Falcons are looking special, and it starts with Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan says he feels more confident than ever, and it shows in his performance. (AP photo)

Matt Ryan threw three more touchdown passes Sunday and seems to have taken his play to a new level this season. (AP photo)

SAN DIEGO – The common refrain in football is that the quarterback gets too much credit when everything is going right for a team and too much blame it’s circling the drain. So let’s start with this: The Falcons aren’t 3-0 just because Matt Ryan seems to have morphed into Roger Staubach.

A defense that lost its best cover cornerback (Brent Grimes) in Week 1 forced four more turnovers and made the San Diego Chargers look anemic Sunday (three points). Ryan has a receiving corps that enables him to alter his targets (Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez) the way others laugh and change aim in a boardwalk shooting gallery (ducks, birds, wildebeest-looking safeties). There also is an obvious resilience about a team that bodyslams Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on a Monday night, then travels to the West Coast in a short week and humiliates a pretty good 2-0 team on its home field.

But it all starts with the quarterback.

The Falcons dismembered the San Diego Chargers 27-3, and Ryan was the centerpiece. He threw for 208 yards and three touchdowns in a 20-0 first half, after which almost everybody stopped paying attention. All of those Chargers fans who had claimed about a local TV blackout suddenly felt thankful.

Included in Sunday’s first half: Ryan, without even a semblance of a running game, engineered a 17-play, 96-yard touchdown drive in a rare late-summer heat wave that led center Todd McClure to say: “I’ve never had a feeling like that. I thought I was going to die. I thought I was going to pass out at any minute.”

Fortunately, the touchdown at the end was not a mirage. Neither was Ryan. He competed 30 of 40, which doesn’t account for a couple of drops and throwaways and a touchdown negated by a penalty. He has led the offense to 11 touchdown drives (eight thrown) in three games. He looks better and more confident in Year 5 than he did in 1, 2, 3 or 4 (not that he was bad before).

There is an edge to his game. There is no hesitation before his decisions, no happy feet in the pocket, not a hiccup in his delivery. He is finding ways to elude pressure, even in tight spaces and when the protection is collapsing around him.

Gonzalez said, “He’s really coming into his own. I think a lot of it has to do with maturity and his wanting to be one of the best, and [offensive coordinator] Dirk [Koetter] coming in and simplifying things.”

Ryan threw incomplete on his first third-down attempt of the game. His next nine passes on third down were completed. Eight went for first downs, one for a touchdown.

Who does that?

“When it’s third and long and we keep getting first downs, you know he’s doing something special,” tackle Tyson Clabo said.

Ryan is not big on talking about himself. But when asked about his confidence level whether his game had ascended to the next level, he didn’t hesitate.

“I feel as confident as I ever have,” he said. “I think a lot of that has to do with experience — having good experience[s] and bad experience[s], and now realizing that I can do it. I can make the plays we need to make in order to win. And confidence comes from having a lot of talented guys around you. I think we have as good a wide receiver corps as any in the NFL. The other thing is, I’ve had time. We’ve thrown the football quite a bit and I haven’t been hit a lot. When you have those things around you, it helps you play fast, feel good and feel confident.”

It’s early. September isn’t a time for grand proclamations. But if the first three games are any indication, the Falcons have the look of a pretty special team, and Ryan is looking more like a quarterback who can get them there.

By Jeff Schultz

• Earlier: Short takes on the Falcons’ win: Resiliency, Ryan and turnovers

417 comments Add your comment

moving on up

September 24th, 2012
2:59 pm

too bad vick fans…Ryan is THE MAN…get over it.

payback

September 24th, 2012
3:00 pm

Where are all the Aints fans?
Who Dat in first place?
Who Dat winless last place team?

SWEET

September 24th, 2012
3:03 pm

And as good as the Dawgs are now, they will get even better as the season progresses.
Championships are VERY achievable for Dawgs and Falcons!

gO dEEP

September 24th, 2012
3:06 pm

I’m Just Lovin’ Every Minute Watchin’ This Team

Rich

September 24th, 2012
3:10 pm

And the best part? All the Vick fans/apologists/bandwagoneers are dying inside.

Matty looks goooood and hats off to Sam Baker for making the jump and playing like the draft pick we’d hoped he’d be.

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
3:11 pm

LOL@ Matty Biceps…..”providing a public service”…..classic! Lol!

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
3:14 pm

I’ve seen this story for the past 5 seasons….

Wake me up when the 2nd round of the playoff starts so we can start

our annual wait next year campaign starts :)

JSS

September 24th, 2012
3:14 pm

He doesn’t even try to switch between personalities anymore… Now that is “classic.”

