
HAVE IT(WIN) OR NOT I WATCHED GA H.S. GAMES AT THE DOME TRUELY THINK SOME OF THOSE TEAMS COULD HAVE BEAT FALCONS THE WAY THEY HAVE PLAYED THIS YEAR (SAD)

Jordan

December 11th, 2011
12:08 pm

Aint's aint the one

December 11th, 2011
12:19 pm

We really need a win today!!

Ted

December 11th, 2011
12:19 pm

I think Ryan is a good QB. It’s not his fault his O-line can’t block. If Ryan had a better O-line, he’d be up there in the top 5-8 QBs in the NFL. To be successful, you need a dominant O-line, we don’t have that right now. Rodgers does, Brees does, Brady does, etc. But does Ryan? Hell no. Ryan is a good QB, could be great soon, but in order to do that, he needs somebody to block for him.

Ted

December 11th, 2011
12:22 pm

Everybody doubting the Falcons need to shut up and really wake up. Should the Falcons really have lost last week to Houston? No. Just ask yourself that question. Dropped passes, crucial penalties, etc. We should have won that game. It’s not like we got totally outplayed @ Houston. We did not. We just didn’t win. The Falcons have a good team, and if they can get out of their own way, they’d be great. We will win today and move to the 5th seed in the wild-card.

j

December 11th, 2011
1:48 pm

matt Ryan wont lead us to a superbowl never he is a not a top 10 qb more like 15 to 20 thats a big problem also mike smith wont take us to next level him and ryan will be good for 7 to 9 wins a year for the next 5 years but thats not good anofe also we have a poor defense we need more help yes we good against the run but overall we have a poor defense

Ghost of Don Meredith

December 11th, 2011
1:56 pm

That safety just showed how stupid ole Ice really is.
No reason to take that sack–you have GOT to get rid of the ball!!!

Runnin with the Dawgs

December 11th, 2011
2:06 pm

Put Redman or Wilson in while we’ve still got a slim chance.

normvanbrocklin

December 11th, 2011
2:11 pm

Enter your comments here

welikebaseball2

December 11th, 2011
2:15 pm

Okay, let’s see if our QB will be outplayed by the opposing team’s rookie QB two weeks in a row. Well folks, prepare your “it’s the o-line” & “passes were dropped” excuses now. Bottom line, #2 has got to get us back in this game…it starts with him.

bird

December 11th, 2011
2:15 pm

The safety Sanders needs to be taken off the field.

old man

December 11th, 2011
2:18 pm

Exactly how could the coaching staff have a team this unprepared? Except for the kicking coach. Bosher showed up ready. But that’s all.

Jlight

December 11th, 2011
2:25 pm

I will not be renewing my season tickets unless there are MAJOR changes in the organization. Draft picks have been a bust (I’m looking at you, Sam Baker, Peria Jerry, Julio), and the coaching staff has not had the team ready to play this year.

just sayin'

December 11th, 2011
2:31 pm

the worms r turning…..melt has a hard time playing outside…

TB falcon fan i think

December 11th, 2011
2:50 pm

Play like you can. please.

TB falcon fan i think

December 11th, 2011
2:52 pm

are they drunk?

Disgusted

December 11th, 2011
2:53 pm

Poor Matt Ryan cannot win with that underachiever Julio Jones aka Juliet Jones?

Another Falcon bust aka Bruce Pickens, Aundray Bruce, Marcus Cotton, Nate davis, etc etc.

Run this Juliet guy outta town, he deserves to be Booed and hope he is not here next yr. What a dumb Dimitrov move.

Disgusted

December 11th, 2011
2:57 pm

We really have no hope in Atlanta. Tell me another city that has lost any major league sports franchise to Canada—twice.

Atl Spirit, Liberty Media, Isaiah Bustwell, etc etc. Blank has good intentions but he needs to kick Mike Smith & Mularkey to the dumpsta. Maybe Ryan too. The whole bunch of them and add Sam aka Sham Baker to the list. BOOOOO!!!!

Disgusted

December 11th, 2011
3:07 pm

Well, a nice TC for Jacquizz and we could use him more. That is one Dimitroff pick that has not busted. Unlike Peria “junk store” Jerry. The junk store describes exactly what Peria’s play has been about. Jerry and Baker are of the same ilk, an excues on the injured list and poor play when they do show up out there.

TB falcon fan i think

December 11th, 2011
3:12 pm

come on big D.

TB falcon fan i think

December 11th, 2011
3:15 pm

now we can’t kick.

old man

December 11th, 2011
3:15 pm

DROPPED PASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!