Atlanta Falcons: Ryan keeps working his late-game magic

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan bounced back from his five-interception game against Arizona with a sterling effort against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

While he was intercepted once by the Buccaneers in the 24-23 victory, Ryan was nearly flawless, completing 81.3 percent (26 of 32) of his passes for 353 yards and one touchdown.

Ryan’s average pass distance was 6.6 yards and the short throws led to the high accuracy numbers.

But it was his longest throw of the day that paid off in an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones.

“I tried to throw it down there high and outside so he could make a play on it,” Ryan said. “He did. He made a great adjustment. That was a really big play for us.”

Ryan, who led the team on a walk-through practice on Monday, quickly turned his focus to the Saints, who beat the Falcons 31-27 on Nov. 18. They face the Saints Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.

“We played New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, so that game and their schemes are probably still pretty fresh in our minds,” Ryan said. “We’ve done this before. We know how to handle it. It’s just going to take a good effort this week.”

Ryan on Sunday also overcame a hard-hitting sack and forced fumble by Tampa Bay’s E.J. Biggers.

“We had the protection sliding that way and it’s able to handle one off the edge and they brought two,” Ryan said. “Just a mistake.”

With the victory over Tampa Bay, Ryan has now led the Falcons on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter five times this season.

Over his five-year career, Ryan has led the Falcons on game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime 21 times, the highest total since 2008 and the most by any quarterback in his first five seasons since 1966.

Ryan finished the game with a passer rating of 110. The Falcons are now 30-1 when he has a passer rating of 100 or more. The only loss was to the Saints earlier this season.

“Every year, he’s been getting better,” running back Michael Turner said of Ryan in a NFL Network interview on Monday. “The difference now between last year is that he’s taken even more of a leadership role, more of a ‘let me put this team on my back and take us where we need to be’ (approach).”

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ON MATT RYAN:

“Does MVP count as one word? Let’s see if I can do a little better than that. I would go with underrated.”
– Steve Beuerlein on CBS’ NFL Monday QB show.

“I’d say he’s fallen off his MVP pace a little bit, but I agree with you – underrated. His ability to bring his team from behind. I think they’ve won seven of their 10 games by seven points-or-less. He’s made some big throws. You look at the five interceptions the week before against Arizona. He comes back this week against Tampa Bay. He completes his first 10 throws. I think the guy is strong.”

–Rich Gannon on CBS’ NFL Monday QB show.

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21 comments Add your comment

[...] Atlanta Falcons: Ryan keeps working his late-game magic Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay) … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Esquire

November 27th, 2012
7:50 am

WE ARE THE MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS!!!

Getaway

November 27th, 2012
8:31 am

A quote I like came from Greg Rosenthal, but applied to the whole team.

“They [the Falcons] remind me of early Belichick Patriots teams; every opposing team leaves a Falcons game thinking they should have won. But it almost never happens.”

Young Turk

November 27th, 2012
9:11 am

The new NFL Power Rankings have been posted:

http://www.dirtybirdrock.blogspot.com

4BsihTneeS

November 27th, 2012
10:00 am

Like the fal can’ts always thinking they should have beaten the Saint s but it almost never happens.

Brian Hunt

November 27th, 2012
10:07 am

That’s a great quote by Rosenthal. Thanks for sharing Getaway.

PaulWinchester

November 27th, 2012
11:40 am

Ryan is doing that because his nickname is “Matty Ice” and even if he has had a rotten game (last week 5 picks and 1 fumble, accounting for all his teams turnovers), Matty is clutch when is has to be and that is why the Falcons will be winning this years superbowl. Matty Ice is as cool as he can be.

hiramsaint

November 27th, 2012
12:01 pm

4BsihTneeS Hey BRO I was brushing my teeth with some garbage on one of these fine park benches in Paulding County in the majestic state of GEORGIA I realized something……How many years does Old Man Brees have left in him….We are in a division with Young good developing QBs How long can we as the NFL’s bemused fan base can we ride the coat tails of one Drew Brees….The Answer is simple WE CONTINUE AND I MEAN CONTINUE to live in the past….

4BsihTneeS

November 27th, 2012
12:05 pm

hiramsaint are you saying everytime someone tells me Your AINTS are 5-6 I should blast them with Drew Brees stats from years ago?…..

hiramsaint

November 27th, 2012
12:07 pm

Clever Girl…indubitably!!!!

4BsihTneeS

November 27th, 2012
12:54 pm

can we keep pretending the super bowl wasn’t given to us, and not a publicity stunt to make the country feel good about us after a hurricane messed up our city. everyone knows.

hiramsaint

November 27th, 2012
12:56 pm

shhhh. u cant say that out loud!

lowdownjj

November 27th, 2012
1:30 pm

Aints WRs got mashed and bruised in that SF game. The only urinating they’ll do on our field this time is after Dunta, Moore, and Spoon knock the P outta them. Aints have to win out to even HAVE A SHOT at postseason. What better way to pad our NFC lead then by knocking these toilet logs outta the race for good? CAN’T WAIT! RISE UP!

old falc

November 27th, 2012
1:34 pm

i would like to see tim toone on punt returns and a. smith with a few carries that would help

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

November 27th, 2012
4:08 pm

Y would we take quizz off of returns when hes doing so well unless we are planning on benching turner and significantly increasing quizzes touches, this makes no sense, now if your saying let toone return punts in the place of franks then id say YES but quizz is always setting us up with good field possition after he returns.

Fan since 66

November 27th, 2012
4:31 pm

Old falc, I agree on both suggestions. The punt returning this year has been terrible. I watched Franks last week actually attempt to return one, as opposed to his regular fair catch routine, and he made two moves then went to the ground. I replayed it just to be sure. It appears he didn’t want to get hit. We NEED someone else in that position. And I would love to see what Antone Smith could do with the ball. I love that “Quizz is getting more touches, so maybe Smith will be next.
Go Falcons!
btw, anybody know how to watch the game on the computer? I don’t get NFL network, and since I live in Ga, I can’t use the NFL network computer hookup either.

RU'91

November 27th, 2012
6:41 pm

Fan since 66, go on this website… http://www.thefirstrow.eu/

okeetee

November 27th, 2012
6:45 pm

“Aints have to win out to even HAVE A SHOT at postseason.”

With there remaining schedule, the chances of the aints winning out is…….ZERO……NATA…….NONE…..NON-EXISTENT! And after we slap knots on there heads faster than they can rub them Thursday, we won’t have anymore of this foolish talk, that’s for sure!

falcon freak

November 27th, 2012
7:02 pm

i have been screaming for a punt returner for weeks. something has got to give. mike smith himself would be an upgrade!

The Lowly Aint's

November 27th, 2012
11:25 pm

Seen & aint’s fans, you being here is ok, you’re constant portrayal of the aints being some sort of power house is quite laughable. Someone who foams at the mouth about particlular stats without acknowledgment of their teams history is just ignorant. The last few “wonder” years of the aint’s is all that’s there…….before that ……….nothing. The Falcons were winning division titles and appearing in playoff games waaaaay before the aint’s. I mean, come on 1966 to 2000 without a playoff win….dude thats horrible. Face it, the last few years for the aint’s is just a flash in the pan……soon to be over. You my friend are the delusional one, for sure…..read some books on your sorry team’s history. The way you sound on these boards is quite embarrassing and stupid. Hope you didn’t throw your paper bag away……

Corey Peters : The Latest Fuzz

November 29th, 2012
11:40 pm

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