JSS is a Troll

September 24th, 2012
3:15 pm

Wow, the actual (not the Alanis Morissette-variety) irony of JSS the Troll calling someone ELSE a troll is too delicious for words.

Is our silly, petty little man going to burst a blood vessel today?

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
3:16 pm

One question…………….

K.C., Denver, and San Diego – how many of these teams if any will make the playoffs?

Thought so :)

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
3:17 pm

Many ID’s,, LOL!! there you go,, making Assumptions again,,,LOL!! So JSS,, how did your team do this week,, oh thats right,, you dont have a team,,LOL,, what a Idiot…

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
3:17 pm

Many ID’s,, LOL!! there you go,, making Assumptions again,,,LOL!! So JSS,, how did your team do this week,, oh thats right,, you dont have a team,,LOL,, what a Idiot…

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
3:18 pm

CLUTCH vs HYPE

For 5 straight seasons we have seen the hype, but clutch…….

Not so much. Now what Vick did the first 2 weeks & what Flacco did

yesterday vs a quality defense is what legends are all about and

that is clutch not hype.

See ya in the 2nd round….oops my bad :)

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
3:19 pm

OK JSS,, you’re so darn smart,, what are my other ID’s,, Hmmmm! good luck… LOL!

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
3:21 pm

Flacco cant carry MR’s jock,,LOL,, look at the stats dimwit,,,

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
3:25 pm

Slowly you are losing it JSS…now everyone has different names? Lol. So sad angry little man…so sad

Barry

September 24th, 2012
3:25 pm

HEY Y’ALL:

I HEARD A BIG “THUMP!!!!’ IN SAN DIEGO ON SUNDAY. WE SMACKED SOME HEADS AROUND OUT THERE ON THE WEST COAST. OUR FALCONS PERFORMED TOGETHER. THEY HAD EACH OTHERS BACK. THEY WERE COMMUNICATING AMONG EACH OTHER AND WITH THE COACHES. THEY WERE OPERATING IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” FORM. AND THE ULTIMATE RESULT WAS SAN DIEGO GETTING “THUMPED!”. I , PERSONALLY, WAS REALLY IMPRESSED WITH THE DEFENSE. THEY ARE GETTING BETTER EVERY GAME AND ARE PLAYING WITH A HELL OF A LOT OF “SWAG”. I CAN FEEL THEIR ENERGY AND ANGER ON THE FIELD. THE OPPOSITION HAS TO BE REALLY AFRAID OF WHAT IS GOING ON WITH OUR FALCONS. LET’S MAKE THEM SCARIER WHEN THEY COME TO “OUR HOUSE’ : THE GEORGIA DOME ON SUNDAY. CAROLINA , GET YOUR POP CORN READY. YOU’RE GONNA GET “THUMPED” IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!”. THUMP!!

THE SCARY PART ABOUT ALL THIS IS THAT MICHAEL TURNER LOOKED LIKE THE OLD , NEW AND IMPROVED MICHAEL TURNER. HE WAS BLASTING THROUGH THE LINE LIKE AN ANGRY ANIMAL , WITH ONE OBJECTIVE IN MIND, TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN. YOU CAN FEEL HIS POWER WHEN HE RUNS LIKE THAT. AND YOU CAN SENSE THE FEAR OF THE DEFENDERS TRYING TO STOP HIM. PLEASE MICHAEL, KEEP RUNNING LIKE THAT!! THAT’S YOU. THE OTHER GUY, I DON’T KNOW. HIDE HIM SOMEWHERE , NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN. THE “BURNER” WAS BACK, YESTERDAY!! HE WAS BACK IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” DON’T EVER LEAVE US AGAIN!!!!

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE “PROCESS’ CONTINUES TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!!

“FALCONS, RISE UP!!!” . WE “RISE UP!!’ IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!’.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

This is a SECRET from a FALCON FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!

……………………….”ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!!………………

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
3:25 pm

Choke you forgot to add in the Aints…..bahahahahahah

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
3:27 pm

Is it January yet? Oops can’t be CHOKE is still playing….ha ha :)

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
3:30 pm

BTW….Choke…….you still stinking it up man since you keep saying we will lose stay with the theme man….we wont go 16 and 0. Keep picking us to lose you bound to get it right! Lol. Clown…..or you just jump us right to the playoffs…..at least you know we going!

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
3:34 pm

Who leads in passer rating,,

JSS

September 24th, 2012
3:36 pm

Your cheap fantasy Jedi mind tricks are wasted here… Take it down the ward to the nurse’s station… Babble is all you post…

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
3:36 pm

I see school let out for the day. There’s a wasted education.

