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

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:49 pm

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:51 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
That is some more heck of a self-diagnosis

JSS

September 24th, 2012
7:53 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
and for you it might be better if try…
#pleaseinsertenemainmy_ _ _ _ @ 7:49P

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
7:57 pm

And yet giu still get to blog…..silly little angry man…..dont have to take shots ……bloggers know who you are……and with that I am gone!
ALLRIGHT
ALLRIGHT
ALLRIGHT
NURSE MEDS!

JSS

September 24th, 2012
8:03 pm

Don’t blink, you might miss something…

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
8:04 pm

Only your stupidity……holla!

JSS

September 24th, 2012
8:05 pm

Like your diaper change…
Sponge Bob…
Hannah Montana re-runs…

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
8:06 pm

I have noticed that JSS does seem a little stressed this year, maybe he sees Mattys development and realizes what he might accomplish in the next 10 years. He also sees the end of the road for MV7. His world is crumbling.

JSS

September 24th, 2012
8:09 pm

@ 8:04PM… try this on because it fits you…
#Mybrainplaqueonlyisexceededbythatonmyteeth

JSS

September 24th, 2012
8:11 pm

@ 8:09P
And that effects me how? Thanks for the chuckle, the exchange rate on the peso maybe, pro football, not at all…

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
8:17 pm

Ok guys let JSS have the blog to self….he will think he won so let him have his fairy dust….night angry man….MNF is on!

JSS

September 24th, 2012
8:17 pm

Oops 8:06…

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
8:18 pm

MEDS!!!!¡!!!!!!!!!!!

JSS

September 24th, 2012
8:23 pm

Now little Poindexter, I know this might go over your head… I’m going to dinner with other grown folks… I stop back by around midnight to check on your 4 and half hours of tantrums and made up scenarios… Hope the enema helps…

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
8:25 pm

JSS has lost it. I am a somewhat worried about the little guy.

Answer this

September 24th, 2012
8:29 pm

So the nurses taking you to the cafeteria? Medicare pays for everything! They will put your sprinkles (meds dont let them tell you different )on top of your ice cream……we wont be be here! Hehehehehehhe.

JSS is a Troll

September 24th, 2012
8:48 pm

Oh, wow. What in the wide, wide world of miserable failure has gotten into poor, pitiful JSS the Troll?

More of the same, always the same. But unlike a broken clock, he’s not even right twice a day.

All he is, is a pitiful waste of humanity. All bile and venom and hate and anger. He’s “above all of us.” He doesn’t have a “team.” Having a favorite team is “below” him. It is for the normals. It is for all of those beneath his particular brand of mediocre brilliance.

He’s the kind of guy who bemoans the fact that no one else can appreciate him, appreciate his (lack of) wisdom, appreciate his ridiculous ability to google-search whatever half-truth stat he wants to prop-up whatever ridiculous statement he wants to make.

JSS the Troll… he’s the Cliff Clavin of Schultzie’s Blog. Well, an angrier, more pitiful, and less-sympathetic version of Cliff Clavin.

No one wants to be around him. No one likes him. He’s a professional and personal failure. He drones on and on and on about his own self-supposed brilliance, telling ALL of us how it “really is,” not realizing at all that absolutely no one takes him seriously. We just pity him.

Keep talking Cliffie. Keep talking. You’re a dullard. An angry, silly, miserable failure of a zero. And an internet Troll, the absolute lowest-common denominator of the human condition. You’re like if Cliff Clavin and Howard Wolowitz made a baby. And you wonder why, in the darkest corners of you mind, why you’ve been fired, why your coworkers can’t stand you, why your circle of friends shrinks, why no one appreciates you and all you “offer” the world.

Such a sad, sad, pitiful man. Such a waste of your completely average, President Not-Sure intelligence.

JSS is a Troll

September 24th, 2012
8:50 pm

Oh, wow. What in the wide, wide world of miserable failure has gotten into poor, pitiful JSS the Troll?More of the same, always the same. But unlike a broken clock, he’s not even right twice a day. All he is, is a pitiful waste of humanity. All bile and venom and hate and anger. He’s “above all of us.” He doesn’t have a “team.” Having a favorite team is “below” him. It is for the normals. It is for all of those beneath his particular brand of mediocre brilliance.

He’s the kind of guy who bemoans the fact that no one else can appreciate him, appreciate his (lack of) wisdom, appreciate his ridiculous ability to google-search whatever half-truth stat he wants to prop-up whatever ridiculous statement he wants to make.

JSS the Troll… he’s the Cliff Clavin of Schultzie’s Blog. Well, an angrier, more pitiful, and less-sympathetic version of Cliff Clavin. No one wants to be around him. No one likes him. He’s a professional and personal failure. He drones on and on and on about his own self-supposed brilliance, telling ALL of us how it “really is,” not realizing at all that absolutely no one takes him seriously. We just pity him.

