Atlanta Falcons: Is quarterback Matt Ryan in a slump?





IS MATT RYAN IN A SLUMP? He has just 2 TD passes and 6 INTs over the last three games. He completed only 54.5 percent (season low) of his passes against the Saints in his last outing and threw for a season-low 165 yards. The Ice Man worked on his strength conditioning in the offseason in order to be stronger down the stretch. Perhaps, the Falcons do need to sit him and get him some rest if they wrap up the No. 1 seed early.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Quarterback Matt Ryan will try to bounce back from arguably his worst performance of the season when the Falcons face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Against the Saints on Thursday, Ryan completed only 54.5 percent of his passes and threw for 165 yards, both season-lows.

With Ryan misfiring, the offense converted only one of 11 third-down attempts and needed five interceptions from the defense to help secure the 23-13 victory and put them in position to clinch the NFC South title.

“I don’t worry too much about the statistics or those types of things,” Ryan said Wednesday. “We have to do a better job on third down. If we can convert third downs better, we’ll have a better chance.”

Ryan had completed at least 60.9 percent of his passes in every game this season. He also completed more than 70 percent of his passes in four games, including 81.3 percent against Tampa Bay on Nov. 25.

There were some dropped passes against the Saints, but the passing game was just a bit out of sync, according to coach Mike Smith.

Ryan doesn’t believe there is cause for alarm.

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)

“We just missed on a couple of opportunities,” Ryan said. “We had some third downs that we fell short by a yard or two on a handful of those. It’s just the little things like that that get you into a rhythm.

“We weren’t able to get that first first down in a drive that gets you going. We have to do a better job of executing. We weren’t at our best in terms of execution last week.”

Ryan believes that revving up the offense is an ongoing process.

“You’re trying to find ways to be better,” Ryan said. “I think we have target areas where we need to be more productive. I think our red-zone touchdown percentage can be better than what it is. That’s an area that we’ve been striving to get better at.”

Ryan has completed 312 of 462 passes for 3,590 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has a passer rating of 94.9 and is on pace to attempt a career-high 616 passes this season. His previous high was 571 attempts in 2010.

With the Falcons going to a pass-first offense, Ryan spent part of the offseason working on his strength conditioning.

Ryan will try to rebound against a feisty Carolina defense that has played the Falcons tough. Their past two games have been decided by one score.

Ryan led the Falcons to a 30-28 victory in Week 4 with some late-game heroics and was seen by a TV camera telling the Panthers to “Get the (expletive) off our field.” Several Panthers told the Charlotte media that they remember those comments and want some revenge against Ryan and the Falcons.

One player, defensive end Greg Hardy, went so far as to say that the 3-9 Panthers are better than the 11-1 Falcons.

Ryan wasn’t asked about the comments during his media session Wednesday, but he acknowledged that the Panthers have been rather pesky.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and head coach Mike Smith look on in apparent dismay. (Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and head coach Mike Smith look on in apparent dismay. (Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

“It’s pretty much always a tough matchup with them,” Ryan said. “They played us defensively really well. We know going into it, they’re a physical bunch and the front four, they do great job of rushing the passer. We’re going to have our work cut out for us.”

The Panthers sacked Ryan seven times.

“They had a lot of success getting after us in the past game,” left guard Justin Blalock said. “We have to scout ourselves and figure out what we did wrong and what we can do better. Maybe there are adjustments as well. Top to bottom, we just need to play better, and everyone knows that.”

But the Falcons didn’t seem too worried.

“We just need a little tune-up,” right tackle Tyson Clabo said. “Just because you have a bad day, doesn’t mean you can’t fix it.”

But the Panthers, unlike the Falcons, have not figured out how to close games.

“Experience has a lot to do with it,” Ryan said. “When you have guys that have played and been in all kinds of situations, you learn that it’s going to be like that week-in and week-out, and you have to find ways to get it done. The reasons we’ve had a lot of success this year is we’ve found different ways to get it done.”

