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

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
4:35 pm

MEMORY LANE

vs Cardinals………..DISTASTER

vs Packers……………EMBARRASSED

vs Giants………….HUMILIATED

Wake me when the 2nd round of the playoff starts…..ha ha :)

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
4:37 pm

What does CHOKE and Ryan Leaf have in common?

Franchise busts never to win a playoff game……ha ha :)

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
4:38 pm

Dang even Tebow won one playoff game…..ha ha :)

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
4:39 pm

How do you get CHOKE to do a disappearing act?

Tell him it’s the 1st round of the playoffs….ha ha :)

claucworc

September 24th, 2012
4:44 pm

Im an Eagles fan, that likes to see the Falcons do well.

That being said, I hope the Falcons faithful doesn’t smoke itself into too deep of a flash high but thats like hoping the sun doesn’t come up. Try saving some of that pride when your team really needs it when the heaters come out. You don’t get to play the AFC West all season. Getting Assante and Mike Nolan were two very good moves you guys made that will probably pay off. But the season is still young and you still have ur division to go through and you have to come see a very pissed off Philadelphia team for what you did to Vick last season.

Laughable

September 24th, 2012
4:47 pm

Jss, you have just taken the most horrible butt whipping I’ve ever seen on any blog……that guy destroyed you. To still be here makes you abnormal. It was so bad, i don’t even like you and feel sorry for you…………………NAH, I don’t.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
4:48 pm

30-24 48-21 24-2

(102-47)

No folks that is not the Mega Million Lottery numbers…..

HA HA HA :)

Faldawg

September 24th, 2012
4:51 pm

@claucworc When you say, “what we did to vick” are you referring to the legal hit that was placed on him causing him to fall into his own team mate, knocking him out, and causing to spit up blood because the guy is to cool to wear a proper mouthpeice or button his chin strap. Like many of the problems with Vick, I dont see how that is anyone’s fault but his own.

Boo Brees

September 24th, 2012
4:52 pm

….. ” and you have to come see a very pissed off Philadelphia team for what you did to Vick last season.”

Quote of the day right there!!!

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
5:02 pm

Cowards live in the past becuse they fear the future….

l

September 24th, 2012
5:04 pm

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:05 pm

0-3 and 2004 & counting :)

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
5:06 pm

@JSS
Where does it hurt man? All over or just one spot! LOL.

@ CHOKE
Really…..thats the best you got? After all of your talk about us getting beat in San Diego? Come now! As a matter of fact your blog privileges are suspended! You dont deserve to be on here anymore. No one is talking about last year less talk about 3 years ago. We talking about the present man! Please dude dont get on here with that crap you stinking it up and I can smell you from the other side of JSS and STB4!

JSS

September 24th, 2012
5:08 pm

Ha ha, why fear the future? Sorry to tell you the future is only mere reflections of the past… Only thing new is the engineering to make things possible…

JSS

September 24th, 2012
5:11 pm

Answer this
September 24th, 2012
5:06 pm
“@JSS, Where does it hurt man? All over or just one spot! LOL.”

It must be in your poisoned mind, cause for some reason my user-name is running around up there kicking the holy heck oUt of your every breathing thought…

JSS

September 24th, 2012
5:21 pm

Poor Eric, you guys always bring up Peyton, but always conveniently throw out the real counterweight: Ken O’Brien… He has more in common there then with Manning’s first 3 playoff appearances…

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
5:27 pm

Why do people fear the future? Because proves how wrong they were. Like MV7 was tounted as “revolutionizing” the QB position….(Like the QB of the future would not understand blocking schemes, lol). No, the future exposes us, and when you are afraid to be exposed, that is cowardice.

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
5:31 pm

On thing I agree on is we only have a limited number of playoff opportunities, so you do have to capitalize when you are there, but it takes a special player to keep getting back, year after year, despite past failures. That is the player that breaks through. I don’t remember Ken Obrien responding to losing playoff games by coming out looking like the best QB in the NFL the next season.

