Matt Ryan

Atlanta Falcons
Quarterback #2
Atlanta Falcons
Quarterback #2
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Matt Ryan News

Supporting cast strong post-Julio

Ryan still has a strong group of pass-catching options to target following the Falcons' trade of Julio Jones, Scott Blair of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: In addition to Calvin Ridley and 2020 breakout Russell Gage to turn to at wideout, Ryan will have an expected star addition at tight end in the form of 2021 first-round pick Kyle Pitts. That trio, plus Hayden Hurst at No. 2 tight end, should give Ryan plenty of options to turn to even without the star power of Jones at the top of the depth chart. With that in mind, it wouldn't be surprising if new Falcons head coach Arthur Smith decided to utilize two tight end sets early and often this season.

Jun 10, 2021 9:12 AM EST

Optimistic on head coach transition

Ryan said Wednesday that he's spoken to new head coach Arthur Smith "a handful of times," and he remains excited about the opportunity to work with the new coaching staff, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Ryan is optimistic about Atlanta's transition to an offensive-minded head coach, tabbing Smith as extremely smart and "a really good fit" for what the Falcons currently need atop the organizational hierarchy. The veteran signal-caller is also taking a realistic stance about where he stands in his professional career, noting that he will be a professional and the best teammate possible if the Falcons decide to select a quarterback in April's upcoming draft. With Ryan and Atlanta coming off a third consecutive losing season, there remains a distinct possibility the organization brings in Ryan's successor with the No. 4 overall pick.

Feb 3, 2021 4:11 PM EST

Scores three times in Week 17 loss

Ryan completed 29 of 44 pass attempts for 265 yards and two touchdowns, adding a one-yard rushing TD over three carries during Sunday's 44-27 loss to the Buccaneers.

Analysis: Roles were reversed from the division rivals' Week 15 showdown, as Ryan and the Falcons found themselves in a significant halftime deficit. Ryan rallied his team from 13 points down, helping Atlanta cut Tampa Bay's lead to three points on two separate occasions in the second half. However, the Falcons were unable to score on their final two possessions, as Tom Brady and the Buccaneers mounted 14 unanswered points to close out the regular-season finale. Ryan's 4-12 starting record from 2020 ties the worst of his career, but $23 million of base salary going into next season reduces flexibility in potentially moving him. There's no telling what the incoming general manager and head coach will consider Ryan to be at this phase of his career, rendering his long-term future with the organization tentative. With Ryan entering his age-36 season, Atlanta may consider adding his potential replacement sooner rather than later.

Jan 3, 2021 2:58 PM EST

Shoulders fourth straight loss

Ryan completed 27 of 35 pass attempts for 300 yards and two touchdowns during Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Chiefs.

Analysis: Ryan also put the ball on the ground with a second fumble in his past four starts, after Alex Okafor sacked him during the first quarter. The veteran quarterback recovered possession, however, en route to his second consecutive turnover-free start. The 2016 MVP has composed a 5:0 TD:INT over the past two weeks, while Atlanta's final nine-play, 54-yard drive placed the team in position for a game-tying kick Sunday before Younghoe Koo missed just his second attempt over 37 tries this year. Ryan's individual play is at least trending in a positive direction as the team heads into its 2020 finale, on the road against Tampa Bay.

Dec 27, 2020 2:43 PM EST

Offense quieted in second half

Ryan completed 34 of 49 pass attempts for 356 yards and three touchdowns, adding a 16-yard rush during Sunday's 31-27 loss to the Buccaneers.

Analysis: Ryan's Week 15 TD:INT was much more presentable than the 1:3 stat line he posted during last Sunday's loss to the Chargers, which consisted of a dreadful late-game effort of two picks over his final four attempts. The 2016 MVP came out red-hot with a pair of TD passes in the opening 23 minutes of regulation, but Atlanta went on to be outscored 31-10 in the second half. Ryan's Falcons have dropped four of their past five games, though, for invested fantasy GMs, at least the 35-year-old was capable of three-plus TDs and no INTs for the third time this season.