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63 comments Add your comment

RogueRunr

December 5th, 2012
8:07 pm

lowdownjj

December 5th, 2012
8:17 pm

Cam says he doesn’t see a problem with the Panthers running all over the Falcons. DE Hardy says the 3-9 Panthers are the better team. HAAAAAAHAHAHAA! Hey, didn’t they just lose to the Chiefs?? CAN’T WAIT! RISE UP MATT!
This time they can “Get the #*$&” off their own field

ernisTbass

December 5th, 2012
8:54 pm

you can’t fault them for losing to the Chiefs, a lot of college teams get caught looking ahead when the next game is in their heads, besides only three more W’s and Carolina is bowl eligible

Mario

December 5th, 2012
8:55 pm

Panthers’ players are trying to psyche themselves out. They know damn good and well they are not better than the Falcons. Just trying to give themselves some confidence to think they can hang with the Falcons. Falcons win big. 34-14.

okeetee

December 5th, 2012
9:14 pm

Well, Ryan isn’t going to get sacked 7 times this go around…..and he’s going to have a better passer rating than he had last week, that’s for sure! Falcons should win this game by 10 points. I just don’t see the Panthers upsetting us this week. They are too flawed of a team! Way too many weaknesses that can be exploited.

MaxxFalcon

December 5th, 2012
9:26 pm

Riddle me this: One team is 11-1, another is 3-9. Both teams play the same schedule. The 11-1 team has already handed the 3-9 team one of their 9 losses. Which team is the better team? Answer: Greg Hardy is a clown

Danny Peterson

December 5th, 2012
11:15 pm

Mr. September is back! Ryan always falls off this time of the year. His stats prove it, he is a 3 quarter of a season guy he has never gotten use to the Pro long seasons. Ryan is a September to November quarterback. That’s why the falcons never and will not make it thru the 1st round playoffs again. They need a Mr. October in January which Ryan is not, he thinking about Disney World in December.

The Biscuit

December 6th, 2012
12:42 am

Dang. DOB’s blog on the Braves winter meetings lack of inaction has hit over 1200 replys. The Falcons get 7? Maybe Atlanta is a baseball town after all?

Creaky

December 6th, 2012
12:53 am

Danny Peterson ; Remember the season the Falcons didn’t make the playoff’s inthe Ryan era thet were 6=7 won the last 3 games in Dec. to finish 9=7 for a winning season.Long story short you’re wrong.

Falcons Rule.

December 6th, 2012
1:32 am

This will be a laugher………….Angry Birds 42 – kittens 6……Kittens have packed it in for the year…..Mattie Ice will school Scam boy all day long…….18-1 and the first of several Lombardi’s…….BOOK IT!!!!! Get off the wagon azzclown doubters…..you too Michael M……Fool.

Esquire

December 6th, 2012
1:41 am

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,

We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!

MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!

OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

I’m so pumped, can’t wait till Sunday. Come on guys let’s make this our official fight song. I’m available 24-7 if you guys want to get together and practice. My dream is to get the whole dome chanting this in unison in a few weeks. Can I get a RISE UP? Anyone???

Esquire

December 6th, 2012
1:42 am

I’m I the only one here???? I feel so lonely….:( sob

Esquire

December 6th, 2012
1:47 am

Danny Peterson
December 5th, 2012
11:15 pm

Mr. September is back! Ryan always falls off this time of the year. His stats prove it, he is a 3 quarter of a season guy he has never gotten use to the Pro long seasons. Ryan is a September to November quarterback. That’s why the falcons never and will not make it thru the 1st round playoffs again. They need a Mr. October in January which Ryan is not, he thinking about Disney World in December.
__________________________________________________________________
Must be a Caints fan. Is that you SUXThisB4?

Falcon James

December 6th, 2012
2:22 am

dean

December 6th, 2012
6:13 am

Reading Danny boys comments it appears they were copy/pasted from an article about a different an: Peyton Manning.

dean

December 6th, 2012
6:14 am

Qb, that should read

Samuel

December 6th, 2012
7:13 am

It’s time for Dominque Franks to step his game up. Also a good running and screen game can stop that pass rush. The Falcons need to beat this team by two touch downs and shut them up.

Gary 32

December 6th, 2012
7:40 am

We have received hate all year long from the media…some of our own fans…other teams fans…various sports writers….and now players on other teams…keep hating America…we feed off it!!!!!!

flintrock70

December 6th, 2012
8:20 am

RISE UP! I’ve got all the faith in the world that we’ll spend this game doing a lot of scripted stuff. See what works and doesn’t in the run game. Smitty will have Dirk open up the offense in order to win, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see most of the rest of the games used as real time practices. Especially a game like Sunday’s. Then really see what you can do at home vs. the Giants.

Esquire

December 6th, 2012
8:30 am

I see SUXThisBZero was here overnight.

jerry

December 6th, 2012
8:32 am

Ryan vs. Brady, Peyton, or Rodgers “I don’t worry too much about the statistics or those types of things,” Ryan said Wednesday.
Ryan won’t be in their class until his “statistics” compare with their statistics.