No, Ryan is doing what Vick never did, he is getting better.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:34 pm

0-3 and 2004 & counting…………

Sorry the facts don’t lieeeeeee :)

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
5:36 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!!
:cry: :cry: :grin: :razz: :mrgreen:

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:39 pm

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
5:27 pm
Why do people fear the future? Because proves how wrong they were. Like MV7 was tounted as “revolutionizing” the QB position

______________________________________________-

Russell Martin
Cam Newton
RG3
Aaron Rodgers
Christian Ponder
Andrew Luck
Alex Smith

All of those guys are mobile qbs that are all products of the path the Great Mike Vick set for them.

REVOLUTION BABY…..ha ha :)

CHOKE is being phased out as we speak….ha ha :)

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:42 pm

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
5:31 pm
On thing I agree on is we only have a limited number of playoff opportunities, so you do have to capitalize when you are there, but it takes a special player to keep getting back, year after year, despite past failures. That is the player that breaks through. I don’t remember Ken Obrien responding to losing playoff games by coming out looking like the best QB in the NFL the next season.

No, Ryan is doing what Vick never did, he is getting better.

____________________________________________-

If better means…………….

Zero playoff wins
Zero Championship game appearances
Less than 2 pro bowl appearances
3 Straight one and dones

Then CHOKE is the greatest ever…..ha ha :)

Flacco 5 CHOKE zero…..who messed up that draft?….ha ha.

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
5:43 pm

0 like this / 0 don’t • Posted 9:41 AM, 09/24/2012
WOW…Kolb completely outplayed and beat the fraud Vick…even last season Skelton the Arizona back-up completely outplayed and beat the loser Vick…LOL

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20120923_Cardinals_Kevin_Kolb_gets_the_better_of_the_Eagles.html#ixzz27QStZzBq
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Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:43 pm

3 LIFE GUARANTEES

DEATH

TAXES

CHOKE meltdown in the 1st round of the playoffs…..

HA HA :)

Jake

September 24th, 2012
5:43 pm

I sure do wish the falcons would wear the new black uniforms for once!

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:45 pm

Flacco 5 CHOKE 0

Vick 2 CHOKE 0

Tebow 1 CHOKE 0

CHOKE 0 Ryan Leaf 0

HA HA :)

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
5:46 pm


Vick just can’t read pass coverage or he is to short to see it….#24 has to sit on the bench and let 22 play….He is KILLING the secondary!!
— mainstreet

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0 like this / 0 don’t • Posted 6:39 AM, 09/24/2012
Eagles fans it’s going to be a long season knowing your team is going nowhere with the QB it has. LMAO Super Bowl my xxx
— mbutley

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0 like this / 0 don’t • Posted 6:55 AM, 09/24/2012
I am 48 years old and have followed the birds since I was 8. 40 years! Let’s face it they stink this year. Until Jeff Lurie realizes that penmalties, and turn overs are due to a lack of discipline and that we need a new head coach they are going to continue to STINK!!!!
— dshelly

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0 like this / 0 don’t • Posted 7:01 AM, 09/24/2012
if they would have put foles in, he’d have been knocked out of the game fast, just like kolb was 2 years ago.

with their offensive line in shambles, they need a mobile qb back there to run for his life.
— chadp123

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20120923_Cardinals_Kevin_Kolb_gets_the_better_of_the_Eagles.html#ixzz27QTy8maB
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Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:49 pm

VICK JERSEY INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2010/11/michael-vick.html

The defense rests…….ha ha.

Meanwhile CHOKE continues to get his jersey inducted into the HALL OF SHAME :)

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
5:50 pm

Idk, seems like Vince Young and Jamarcus Russll fit the Vick style of QB more than Aaron Rogers…..But I’ll give u cam, he’s looking like he got that MV7 quit inside him.

