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

Boo Brees

September 24th, 2012
6:04 pm

……. I hate Vick more than my mother-in-law……..

Those people in Philly just tickle me!!

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
6:04 pm

@ Choke
last playoff win for Vick was_________ only playoff win right? Lol, hush clown…
@JSS
you overmatched little angry man…dont let JSS is a troll get back on…your post only make sense to you and the little trolls running around in the basement! Lol. Spread more pixy dust! Lol. We will continue to feel sorry for you…looks like JS not going to save you today….how bad does it hurt? How angry are you ……what happened to the post you were crying about? Sad little angry man!

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
6:05 pm

VICK GAME WINNING 4TH & GOAL VS CAROLINA

http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=241218001

Did my eyes deceive me?……

HA HA HA :)

Okay folks I can go on and on……the defense rests :)

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
6:07 pm

The past is the past Choke…the future is now…you cant talk to me about MV7…i wish good things for him…as for the past being the present JSS looks like you saying we get to the Super Bowl again …..you remember the past correct?

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 24th, 2012
6:10 pm

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
6:11 pm

Nice little rant there MCR,, take a break big guy,, LOL

JSS

September 24th, 2012
6:12 pm

Answer this
September 24th, 2012
6:07 pm
“as for the past being the present JSS looks like you saying we get to the Super Bowl again …..you remember the past correct?”

Mythbusters is on Discovery.com

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
6:13 pm

I wonder what the record is for a quarterback turning the ball over in the first 3 games of a season,, JSS, help us out here,, you’re Mr Know it All, LOL

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
6:14 pm


Vick is terrible tyrone, its easy to guess why you think he is the man. He is not in the top 20 in the league and just got his A kicked by Kevin Kolb.
— Sidewinder7

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0 like this / 0 don’t • Posted 5:50 PM, 09/24/2012
@Tyrone… Sorry cant blame this all on the O-Line. Vick was trending downward since last year and when the O-line was intact this year, he still gave up massive turnovers.

Law of diminishing returns…Vicks days are numbered.
— Professor1982

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-eagles/Reid-endorses-Vick-but-says-of-QB-change-Well-evaluate-it-as-we-go.html#ixzz27QbBoOer
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else – :mrgreen:

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
6:16 pm

good by Michael Vick!!! don’t unpack those boxes at your new house…hopefully you will be moving on really soon.
— pennyrobinson

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-eagles/Reid-endorses-Vick-but-says-of-QB-change-Well-evaluate-it-as-we-go.html#ixzz27QbYqe00
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else – :razz: :mrgreen:

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
6:17 pm

Send the dog murderer and Andy packing! Their days are over and they proved that in the first three games. Vick was a mess yesterday. He held the ball too long too many times. He led the team into the loss and did nothing to make a comeback. The first two weeks they were lucky they won. Vick and Andy are the common link between all three games. Send them packing!!!!
— newzeegal

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-eagles/Reid-endorses-Vick-but-says-of-QB-change-Well-evaluate-it-as-we-go.html#ixzz27QboAwkd
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else – :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz:

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
6:17 pm

Send the dog murderer and Andy packing! Their days are over and they proved that in the first three games. Vick was a mess yesterday. He held the ball too long too many times. He led the team into the loss and did nothing to make a comeback. The first two weeks they were lucky they won. Vick and Andy are the common link between all three games. Send them packing!!!!
— newzeegal

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-eagles/Reid-endorses-Vick-but-says-of-QB-change-Well-evaluate-it-as-we-go.html#ixzz27QboAwkd
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else – :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz:

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
6:19 pm

Doesn’t the short bus run a little later than the regular school bus routes?

Boo Brees

September 24th, 2012
6:19 pm

My bad dude! I had no idea what I was starting with the Philly.com thing. I swear I have no control over the brown paper bag guy and his posting of Eagles fans thoughts about the Great One. Can’t blame them though, the guy sucks!

PHILLY HAS SPOKEN!!!!!

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 24th, 2012
6:21 pm

Boo Brees

September 24th, 2012
6:19 pm

My bad dude! I had no idea what I was starting with the Philly.com thing. I swear I have no control over the brown paper bag guy and his posting of Eagles fans thoughts about the Great One. Can’t blame them though, the guy sucks!

PHILLY HAS SPOKEN!!!!!
That mess was so funny, I had to post them ! :wink: :mrgreen:

LOL at The Aints

September 24th, 2012
6:23 pm

I say well done,,

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
6:27 pm

September 24th, 2012
6:07 pm
“as for the past being the present JSS looks like you saying we get to the Super Bowl again …..you remember the past correct?”

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

The past? Isn’t that like yesterday when the Caints lost to a team we beat. Yesterday, like when the Falcons wiped the floor with the high octane San Diego Chargers….. yeah, that’s the past.

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
6:29 pm

Mythbusters is you admitting wrong and failure in your picks! KABOOM!

PlanB

September 24th, 2012
6:31 pm

That MR could take a 4-12 team in his first 4 years to 3 playoff seasons with the coordinators we had is phenominal.

JSS

September 24th, 2012
6:32 pm

1978 SF 49ers, Steve DeBerg… 13 turnovers in the first 3 games… You are a crazy stalker…

JSS

September 24th, 2012
6:34 pm

Kaboom is that stuff in your colon…

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
6:38 pm

Seriously, does anybody ever clink on the links provided by the trolls?