Keep talking Cliffie. Keep talking. You’re a dullard. An angry, silly, miserable failure of a zero. And an internet Troll, the absolute lowest-common denominator of the human condition. You’re like if Cliff Clavin and Howard Wolowitz made a baby. And you wonder why, in the darkest corners of you mind, why you’ve been fired, why your coworkers can’t stand you, why your circle of friends shrinks, why no one appreciates you and all you “offer” the world.

Such a sad, sad, pitiful man. Such a waste of your completely average, President Not-Sure intelligence.

JSS is a Troll

September 24th, 2012
9:17 pm

Oh, poor, poor JSS the Troll

JSS the Troll is the guy who doesn’t understand why his coworkers avoid him, why his circle of friends continue to shrink, why it’s he, not the stupid others beneath him, who gets “downsized.”

JSS the Troll is like an angrier, more unlikable, less-intelligent, and far less sympathetic Cliff Clavin of Schultzie’s Blog.

He’s the guy who drones on and on and on with half-truths and almost-facts, spouting off to people who don’t give a crap what he has to say, to make himself feel better about the miserable professional and personal failures that have defined his life thus far.

What a sad, pitiful, lonely waste of humanity.

FalconsFan#13

September 24th, 2012
9:21 pm

Watchout NFL fans; Falcons Air Force is coming to a city near you!

DawgNole

September 24th, 2012
9:24 pm

Joey
September 24th, 2012
8:14 am

I asked “Choke” a serious question last season, that did he think that maybe it was Ryan’s OC who was holding him back, and he responded with some crap about Ryan’s “noodle arm” blah, blah.

Now we know by the fact that he can’t come on here to congratulate Ryan for his good play this season, he is just a troll.
______________________

Actually, we’ve know that for quite some time–certainly long before this season began.

JSS is a Troll

September 24th, 2012
9:25 pm

Also… who else sees right through his “better than everyone” schtick when he smugly comes on here, on a SPORTS BLOG, and like an arrogant so-and-so, announces that anyone who would deign to have any rooting interest in a sports team is some kind of a moron.

Thereby casting the rest of us simpleton sports fans down, to then receive the “brilliance” of his wisdom and knowledge, because he is so far above the rest of us.

JSS the Troll is the lowest common denominator of the human condition. He’s human tennis elbow. He’s the AT&T of people. He is the OPPOSITE of Batman.

DawgNole

September 24th, 2012
9:30 pm

Flacons R idiots
September 24th, 2012
9:22 am

Realy? Rayan? If U ask me I thing Flaco looks much more beter.
_____________________

Nobody “ask” you–because nobody cares what you think.

DawgNole

September 24th, 2012
9:48 pm

Esquire
September 24th, 2012
10:57 am

JSS
September 23rd, 2012
10:09 pm

Keeping feeding them opium, it makes the addiction harder to break… The stupidity level might actually surpass 2010…
*******************************************************
I’m certain you are the only one that knows what the heck you are talking about.
_________________________

I’m certain he’s the only one that cares what the heck he is talking about.

DawgNole

September 24th, 2012
10:02 pm

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
_____________________

KC, Denver, and San Diego–how many of these teams did your predict would beat the Falcons?

Thought so.

Matty Bicep

September 24th, 2012
10:20 pm

How many of these teams may make the playoffs? Might be all 3.

ijonathan

September 24th, 2012
11:57 pm

Wow, horrendous officiating tonight in Seattle. Makes the performance of the officials last Monday at the Georgia Dome look positively top notch.

Thomas Brown

September 25th, 2012
1:04 am

Matt Ryan has it going on with all these weapons.

Arrests, though, are making us look bad as we do not even suspend the players for the bad press when we are riding high.

Sounds like Georgia, to me – only at Georgia we are well past fed up with it and have let the players know.

________
Tyler Bray
________

Tyler Bray does not attempt to run like so many DISNEYdawgs.com posters say that Aaron Murray, can.

He cannot.

Tyler Bray in 20 games played has a grand total of 52 college rushing attempts.

Aaron Murray in 30 games played has a grand total of 193 college rushing attempts.

Tyler Bray is an NFL Quarterback. He might be a 1st Round Draft Pick.

Aaron Murray is not. And, will never throw a pass in the NFL – outside the top 100 in the draft.

Tyler Bray averages fewer rushing attempts per game than Aaron Murray is sacked per game.

Aaron Murray, despite the BS to the contrary, averages 1-yards per carry on his carrier of 7 carries a game. And, Tyler Bray does not have the 24 fumbles that Aaron Murray has either, since he does not even try to run the football.

We have Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall and Ken Malcome; what we do not need is for Aaron Murray to be a ball hog at the goal line instead of giving it to them instead. And, we certainly do not need Aaron Murray on a called running play.

___________________________________________________________
Now, the vols’ game is different; because the vols have no rushing offense and no rushing defense.
___________________________________________________________

So, because they have no rushing defense, little Aaron Murray will be looking to correct his stats. When his college career is over, he will have 40 fumbles and 1-yards per carry, and sooner rather than later, you need to get over typing online about his

_____________
DUAL-THREAT
_____________

He ain’t. Quit saying he is, or that he should be running designed running plays with what we have seen of our ability to prepare a back-up QB.