Dec 20, 2020 1:57 PM EST

Pair of late picks prove costly

Ryan completed 21 of 32 pass attempts for 224 yards, throwing one touchdown and three interceptions during Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Chargers.

Analysis: The 2016 MVP was dreadful in crunch time, throwing two interceptions within a string of four pass attempts in the final four minutes of regulation. Though Ryan has been contending with a third straight losing season since the Falcons jumped out to an 0-5 start, he'd be relatively disciplined in the INT column coming into Sunday, committing just eight over his first 12 appearances of 2020. Week 14 marked his first three-pick performance of the year, and the third time over his past four outings Ryan has been held to one or fewer passing TDs. The 35-year-old now heads into the first of two late-season matchups against Tampa Bay in Week 15.

Dec 13, 2020 5:03 PM EST

Another subpar day against Saints

Ryan completed 19 of 39 pass attempts for 273 yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 21-16 loss to New Orleans.

Analysis: Ryan endured a sluggish two-interception performance when these division rivals met two weeks ago, and again he was unable to lead his team back Sunday despite a cleaner showing on the stat sheet (albeit with just a 48.7 percent completion rate). The 2016 MVP heaved an end-zone attempt to Julio Jones on a 4th-and-9 from New Orleans' 20-yard line with 1:36 to go, but the ball deflected off the fingertips of his receiver while P.J. Williams and Marcus Williams contested in coverage. Ryan owns a 17:8 TD:INT on the season as the 4-8 Falcons move into a Week 14 matchup against the struggling Chargers.

Dec 6, 2020 3:34 PM EST

Pair of TD throws in blowout win

Ryan completed 22 of 39 pass attempts for 185 yards, throwing two touchdowns and committing one interception during Sunday's 43-6 win against the Raiders. He also registered five yards on his lone carry.

Analysis: Ryan and the Falcons continue to enjoy new life under interim coach Raheem Morris, now reaching a 4-2 record since the firing of Dan Quinn. Ryan hasn't exactly lit it up statistically during that span, as he's been held to two or fewer passing TDs in four of the six performances. The 35-year-old certainly prefers wins over lofty box score numbers, but it will be a challenging matchup next Sunday, taking on New Orleans for the second time in three weeks. Ryan completed just 51.4 percent of his passes, throwing two INTs and no TDs when the teams last met Nov. 22.

Nov 29, 2020 2:42 PM EST

Throws pair of picks in loss

Ryan completed 19 of 37 passes for 232 yards, throwing no touchdowns and committing two interceptions during Sunday's 24-9 loss to the Saints.

Analysis: Ryan was seldom afforded comfort in the pocket, as he absorbed 11 QB hits and an astronomical eight sacks during the divisional loss. The Falcons entered Sunday at a 3-1 record under interim coach Raheem Morris, while Ryan orchestrated an 8:2 TD:INT during that span with 318.5 yards per game through the air. Week 11 marks Ryan's first multi-INT performance of the 2020 campaign, while eight sacks taken against the Saints doubles his high previous season high. The four-time Pro Bowler has a chance to rebound in a Week 12 matchup against the Raiders' 25th-ranked pass defense.

Nov 22, 2020 2:30 PM EST

Scores three times via air in win

Ryan went 25-for-35 passing with 284 yards, three touchdowns and one interception during Sunday's 34-27 win against the Broncos. He added three rushes for 10 yards.

Analysis: Ryan enjoyed his second multi-TD performance of the past month, as Atlanta pushed its record to 3-1 under interim coach Raheem Morris with the victory over Denver. The four-time Pro Bowl signal-caller has endured five outings this season with one or zero TD passes, all coming since Week 3. His yardage outputs have remained steady for the most part, however, as he hasn't gone below 226 yards passing in any game while also averaging 305 yards per contest. Ryan put his foot on the gas pedal early on in Week 9, hooking up on first-half scores with Olamide Zaccheaus and Brandon Powell. A 21-yard TD at the 6:20 mark of the third quarter helped put Atlanta's lead out of reach. Ryan will now be able to rest up over the Falcons' Week 9 bye before returning Nov. 22 against familiar foe New Orleans.

