Mid-Week Quick-Slant – 2nd Year QBs, DT Strength, and Dome Wishes

Ryan’s Second Year Comparison

Is Ryan in a Slump? (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Much has certainly been made of the somewhat down year that Matt Ryan has been having this year, many may call it a slump. His touchdowns are up (13 to 9 at this point last year), but so are his interceptions (10 to 5 through 8 games last year). In general, Ryan is almost exactly on pace to match his mark in terms of yardage. Many factors may be at play this year. The Falcons certainly have played a much tougher schedule to date (Lions, Chiefs, Raiders of last year were replaced by the Patriots and Cowboys), times of being sacked is surprisingly the exact same as this time last year (10), and there have been a few that may not entirely been his fault (Jenkins tipped pass in Chicago, Vilma’s excellent tipped pass play in New Orleans, etc). Excuses aside though, Ryan doesn’t “look” the same as he did last year. He doesn’t seem to have the same poise and confidence he had a year ago, and many fans have wondered if the Tony Gonzalez addition may have actually hurt Ryan’s development, instead of helping it. And as crazy as it may sound at first, Ryan does seem to be looking for Gonzo in spite of White, Jenkins, and Co. A look at some other quarterbacks and their first two years may help shed some light:

Quarterback

Games Played – Completion % – Pass Yards – TDs – Ints – QB Rating

John Elway

11 games – 47.5% – 1663 yds – 7 TDs – 14 Ints – 54.

15 games – 56.3% – 2598 yds – 18 TDs – 15 Ints – 76.8

Joe Montana

15 games – 64.5% – 1795 yds – 15 TDs – 9 Ints –

16 games – 63.7% – 3565 yds – 19 TDs – 12 Ints – 88.4

(sat rookie year)

Peyton Manning

16 games – 56.7% – 3,739 yds – 26 TDs – 28 Ints – 71.2

16 games – 62.1% – 4135 yds – 26 TDs – 15 Ints – 90.7

Tom Brady

15 games – 63.9% – 2843 yds – 18 TDs – 12 Ints – 86.5

16 games – 62.1% – 3764 yds – 28 TDs – 14 Ints – 85.7

(sat rookie year)

Drew Brees

16 games – 60.8% – 3,284 yds -17 TDs – 16 Ints – 76.9

11 games – 57.6% – 2,108 yds – 11 TDs – 15 Ints – 67.5

(sat rookie year)

Brett Favre

15 game – 64.1% – 3,227 – 18 TDs -13 Ints – 85.3

16 games – 60.9% -3,303 – 19 TDs – 24 Ints – 72.2

(sat rookie year)

Matt Ryan

16 games – 61.1% – 3,440 yds – 16 TDs – 11 Ints – 87.7

8 games – 60.7% – 1,784 yds – 13 TDs – 10 Ints – 82.2

A look at the numbers reveals that Matt Ryan is in very good company indeed and that there simply is a growing process for all young quarterbacks in the NFL. Montana, Brees, Favre, and Brady all sat there rookie season being able to learn the ropes from the sidelines and in practice without strapping on the helmet for real. Ryan’s rookie year QB rating was better than all QBs listed except for Montana (and only .1 less than his). Favre and Brees, in particular, had a pretty sizeable drop from their first years. Its very true that statistics can be used in any direction to support pretty much any argument (Marino was left off because he was Superman in his first two years with a 96 and 108 QB rating), but to even be mentioned and be able to hold sway with this group says all that needs to be said. It is way too early and Ryan has got to get some of his mojo back from last year, but patience is a virtue and if stats forecast anything, it looks like the Falcons may have a good one at QB.

Defensive Tackle a Future of Strength?

One of the biggest question marks coming into the season was the lack of strength and depth at defensive tackle. When Grady Jackson left, it left a big hole both figuratively and literally in the Falcons defensive line. The drafting of Peria Jerry was an immediate upgrade, but he was sidelined for the year in game two against Carolina. Trey Lewis didn’t make an early impact, Thomas Johnson leapt from anonymity to starting, and some thought that the Falcons may be looking DT early again in next year’s draft. That may have changed as of recent. The Falcons are shutting down some of the most potent of rushing attacks and, although the stats may not say it, they are holding some of the best backs or tandems pretty well under wraps (Ronnie Brown-Ricky Williams, Deangelo Williams-Jonathan Stewart, Matt Forte, Barber-Jones-Choice, and Bush-Bell-Thomas). The move of Jamaal Anderson has been a win-win and has helped in the running game. Babineaux showed what he can do on any given Sunday with his 2.5 sack effort, Vance Walker is putting his stamp on this team with his toughness and quickness, Trey Lewis is getting back up to speed, and that’s not even including 1st round draft pick Peria Jerry coming back from injury next year. Certainly always room for improvement and ranking 24th in rush defense seems pretty terrible, but the cupboard seems way more stocked for the future than recent years.