Esquire

December 6th, 2012
8:40 am

Scene, have your Mommy sing this to you. Oh yeah, I forgot Mommy is doing 5-10 in St. Gabriel. for meth………..oh well, my bad. Well then, have your Dad sing it. What, oh………you haven’t got a dad, why you son of a pimp.

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog
Now we got ears, it’s time for cheers

Hot dog, hot dog, the problem’s solved
Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog

Grab my boots and a sandwich
Let’s start a parade
Get the coconut drum kit
For Daisy to play

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog
We’re taking off, we’re dancing now
Hot dog, leapfrog, and holy cow
Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog
It’s a brand new day
Whatcha waiting for?
Get up, stretch out, stomp on the floor

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog
Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog
We’re splitting the scene
We’re full of beans

So long for now from Mickey Mouse (That’s me!)
And the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”

Same ole Matty Ice

December 6th, 2012
8:45 am

With 2 tds & 6 picks in last 3 games and 3 picks off league high, he is in his rare 1st round form.

Esquire

December 6th, 2012
8:50 am

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

WE ARE THE MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS……..!!!!!!

Stat Checker

December 6th, 2012
8:53 am

So you guys don’t think he is in a slump? 6 picks in last 2 games? 13 picks in last 9 games? Not worried? Keep in mind he has never passed for 200 yards in any playoff game.

Stat Checker

December 6th, 2012
8:54 am

Correction: Last 3 games.

[...] Atlanta Falcons: Is quaterback Matt Ryan in a slump? Atlanta Falcons quaterback Matt Ryan (2) throws an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones during the 3rd quarter of an NFL football game against the Buccaneers (Tampa Bay), Sunday, November 25, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay) … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Elvis is Alive

December 6th, 2012
9:14 am

“Passing Game- offense is a little out of synch”, “We know what we are doing wrong”, “Working on our Red Zone ” to paraphase the quotes in this article. I have a difficult time believing that professional players and coaches don’t know how to fix their apparent problems in week 13.
Do the Panthers and other teams already know our weaknesses and how to exploit them for a victory? Evidently not!
Beating ourself appears to be the only logical conclusion for our team. I believe as a team we need to stop using the same excuses in week 13 that we used in week one-two-three-four etc.
It is time to come to grips with the fact that our team lacks a killer instinct and lays back instead of annihilating the opponent. Who is behind this lack of aggression, I do not know. Maybe someone else can pin it down.
Is it focus, awareness, mental preparation, endurance, trepidation, coaching or lack of execution that allows other teams to begin to catch up and perhaps overcome us at the point of attack in the fourth quarter? Again I dont know.
Does our team exhibit visible signs (tells) about what play we will use? Could be.
Instead of the Dirty Birds, it is time for our team to become the ‘ANGRY BIRDS”..
Falcons 37- Panthers 24..Rise up…RISE UP !!!!

clay

December 6th, 2012
9:17 am

Every quarterback goes through it at some point. Rogers went through it early in the season along with Brady and Manning. Brees is going through it right now too. He will come out of it. We still have four more games and next week will be the tell tell sign if we are ready for the next step, because we are probably going to have at least one home playoff game and the Giants are a playoff contender. RISE UP!

Section 322

December 6th, 2012
9:24 am

Only in Atlanta does an 11-1 home team get bashed so much! Rise The F Up

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution asks whether quarterback Matt Ryan is in a [...]

hugo

December 6th, 2012
9:37 am

I only have a couple of complaints. Why doesnt the receivers go past the first down marks on passes so they wont fall short after the catch and why does the offense try and run little rodger up the middle?

Whadda Ya Know?

December 6th, 2012
10:02 am

If Matt’s in a slump it’s up to the coaches (Koetter & Smith) to help him get out of it. We barely see the no-huddle anymore and we all know how Matt excelled whenever it was used. Some of the plays I swear looks like Mularkey is still here at times. What good is bringing in a new OC if you’re going to make him use 80% or more of the same old playbook? Also, Matt’s protection has been average to below average (against defenses with strong front four).

TD and Smitty need to get the OL fixed once and for all. Give Koetter the keys to the Ferrari and let him turn up the attack with this offense. That way we’ll know if Koetter is the problem–or that stale playbook.

Larry

December 6th, 2012
10:31 am

So here is what is most important…

Matt Ryan has piloted six…SIX (6)…4th quarter winning drives this season. Take that away and we have a 5-7 football team, which is precisely what this team is without him…average!