Nov 8, 2020 2:42 PM EST

Solid showing despite key absence

Ryan completed 21 of 30 passes for 281 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in the Falcons' 25-17 win over the Panthers on Thursday night. He also rushed six times for 27 yards and a score.

Analysis: Despite losing Calvin Ridley to an ankle injury in the first half, Ryan put together a solid performance against a Panthers defense that had played particularly well on its home field. The 35-year-old started off hot with a seven-play, 72-yard march and never really cooled off, connecting with Julio Jones on seven occasions for 137 yards and also occasionally utilizing tight end Hayden Hurst as a complementary target once Ridley exited. Ryan also notched his first first rushing touchdown of the campaign on 13-yard scramble in the second quarter, helping make up for his third game without a score through the air this season. Ryan did also record a season-low number of pass attempts with the Falcons defense playing much better than usual, a development that could actually cap the 13-year veteran's overall numbers if it persists by preventing Atlanta from having to constantly play catch-up. Ryan will look to stay hot in a Week 9 interconference road matchup versus the Broncos on Sunday, Nov. 8.

Oct 29, 2020 8:48 PM EST

Team drops to 1-6

Ryan went 31-for-42 passing with 338 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions during Sunday's 23-22 loss to the Lions. He also lost one fumble on the afternoon.

Analysis: Ryan has bounced back from a stagnant pair of outings Weeks 4 and 5, throwing for 709 combined passing yards and a 5:0 TD:INT over his past two appearances against Minnesota and Detroit. Though results on the stat sheet are encouraging, the fact remains that Atlanta sits at 1-6 thus far in 2020, and 15-23 in Ryan's 38 starts since the beginning of 2018. Upcoming next is a Thursday night matchup against Carolina, a team that knocked off the Falcons 23-16 in Week 5. The Panthers surrendered 27 points to New Orleans during Week 7, but prior to that Carolina had held opponents to an average of 19 points per game over its preceding four outings.

Oct 25, 2020 3:42 PM EST

Gets right against Vikings

Ryan went 30-for-40 passing with 371 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions during Sunday's 40-23 win against Minnesota. He also ran for eight yards on four carries.

Analysis: The 2016 MVP entered Sunday's contest with an anemic 1:2 TD:INT over his preceding three outings, but he played inspired football in his first game with Raheem Morris as Falcons head coach. The already-inexperienced Vikings cornerback group had to cope with starter Mike Hughes (neck) exiting early because of injury, and Ryan capitalized with his second four-TD performance of 2020. A Week 7 showdown with Detroit presents the opportunity to go up against former teammate Desmond Trufant (hamstring), but that's only if the veteran cornerback is healthy enough to make his third appearance of the season.

Oct 18, 2020 6:25 PM EST

Team cleared to return to facilities

Ryan and the Falcons were cleared to return to the team's facilities Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: The team was forced to have a virtual workout Thursday with defensive tackle Marlon Davidson and an assistant coach testing positive for COVID-19, but the subsequent negative tests from everyone else now allow the facility to reopen. Barring further developments, the Falcons' Week 6 matchup Sunday at Minnesota is set to be played as scheduled.