Dome Wishes

After being halfway through the season, the Georgia Dome has hosted half of its eight game slate, and that got mind turning on what could the Terror-Dome do to improve its gameday experience. What would enhance your Falcons home game experience on Sundays?

More single gameday parking availability?

Better place to tailgate and get revved up for the game for Marta riders?

Better food or more choices on concessions (The Varsity in the Dome anyone?)

More lounges like the Jack Daniels lounge or easier access to places like the Miller Lite lounge?

NFL.com Power Rankings

Cool deal over at NFL.com, where it lets you rank all 32 teams in terms of who’s best from week to week. Experts pick: Falcons #9 and Community pick: Falcons #12. Check it out: http://fanrankings.nfl.com/

Big game upcoming against the Panthers in Carolina on Sunday. Better not even think about getting caught looking ahead to the road game in New York. The Cats aren’t having the best of years, but they are showing much improvement and Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte is always a tough place to play. Enjoy the mid-week musings and hopefully it’ll get to Friday (or Sunday in our case).

Your Turn

-Ryan in 2nd Year: Slump or Normal Progression?

-What’s your opinion on biggest difference between rookie and sophomore campaigns?

-Tougher opponents or Ryan’s got a case of the “happy feet?”

-How do you like the DT strength and depth?

-All set at DT or need to look for another in the draft?

-What would enhance your Falcons gameday experience?

-What can the Terror Dome add to make Sundays more enjoyable?

-Nervous about Panther game in Carolina?

Check out our AJC Fellow Fan Bloggers:

Leo Willingham on Florida A&M’s rankings

Bill King on Junkyard Blawg’s Fan of the Week

Chris Boggs on Georgia Tech’s Awesome Coach

Rawhide on Thrashers Bounce Back Win Against the Blues

Big Ray on the Hawks Great Start

159 comments Add your comment

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
10:50 pm

Hey I’m here!

Box

November 10th, 2009
10:56 pm

Glad it wasn’t me this time.

DePlane

November 10th, 2009
10:57 pm

Falcons will roll on Carolina…MR2 is coming to and will have a breakout day :)

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:02 pm

DePlane,
That will be this week’s mantra.

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:04 pm

Sarah/Box,…lol you guys are too funny! Frit and frat!

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:06 pm

UNO or YAHTZEE for first!!!

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:11 pm

Uno or Yahtzee

D3, great post buddy. SI.com just did mid-term reports, maybe some info for you for future reports…can we trade ur ffl players if ur done?

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:14 pm

JJ,
We are offended. We are frick and frack. Oh, those youngsters.

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:18 pm

JJ is not exactly a youngster.

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:19 pm

Sarah, tell gene he should keep his orig. name of “kick azz” because he has for the last few weeks in FFL. Personally I dont care but a white guy changing to the “Jeffersons” is complicated at best, JMHO!

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:20 pm

Younger than moi. That is french. Maybe I am bilingual.

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:20 pm

39 for awhile now!

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:22 pm

Box,
Tu parle francaise? Je ne sais pas?

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:28 pm

JJ,
I took it in high school. How could you have known, you were barely out of diapers, you young whipper-snapper.

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:29 pm

2 yrs french h.s., thats all I have, except some latin still rattleing around in my head…

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:31 pm

JJ,
My first response should have been, oui, je parler francaise. I hope that I conjegated the phrase properly. It has been a long time.

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:34 pm

I know, huge diff, from mid 40’s to late 40’s…what couple of yrs…you just dont like marist, thats ok, I did go to DHS first in 8 th grade, where did you go? P’tree, chamblee?

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:38 pm

My eight grade was spent as a proud Sandy Springs Panther. A member of the Golden Ghetto track team. I also started on the varsity soccer team. We were then split up between Ridgeview, Riverwood, and North Springs for 9th through 12th. That sucked.

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:38 pm

JJ he thinks he’s movin on up… Get it?