Thomas Brown

September 25th, 2012
1:08 am

Mark Richt is a better recruiter than coach

Only one winless team left in NFC

September 25th, 2012
1:55 am

After the way the Packers lost tonight, you know they are going to take it out on their opponent this Sunday. The Saints play at Green Bay on Sunday! 0-4.
RGIII is at Tampa, and the Birds simply need to take care of business in the Dome.
The Falcons could be sitting on a ridiculous 3 game lead over TB and Carolina, and 4 over winless Femaville! Sunday is the last day of September!
Right now the odds makers have ATL, TB, and GB as favorites. They also have the Eagles over the Giants! The Eagles are lucky they are not 0-3. I’d take the Giants in that game.

Eric C.

September 25th, 2012
3:12 am

Thomas Brown, please keep your UGA analyses on the UGA blogs…thanks.

Thomas Brown

September 25th, 2012
3:37 am

Eric C.

Sir, your post is not about football at all, sir.

Answer this

September 25th, 2012
6:56 am

Make sure I keep that quote JSS….

HUH?????

September 25th, 2012
8:13 am

ANOTHER Falcons player arrested. Reminds me of a certain second tier football school in Athens who has the same problem.

Must be a GA thing.

JSS

September 25th, 2012
8:20 am

(Another Fake) JSS
September 24th, 2012
11:21 pm
“Light up dudes, Falcants will blow next week.”

I see the name stealers were busy last night… My goodness, will you people ever learn to write?

“Falcants?” What the heck is that, an attempt at derision? Oh, I see further down that a moron commented on it… Yeah, you can keep it, you most likely posted it!

Answer this

September 25th, 2012
8:41 am

Woke up without your little green pills angry man? LOL. You did not say it you did not say it….lol. namecalling……little angry man…..o little angry man……..best you got? Is the button working? Keep pusing it the nurse will be there with meds soon!

JSS

September 25th, 2012
8:44 am

Look boss, the plane, the plane! So your enema failed huh?

Jeff Schultz

September 25th, 2012
8:57 am

Folks — You have a forum to be as bright, articulate or juvenile as you want in commenting. That’s what the idea of sports debate and this space is all about. But please, stick to your own screen names (one or multiple, I don’t care). Just don’t steal someone else’s screen name and comment as if you’re them. Otherwise, you risk being banned. Thanks. J.

HUH?????

September 25th, 2012
9:01 am

“please keep your UGA analyses on the UGA blogs”

Funny. Yesterday a certain UGA troll was trashing other teams on a Falcons blog and then claiming it was a UGA blog. Guess those remedial english classes aren’t working out well for UGA fans.

JSS is a Troll

September 25th, 2012
9:17 am

Looks like a certain someone is up trolling EARLY this morning.

Hey Cliffie, why don’t you sit down, grab a beer, reach deep into the recesses of your miserable failure of a life, and tell us some more how it is with your half-truths and almost-facts?

Because I know we’re all just DYING to read what you have to say, Clavin.

JSS

September 25th, 2012
9:29 am

Great self-analysis there, mad? Did you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar? Is your MUSNPD catching up with you?

JSS

September 25th, 2012
9:36 am

Hurry, get down to Emory and climb into a MRI or CAT scan machine so they can all the little synapse misfiring in your plaque deteriorated brain… There has to be a great neurological paper in there for some resident!

JSS

September 25th, 2012
9:58 am

That ain’t weed he’s smoking!

JSS

September 25th, 2012
10:00 am

Only poison that courses my veins is sweet iced tea… I just can’t kick that demon caffeinated syrup!

Answer this

September 25th, 2012
10:03 am

You need your meds little angry man! Cant kick those either! How about you kick yourself off the blog? You still here…………a non-fan by your own admission……..yet you still here…….wait for the joy of it right, you like to blog about things you dont care about! LOL. I see JS has come to your rescue once again……LOL. sad little angry man………so prepare us for this weeks analysis of the Panthers and Falcons……..tell us before hand how we dont have a chance……go ahead!

JSS is a Troll

September 25th, 2012
10:11 am

Oh, Cliff, are you now going to make an evaluation of someone else’s mental health?

Or Clavin, are you going to expound upon the wondrous ways Woody likes to use the wacky tobaccy to make clothes and shoes and such?

I mean, you’re such a font of almost-knowledge, please, wow us with some more, you petty, silly little miserable man.

JSS

September 25th, 2012
10:13 am

10:03 & 10:11…
They guys are a bit wack-a-doodle! ;-)

Why are y’all so wound up?

JSS

September 25th, 2012
10:16 am

If the Joker and the Riddler were not fantasy manifestations, we’d certainly know where to find them… Isn’t that right you wack-a-doodles?

Answer this

September 25th, 2012
10:35 am

Yeup you looking in the mirror and playing them both………..angry little man!

JSS

September 25th, 2012
10:39 am

is your little brother still playing that banjo?