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
5:50 pm

Ah JSS is back for more,, I’ve got to handed it to you, you’re a Trooper LOL,,,

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
5:52 pm

0 like this / 0 don’t • Posted 8:26 AM, 09/24/2012
So that is what an NFL QB looks like, as we watch the Mike Vick Turnover Experience continue. O well, last year for ConVick, he’ll be cut and go back to Bad Newz Kennels.
— mikeyboy

So that is what an NFL QB looks like, as we watch the Mike Vick Turnover Experience continue. O well, last year for ConVick, he’ll be cut and go back to Bad Newz Kennels.
— mikeyboy

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Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:52 pm

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
5:54 pm

Hahahahahahaha!!! I love it! Can’t wait ’til Vick is carted off the field FOR GOOD! Keep them hits coming!
— The Dude Abides

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Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:54 pm

MIRACLE IN THE MEADOWLANDS PART II

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddTacY83qBk

You just can’t deny greatness…..

HA HA :)

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
5:55 pm

woo hoo!!! keep playing like this weekend Vick! don’t get too comfortable in your new house.
— pennyrobinson

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20120923_Cardinals_Kevin_Kolb_gets_the_better_of_the_Eagles.html#ixzz27QWU1RU3
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LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
5:56 pm

I actually tried to engage you in a conversation about Barbeque,, I guess you didnt like the part about the Falcons kicking the crap out of the Chargers LOL,, you’re no fun anymore,, LOL

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:57 pm

VICK LANDS LAMBEAU 1ST EVER PLAYOFF LOSS

http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=230104009

The records just keep coming…..

HA HA HA :)

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
5:57 pm

Maybe Ron Mexico had an outbreak.
— Captain Terrific

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20120923_Cardinals_Kevin_Kolb_gets_the_better_of_the_Eagles.html#ixzz27QWlfUrF
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LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
5:58 pm

What is that funky smell,,

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
5:58 pm

Oh its just MCR,, nevermind,, LOL

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
5:58 pm

WOW….Kolb completely outplayed the fraud Vick….LOL…LOL.
— phil500

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Boo Brees

September 24th, 2012
5:59 pm

LOL, I told ya so……

Vick is getting his wig split on the Eagles blog! Better strap your helmet on!

The people of Philly have spoken……..

The Mike Vick Eperience is OVER!!!!!

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
5:59 pm

VICK & FALCONS BLOWOUT RAMS IN 1ST ROUND 47-17

http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=230104009

Superman dons his cape yet again…..

HA HA :)

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
6:00 pm


VICK STINKS. We knew this. Time to accept and move on. Kolb never got a fair shake here either.
— Mr. Underhill

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0 like this / 0 don’t • Posted 10:38 AM, 09/24/2012
I hate Vick more than my mother-in-law.
— ej610

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LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
6:00 pm

And they paid Vick how much,, LOL,, they might as well have just put that money in a big pile and set in on fire,, LOL!!

JSS

September 24th, 2012
6:00 pm

“I don’t remember Ken Obrien responding to losing playoff games by coming out looking like the best QB in the NFL the next season.”

Man, where were you in 1986? O’Brien came out with on fire and the Jets went 10-1 to start the season… He was 8-1 at one stretch and missed two games the Pat Ryan led and won.They limped home 0-5. They promptly benched O’Brien and won a playoff game with Ryan under center against KC and then lost in Cleveland…

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
6:02 pm

VICK RUN OFF 46 TD VS VIKINGS IN OVERTIME

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62vbpWj3zOU

Oh no he didn’t…..

HA HA :)

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
6:02 pm

We will NEVER win a SB with Reid as our coach or Vick as our QB…period..end of statement.

— RealizticFan

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Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
6:03 pm

Classic Vick, he had a run, 10 years, 2 playoff wins….not exactly hof like we all expected…his clock is winding down just as ice is taking it to the next level, leading the nfl in QBR.

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
6:03 pm

Seems like Vick’s brother’s legal troubles were a distraction. Maybe Reid should have deactivated him this week.
— mjwilliams75

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