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:40 pm

Box, he’s lying.

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:41 pm

ps- I’m not catholic, dunwoody baptist! I think my parents fudged my appl. to marist!

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:43 pm

Jeesh, I went to HS in MI. Was in band and ran track since were reliving the past.

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:44 pm

Hey what about Larry Johnson???

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:45 pm

Couldn’t hurt…

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:45 pm

Shawty,
You mean KC Johnson? What about him?

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:46 pm

JJ, Mr Painter, my room looks great!

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:46 pm

Shawty,
Bad karma for the locker room.

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:46 pm

Box they cut him – just like that…

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:47 pm

As much as the walls are going up, you guys/gal bring great joy to my life, too funny, what a small world after all, take care guys/lady, cia on flip, been a privelage to be apart of the late night crew…thanks!

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:49 pm

Maybe not – change of sceanery…

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:49 pm

JJ,
I am not wall building. If that was your impression, please accept my apology.

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:50 pm

JJ is sensitive…

Box

November 10th, 2009
11:51 pm

Shawty,
Off field issues. Female assault charge, I think. Not sure, though.

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:52 pm

I thought he just threw a hissy fit because he wasn’t getting enough playing time.

Shawty

November 10th, 2009
11:53 pm

Oh and they suck.

JJ

November 10th, 2009
11:55 pm

Box, not you buddy but the other night sarah talked about painting and how I didnt help and building walls…just didnt have time like I thought I would, my bad…just not on internet, no biggie, goodnight Box/sarah.

Box

November 11th, 2009
12:05 am

JJ,
Later dude.

Shawty

November 11th, 2009
12:10 am

I told you he was sensitive.

Box

November 11th, 2009
12:12 am

Shawty,
I don’t believe that LJ would work in ATL, but I would respect the opinion of TG on the subject. I would trust his judgement of the LJ character issue. Also, what would be the salary cap issues. I don’t see a two feature back combo in our backfield, either. Neither Turner nor Johnson would be happy with a split work load.

JJ

November 11th, 2009
12:12 am

Box

November 11th, 2009
12:23 am

JJ,
11:47 post. I sense a past tense. Not abandoning late night crew, are you?

Shawty

November 11th, 2009
12:28 am

It depends on how long Jerious is out. I’m just saying.

Wabe

November 11th, 2009
12:29 am

I’m right there with you DePlane. I feel a breakout game coming from Ryan within the next couple of weeks.

Make it happen Ryan!

Box

November 11th, 2009
12:30 am

JJ, Shawty, and other Cage members,
On another note, I will be very close to Spalding and Old Alabama Derby over Xmas holiday. Could we stand a chance meeting? If not all, then some? My schedule is always very tight during holiday visits, but if any of you are close by, then even a couple of cold ones to meet and greet would be “groovy”!!! Another age comment, couldn’t resist.
With Love and Respect…

Shawty

November 11th, 2009
12:32 am

Wabe I’m with you.

Shawty

November 11th, 2009
12:35 am

I’m close, keep me posted!!! I’ll be there!

Box

November 11th, 2009
12:36 am

Shawty,
LJ and Michael Turner are the same type punishing running back. LJ would not be the lightning to Turner’s thunder. He would not provide the contrast that J Rock provides. Damn, get an OLD MAN talking and this is what you get. IMHO

WR

November 11th, 2009
12:38 am

Wow, I get sick for a couple of days and come back to find that the birdcage is now a retirement home,LOL. Had plenty of catching up to do today cagers so I’m checking back in with the late night crew, or the oldies but goodies, wouldn’t want a bunch of denture and diaper wearing folks storming the house, imagine that, waking up to a bunch of false teeth being thrown at your window, just kidding everyone, I hope I live to get to your ages, it appears that all of you are enjoying it.

Alright before I get ran off, D3, nice post, I also believe the Falcons have a good QB but I do agree with someone’s earlier post stating that Ryan seems to be focusing to much on forcing passes into Gonzo. I think he just wants to make the future hall of famer happy, plus he knows thats a reliable place to throw the ball, but spreading the ball around will keep defenses from solely concentrating on Gonzo which in turn will make him an even more reliable source.

Just a quick hit to get my feet wet, good to be back in the cage.

Shawty

November 11th, 2009
12:39 am

If Norwood is coming Back. No word yet.

Shawty

November 11th, 2009
12:43 am

WR, welcome back!!!