I love that saying, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”.

THE HIGHER WE SOAR THE SMALLER WE APPEAR TO THOSE THAT CANNOT FLY!

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
3:37 pm

JSS is paranoid,, que Black Sabbath LOL

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
3:39 pm

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

Boo Brees

September 24th, 2012
3:41 pm

Philly.com…….. blog quotes from Eagle fans……….

” Vick Sucks”……. “Vick can’t read defenses”…… ” Vick is a turnover machine” …….

” Vick holds on to the ball too long” ……. ” We traded the wrong QB 3 yrs ago”……..

” Is anyone else tired of Vick?”……… ” Blow this team up” ……. ” Playoffs?”…….

” At least McNabb won playoff games”…….. ” We’re FU@#$%”…….

and last but no least……….. wait for it……….. ” The Mike Vick Experiment is OVER”

LOL, Philly has spoken!! Dude is washed up!!

BigHittas

September 24th, 2012
3:41 pm

LOL!
Ron Mexico still tossing picks and coughing it up. What a shady bum. Next thing you know he’ll be giving Philly fans the finger. Somebody needs to tell him to cut back on the weed to three times a week.

Go Angry Birds!!!

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
3:43 pm

Jedi mind tricks,, LOL,, what is this clown talking about,,,

BigHittas

September 24th, 2012
3:43 pm

and to all you Aint in denial fans, Brees ‘aint’ looking much better. 0-3 = Aints.

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
3:43 pm

Its official…..you are done JSS……kick rocks man!

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
3:44 pm

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict MV wont make it through the season,,,

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
3:47 pm

JSS
September 24th, 2012
3:36 pm

Your cheap fantasy Jedi mind tricks are wasted here… Take it down the ward to the nurse’s station… Babble is all you post…

******************************************************

You may not realize it JSS but you are the only one who knows who you are directing your comments to. It makes you look like you are in La La Land just blogging to the great blogging spirits in the sky. But seriously, “take it down the ward to the nurse’s station”?? My God that is blogging posts of what legends are made of. It’s immortal…. Where do you get this stuff?

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
3:48 pm

LOL at The Aints
September 24th, 2012
3:44 pm

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict MV wont make it through the season,,,

****************************************************

No need to go out on a limb……………….it’s a safe bet. You can probably get odds on it in Vegas!

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
3:48 pm

Enter your comments here

Michael M.

September 24th, 2012
3:50 pm

I see the Falcon Faithful are hammering the few trolls that keep hanging on to squat…………………..might as well give it up trolls because you are running low on ammo and the Falcons are loaded to the hilt for Bear this year………………………this Falcon’s Team is playing really good now and once they see the results after a game on the field it only gives them that much more confidence going into the next game……………….the only question is how far can this Team go this year ?
It still remains to be seen and its onwards and upwards at one game at a time !

eric

September 24th, 2012
3:53 pm

I must be crazy for even attempting to have a coherent conversation with Choke or JSS but here goes. All of your pathetic playoff arguments about MR could have been said about Peyton Manning after his 5th season and 3rd straight playoff loss. We all know that he turned out to be pretty good. As far as I can tell, only the Cards game was really on Matt Ryan in terms of playoff defeats and that .was his rookie season. The GB loss happened because we couldn’t stop Rodgers from throwing 50 yard completions. Last year was the fault of a nonexistent offensive line. Fix both of those, as I believe we have this year, and watch out!

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
3:53 pm

U see Ron Mexico cough it up just before halftime? Now that was classic MV7. Or how about Cam’s manhood being questioned by his own teammate. Where is Ice? Leading the league in QBR.

D

September 24th, 2012
3:56 pm

The Atlanta Robins (falcons) are not all that.

Boo Brees

September 24th, 2012
4:02 pm

Vick = 5.3 total QBR, good for 28th in NFL.

Was highlighted on ESPN fantasy DUDS.

9 turnovers through week 3.

No playoff wins in almost a decade….. Neither clutch nor hype, LOL

Ivan

September 24th, 2012
4:02 pm

“Now what Vick did the first 2 weeks & what Flacco did yesterday vs a quality defense is what legends are all about and that is clutch not hype.”