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
6:38 pm

JSS please lets talk about football and your picks I dont want to take shots at you, you get enough shots at the doctors office. Lets talk about your picks for the last two weeks…..what you got to say? WHAT?! Admit failure angry man! Admit it!

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
6:40 pm

And who gives a fudge about 1978….i was 8 years old clown!

JSS

September 24th, 2012
6:48 pm

You asked the question stupid, oops but this is the moron saying “stick to football.”

JSS

September 24th, 2012
6:51 pm

So you’re actually over 40 and that trifling, guess the old saying is true… Newt Gingrich has a twin…

JSS

September 24th, 2012
6:52 pm

What picks? Are you confused again?

Wannabees

September 24th, 2012
7:07 pm

Falcants win the first round of the playoffs then talk about the Saints!!!! It’s funny how the falcants are still not getting any love from the sports channels 3-0. The Saints are 0-3 and still getting more coverage. We will support our team unlike your sorry fans no paper bags ever again!!!!SAINTS FOR LIFE!!!! The Falcants will forever be WANNABEES!!!!!

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:07 pm

You talking about 1978….its 2012….did you not pick the chargers and Denver……Med time angry man.

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:09 pm

You still cant put a sentence together put a “s” on that…..angry man……stick to your picks what did you pick the last two weeks clown munch!?

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:11 pm

BTW we talking Falcon football 2012….not Steve Deberg and 1978….what the fudge does that have to do with the Angry Birds …..little angry man!? You are a clown!

Boo Brees

September 24th, 2012
7:12 pm

@ Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

Anyone with a sense of humor can appreciate it, good stuff!!!

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:13 pm

The answer is no…

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:14 pm

I haven’t picked a regular season game since 2009…

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:18 pm

7 interceptions + 6 fumbles lost = 13, Steve DeBerg – 1978…

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:20 pm

Refresher for an idiot to busy trying construct putdowns to read…

LOL at The Aints
September 24th, 2012
6:13 pm
“I wonder what the record is for a quarterback turning the ball over in the first 3 games of a season,, JSS, help us out here,, you’re Mr Know it All”

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
7:20 pm

Sad, have discovered a vid of Matt “CHOKE” Ryan. We might should cut the mongoloid child some slack. We know it’s obvious but the juvenile is truly afflicted.

http://tinyurl.com/3z8jfha

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:24 pm

You little angry man are a flat out fraud and liar! You choose the Chargers over the Falcons you lying sack! And again what the fudge does Steve Deberg of 1978 have to do with the Birds of 2012? Med time nurse!

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:25 pm

I am talking Falcons clown munch not a convo you having with others! NURSE MED TIME!

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:26 pm

Stay off of google! We know you good at goggling stats munch man!

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:29 pm

You finished little angry man…..not worth that stuff on my sneakers! MED TIME NURSE! I would put you down like JSS is a troll has done for the last few days but you don’t need anymore…..tell me where it hurts! Silly little angry man! Lol.

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:30 pm

Ha ha, you can’t find any evidence of me making picks and now you’re in the corner of your padded room hollering “Liar!”

Hey GEICO guy, your words are hurtful… Ha ha, you can storm off now!

ijonathan

September 24th, 2012
7:35 pm

Answer this…as I recall, JSS never gives you an “outright pick” on a game…he’s too good for that. He’s more nuanced, see. You can never truly understand JSS, he’s kind of like the anonymous, blogger version of the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent. And not able to be pinned down to any one team, any one city, any one country, or any one…prediction.

After all, you can’t spell “Jesus” without J-S-S.

Instead, JSS will tell you things like…”the Falcons are going to have real difficulty stopping the run” or “talk to me after a 5-hour flight to the west coast following a Monday Night game” or “Decoud can’t cover anybody and is always out of position” (all of those quotes are made up…so don’t bother calling me on them JSS.) So perhaps you thought JSS predicted the Falcons would lose…he merely wanted to give that strong impression without actually pinning himself down to anything that could later be used against him.

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:36 pm

You mean if you could take the time to change user-name?

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:38 pm

ijonathan,,,
You mean like your great defense of Michael Jenkins back in January 2011?

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:39 pm

@IJONATHAN
Thank you for clearing that up for me…..is that how cowards hide?
@JSS
Apologies for saying something that was not true…you just hide behind filter post so you can keep your want to be smartness….heheheheheheh. dude you are the official loser! So go ahead and give us the wannabe post and goggle stats for this week……little angry man…

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:40 pm

“he’s kind of like the anonymous, blogger version of the Most Interesting Man in the World.”

No, that would be Dos Equis on the Hawks Blog… Not your beat…

ijonathan

September 24th, 2012
7:42 pm

I don’t recall what I may or may not have said about Jenkins back in January 2011. I assume it was around the time of the Green Bay debacle. If you’ve got something specific, share it. Go pull it off your cray blogging supercomputer.

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:42 pm

I only wish I kept post like little angry man because I do remember him saying those exact things….hard to stop the run, Rivers big day, Chargers better D than Denver……this guy is something else. Where the heck is that nurse!? NURSE MEDS!

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:42 pm

@ 7:39P…

#StalkerliaronAJCblogs on Twitter