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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