Oct 16, 2020 6:32 AM EST

Team expected to practice Friday

Ryan and the Falcons are expected to resume in-person practice Friday after the team opted for a virtual workout Thursday when an assistant coach was confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: After defensive tackle Marlon Davidson tested positive for the coronavirus Tuesday, the Falcons were able to hold their first practice under interim head coach Raheem Morris on Wednesday after other players and team personnel tested negative. Though a coach has now tested positive, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network relays that the Falcons were still given the option of reopening their facility later Thursday to resume practicing. Atlanta has chosen to wait until Friday to resume in-person workouts out of an abundance of caution, and as of now, the NFL has no plans to postpone the Falcons-Vikings game set for Sunday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Oct 15, 2020 8:31 AM EST

More turmoil in Atlanta

Ryan and the Falcons will be unable to practice in the immediate future, as the team has shut down it's facilities due to multiple positive tests for COVID-19, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: As the latest team to turn up positive tests, this puts the Week 6 matchup against Minnesota in jeopardy of being postponed, or at least delayed. Ryan and the Falcons already have plenty on their mind this week following the the firing of previous coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, so they'll have to face this pending COVID challenge under the new leadership of interim head coach Raheem Morris. It will be a situation worth monitoring for any fantasy players rostering members of either the Falcons or Vikings.

Oct 15, 2020 6:02 AM EST

Team owner noncommittal on future

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said that Ryan's future with the team will depend on what the team's new coach and GM wish to do at the quarterback position, Vaughn McClure of reports.

Analysis: With coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff having been relieved of their duties following an 0-5 start for the Falcons, Atlanta's future at quarterback is less than certain. Despite having a former MVP at the position, the fact remains that the Falcons have gone 14-22 over Ryan's 36 starts since the beginning of 2018. Patience paid off for the divisional rival Saints as the team stuck it out through three consecutive losing seasons with QB Drew Brees (2014-2016) before winning 11-plus games in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Ryan may not be so lucky if the Falcons hold a top-three draft choice this April, however, with Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields considered top-tier prospects at the QB position among the 2021 draft class.

Oct 12, 2020 7:46 PM EST

TD drought continues

Ryan completed 21 of 37 pass attempts for 226 yards, throwing no touchdowns and committing one interception during Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Panthers. He also fumbled once, but the loose ball was recovered by teammate Keith Smith.

Analysis: Since amassing six passing TDs and 723 passing yards on 90 attempts during the first two weeks of 2020, Ryan has managed 249 passing yards per game with just one total TD over his past three outings. In his past two starts, specifically, Ryan has no touchdown passes, handing the 2016 MVP his first such streak since Weeks 11 and 12 of his rookie campaign. Ryan has an opportunity to get right in his upcoming matchup against Minnesota, as the Vikings enter Sunday Night Football as a bottom-five pass defense with over 290 yards allowed per game through the air.

Oct 11, 2020 4:08 PM EST

Held to no TDs during MNF defeat

Ryan completed 28 of 39 attempts for 285 passing yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions during Monday's 30-16 loss to the Packers. He also registered 10 rushing yards on two carries.

Analysis: The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback has been contained on the stat sheet over his past two outings, after a strong Weeks 1 and 2 in which he threw for 723 combined yards and a 6:1 TD INT. Ryan has just one passing touchdown against the Bears and Packers the past two weeks, with Monday marking his fourth no-touchdown outing in 19 appearances since the start of last season. With his 0-4 Falcons desperate for a win, Ryan faces a Carolina defense Week 5 that has surrendered just 1.5 passing TDs per game this season, while ranking third-best in the NFL with 6.3 yards allowed per attempt.

Oct 5, 2020 9:27 PM EST

Inefficient Week 3 outing

Ryan was 19-for-38 passing with 238 yards, one touchdown, and one interception during Sunday's 30-26 loss to Chicago.

Analysis: The Bears only got to Ryan with two sacks on the afternoon, but the defense certainly made its presence felt in generating eight QB hits. After posting a 67.8 percent completion rate Weeks 1 and 2, the 2016 MVP hit on just half of his throws during Week 3 -- tied for his lowest completion percentage in a game since Atlanta's 2018 season opener. Ryan still has potential to put up gaudy numbers moving forward despite an off day against the Bears, as he's thrown an astronomical 42.7 pass attempts per game through three appearances this season. He'll face a Packers defense Week 4 that ranks near the bottom of the NFL with 8.7 yards allowed per pass through its first two outings of 2020.

Sep 27, 2020 4:23 PM EST

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