And he has done this with one of the weakest OL’s in the NFL!

Anyone who doesn’t how fortunate we are to have the QB with more fourth quarter comebacks than any other QB in the NFL just simply has a double-digit IQ!

Esquire

December 6th, 2012
10:32 am

hugo
December 6th, 2012
9:37 am

I only have a couple of complaints. Why doesnt the receivers go past the first down marks on passes so they wont fall short after the catch and why does the offense try and run little rodger up the middle?
****************************************
“Why doesnt the receivers go past the first down marks” Our O Line has progressed tremendously this year but still have leaks. If Ryan is given time to throw deeper he can wait for that receiver to open up, if not he has no choice but to go underneath.

“why does the offense try and run little rodger up the middle?” Have you seen Turner go up the middle with success? I’d take a chance on Jacquizz slipping thru.

Larry

December 6th, 2012
10:42 am

*more 4th quarter comebacks than any other QB in the NFL in the last 5 years.

Post-it

December 6th, 2012
10:58 am

Haven’t heard from STB4 in a few weeks but I’m sure he will be back. In the meantime. he’s over on nola.com trashing his man crush hero. He says that Brees’ shoulder is done and they need to draft a new quarterback. Just a little ammo for when he comes trolling again.

Mike is Back

December 6th, 2012
11:12 am

Dled, I don’t think it’s a slump…it just shows that the guy is still human.lol

I’m not surprise by the Panthers comments…they are probably not the only team…NOT GOING TO THE PLAYOFF…that feels they are better than the BIRDS…again LOL.

RISE UP BIRDS…LET’S GO…LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ctfalconsfan

December 6th, 2012
11:12 am

Ryan is in a slump which happens from tim to time.. It’s er t come out of that slump before the play-offs than during..

DOL – Ask Ryan would he rather put up career numbers in New Orleans resulting in a loss or have a poor game against aints in Atlanta but come away with a win?

It’s a team sport and a team win.

Flo-Ri-Duh

December 6th, 2012
11:25 am

If you have to – double team Charles Johnson. He dominated the Falcon’s OL last time Panthers played the Falcons. Ryan is not in a slump – the OL hasn’t blocked well the last 4 games.

Flo-Ri-Duh

December 6th, 2012
11:32 am

Wrap this thing up against the Panthers – get the bye – then rest the starters – including Ryan. Time to see what the backups can do. Besides losing one game will get them a higher draft choice.

I usually just read but...

December 6th, 2012
12:03 pm

“Is quarterback Matt Ryan in a slump?”
You just trying to stir up something on a slow day, right DOL?
Maybe the O line is in a slump. Matt is proly a little beat up from all the pressure his blockers are allowing on him, then having to play on 3 days rest. And you want to call him out? He has to hurry just to get the ball out. The whole offence is forcing due to a lack of protection. Matt is tougher than a lighter knot but no one can take what he’s taken these past 3 games.
Oh yea. Thanks for letting me back in. I won’t be negative on MT anymore as long as he holds on to his 1.5 ypc.

RunninWithTheDawgs

December 6th, 2012
12:15 pm

Just looking at scores this year for what it’s worth — We scored 40 in the first game of the year when MR2 was fresh and healthy. Then after the bye we scored 30 when MR2 had an extra week off. I don’t think the whole team should rest. Just the ones that are most injury prone and the ones that are currently getting over injuries yet still playing. Let Ryan rest but keep his feet close to the fire. How about a full house backfield with McCown at QB, Turner at FB, Snelling at RHB, and Quizz at LHB. I’m joking of course.

I usually just read but...

December 6th, 2012
12:19 pm

@ RWTD, laughter is the best medicine. I’d like to that.

1stn10

December 6th, 2012
12:21 pm

The WR must be in a slump too because they dropped several passes during that time. His protection has been questionable too. Reaching for straws on this story.

I usually just read but...

December 6th, 2012
12:21 pm

I’d like to *see* that

1stn10

December 6th, 2012
12:23 pm

I’d give Matt the first two quarters and let Davis clean up in the 3rd and 4th in this game. Next week however it’s all out against the Gmen.

[...] has been in a mini-slump the past few weeks, but Carolina seems like the perfect opponent to right the ship [...]

4th Quarter Comebacks

December 6th, 2012
12:53 pm

In order to have 4th quarter comebacks, one must be trailing. The question should be…what were you doing the 1st 3 quarters?

Draft Blunders

December 6th, 2012
12:56 pm

Flacco & AJ Green.

End of conversation.