No punkin. See, Vick throwing all those interceptions and fumbling isn’t “clutch”. Forcing the defense to win games for you isn’t “clutch”. It’s called being a bad QB. You can see where he is on passer rating waaaaay at the bottom of the charts. Don’t bother looking at the top, that’s where Ryan is. ha ha ha ha :) :)

You may as well jump on the RGIII bandwagon. Cuz Vick will be lucky to even finish the season without getting benched. :) :) :)

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
4:09 pm

Boo Brees September 24th, 2012 3:41 pm

Philly.com…….. blog quotes from Eagle fans……….
” Vick Sucks”……. “Vick can’t read defenses”…… ” Vick is a turnover machine” …….
” Vick holds on to the ball too long” ……. ” We traded the wrong QB 3 yrs ago”……..
” Is anyone else tired of Vick?”……… ” Blow this team up” ……. ” Playoffs?”…….
” At least McNabb won playoff games”…….. ” We’re FU@#$%”…….
and last but no least……….. wait for it……….. ” The Mike Vick Experiment is OVER”
LOL, Philly has spoken!! Dude is washed up!!
**********************************************
Wow, now somebody understands why I wanted Schaub under center in Atlanta.

reprinted without permission:
“Right now we’re with Michael. We’ll evaluate it as we go,” Reid said, via CSNPhilly.com.

This wasn’t just coachspeak. Reid knows exactly how those words will play in Philadelphia and in Vick’s noggin. You don’t hear Bill Belichick say he’ll “evaluate” Tom Brady. John Fox doesn’t say Peyton Manning is his quarterback “right now.”

It might seem unfair to compare Vick to those two players, but those are the expectations. Vick earns $12.5 million this year and $15.5 million next year. That’s assuming he’s even around next year.

Reid wouldn’t make this weak of an endorsement of Vick unless he had another option. Rookie Nick Foles was highly impressive in the preseason and Reid might want to take a look at him. It’s possible Foles would be a better option behind a leaky offensive line.

Vick has officially been “hit” 28 times this year, which is the highest number of the NFL. The FOX broadcast counted 21 hits for him on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, which is an outrageous number. The offensive line deserves a lot of the blame, but Vick’s decision-making is part of the problem. He’s accounted for four touchdowns this year and turned the ball over nine times.

If Vick doesn’t turn that ratio around, Reid’s evaluation will only get tougher.

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
4:17 pm

Your’re right eric, you might be crazy unless you want to talk about barbeque,, I’m tellin ya that guy knows more about barbeque,, hey JSS, did i tell you about the Boston Butt I smoked yesterday while the Falcons were kicking the crap out of the Chargers,,, man it was good!! LOL

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
4:17 pm

Vick, like Tebow, had his one glory playoff win, but he is about to get replaced by Nick Foles…LOL. Yea, we should have had Matty Schaub under center, but had we done that, we would have had a riot…But it is very apparent now who is the better QB option…But thats OK, I love the other Matty. He will heal this city.

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
4:17 pm

Your’re right eric, you might be crazy unless you want to talk about barbeque,, I’m tellin ya that guy knows more about barbeque,, hey JSS, did i tell you about the Boston Butt I smoked yesterday while the Falcons were kicking the crap out of the Chargers,,, man it was good!! LOL

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
4:17 pm

Vick, like Tebow, had his one glory playoff win, but he is about to get replaced by Nick Foles…LOL. Yea, we should have had Matty Schaub under center, but had we done that, we would have had a riot…But it is very apparent now who is the better QB option…But thats OK, I love the other Matty. He will heal this city.

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
4:19 pm

Wow,, how did i do that,, posting in Clusters as Sonny would say,, LOL

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
4:22 pm

A lot of stats go out the window when it’s a division opponent but here is where the Panthers rank:

Panthers Offense
PTS 17.3 (29th) YDS 363.7 (13th) PASS YDS 267.3 (11th) RUSH YDS 96.3 (19th)

Panthers Defense
PTS 26.3 (24th) YDS 383.0 (24th) PASS YDS 243.7 (18th) RUSH YDS 139.3 (26th)

Hey, look who leads the league in Total Offense: How bout them Kansas City Chiefs!!!!!

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
4:25 pm

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

Faldawg

September 24th, 2012
4:29 pm

@choke You can really let go of the whole “no playoff wins” argument. Average age of quarterbacks when they win there first superbowl throughtout NFL history is 29.9. Matt Ryan is 27 years old bro. Even if they dont win it all this year, we are in position to compete for a superbowl for the next 5-10 years, and that is a GREAT place to be…… suck it hater

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
4:31 pm

BigHittas

September 24th, 2012
3:41 pm
LOL!
Ron Mexico still tossing picks and coughing it up. What a shady bum. Next thing you know he’ll be giving Philly fans the finger. Somebody needs to tell him to cut back on the weed to three times a week.

Go Angry Birds!!!

_____________________________________

Technically The Angry Birds signed up with the Eagles….

But the Falcants still endorsements because they SUCK is no surprise….ha ha :)