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Matt Ryan calls his slide at the 6-yard line “the right play”

mattryan AP

In the second quarter of Thursday night’s loss to the Saints, Matt Ryan took off running on third-and-goal from the 10-yard line, picked up a few yards, and then gave himself up with a feet-first slide at the 6-yard line. The Falcons settled for a field goal on the next play, and some have questioned whether Ryan should have put his shoulders down and tried to break a tackle and score.

Ryan, however, says he did the right thing in that situation and would do it again.

“It was early in the game,” Ryan said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You’ve got to take the points. You’ve got to make the right play. I felt like that was the right play and you’ve got to take those three points. We have to trust that we’re going to continue to get down there and continue to score touchdowns. In that situation I felt like that was the right play.”

In a game the Falcons lost 17-13, it’s easy to go back and look at a situation in which Ryan settled for an easy three instead of taking a chance for seven and wonder what might have been. However, Ryan probably wouldn’t have been able to get to the end zone anyway, and he could have gotten hurt trying. Falcons coach Mike Smith would probably tell Ryan that if he’s in the same situation again, he should slide again.

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77 Responses to “Matt Ryan calls his slide at the 6-yard line “the right play””
  1. dwarftosser says: Nov 23, 2013 12:10 PM

    Once he started running, it was the right play. There was no way he was getting in the end zone, and it wasn’t worth the hit he was going to take to try.

  2. johnnyjagfan says: Nov 23, 2013 12:10 PM

    If he’d of ran through the tackle Mike Vick-style and gotten hurt, this story would read how reckless and short-sighted Ryan was for not sliding.

  3. 91devinhester23 says: Nov 23, 2013 12:10 PM

    same result as a sack, no point not to run around and try to get a td pass going

  4. mancave001 says: Nov 23, 2013 12:12 PM

    It was definitely the right call. I said it as soon as he slid.

  5. graymalkin26 says: Nov 23, 2013 12:12 PM

    That is why they are 2 and 9…real winners.

  6. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Nov 23, 2013 12:13 PM

    One on one inside the 10 yd line you should always try to score.

  7. bennyb82 says: Nov 23, 2013 12:15 PM

    I watched the replay and it was the right play. He was not going to be diving into the end zone or even the one. He was gonna get smacked. No point in taking that hit. It was a smart play to slide whether they are winless or undefeated.

  8. jh500 says: Nov 23, 2013 12:17 PM

    coward. even tom brady would have at least tried to juke that defender like he did to brian urlacher.

  9. jacobslatter says: Nov 23, 2013 12:18 PM

    Matty Ice still threw for 292 yards on 30/39 passing but no TDs which is a lot better than in recent times but was still sacked 5 times and Aints had 10 QB hits it’s good he slid to save himself early on in the game when the season was over in September but the draft is less than 1/2 a year away for help and free agency has to find an O-lineman anywhere except LG Justin Blalock who’s the only sure one to remain after this season. Every offensive lineman drafted since 2008 has blown big time including money man Sam Baker who’s all over the map in quality of play especially in 2011 & 2013 but injuries have ended his season. Lamar Holmes is a stone footed phatty phat phat.

  10. slizzyslizz says: Nov 23, 2013 12:18 PM

    Matt Ryan = Alex Smith with a tad better touch passing…

  11. novoodoo4409 says: Nov 23, 2013 12:19 PM

    Because he knew he was about to be rocked…..fact…

    Falclowns….lmao….forever SB ringless……

    2-9….at least we had an excuse last year with no HC….and we were still 7-9….

    We will have 2 SB rings before you even sniff the playoffs again….

    Stay classy,
    The Who Dat Nation

  12. pkrjones says: Nov 23, 2013 12:19 PM

    Unless it’s the last play of the Super Bowl a QB should NOT sacrifice his body for one play. Ask the Packers how important the starting QB is to a team and their season goals.

  13. iberiasaint says: Nov 23, 2013 12:20 PM

    Matty melt was be afraid of his big brother! He dat!

  14. gbwally says: Nov 23, 2013 12:20 PM

    Ya matty ice! What a (other name for cat).

  15. tdubdizzle says: Nov 23, 2013 12:22 PM

    This is why they suck.

  16. cursedvikings1998 says: Nov 23, 2013 12:23 PM

    Did anyone see Samuel L. Jackson’s reaction to that play? It was priceless. I had the same reaction. I thought, “WTF?”

  17. beavertonsteve says: Nov 23, 2013 12:25 PM

    I thought he might have been able to score, but I also thought there was a good chance he would get lit up and fumble.

  18. briang123 says: Nov 23, 2013 12:26 PM

    Ricky Watters called Matty Ice and told him “just say ‘for who? for what?'” and the whole thing will just go away and everyone will forget about it.

  19. ananonymoussource says: Nov 23, 2013 12:26 PM

    Matt Ryan lacks “want-it” and “the-will-to-win.”

  20. smokingconch says: Nov 23, 2013 12:28 PM

    Hated the play. He almost definitely wasn’t going to score, but by lowering a shoulder and trying for it, he would’ve fired up his teammates and the fans. Could have made a lot of difference late in the game.

  21. daytonaken says: Nov 23, 2013 12:29 PM

    Falcons coach Mike Smith would probably tell Ryan that if he’s in the same situation again, he should slide again.
    …and they would loose again. Ryan gotta make a play…

  22. gammynomnom says: Nov 23, 2013 12:30 PM

    And that’s why they are a terrible team with a soft QB who makes terrible decisions and a coach who has absolutely zero testes. God this team is a joke and their fans wonder when they do put together a good run why people don’t respect them or take them seriously.

    Your season was over before the game and you are still settling for 3s instead of showing your fans some dignity and fight.

    Fire everyone in that mudhole.

  23. steelersaregodsteam says: Nov 23, 2013 12:30 PM

    You will never be good enough.

  24. 33vikes says: Nov 23, 2013 12:31 PM

    Real easy to tell someone else to be the tough guy.

  25. dwatkins69 says: Nov 23, 2013 12:32 PM

    I am curious to know wny did he take off in the first place. He new he wasn’t going to make it into the endzone, so why run? Wasn’t like he was going to make the FG easier.

  26. ravenswhat says: Nov 23, 2013 12:33 PM

    Funny how people rag on Flacco and his contract yet say nothing about Ryan and his crappy record.

    I’m pretty sure Flacco would win more than 2 games with gonzo, roddy, and Julio catching rocks.

    Just pathetic.

  27. gammynomnom says: Nov 23, 2013 12:34 PM

    pkrjones says: Nov 23, 2013 12:19 PM

    Unless it’s the last play of the Super Bowl a QB should NOT sacrifice his body for one play. Ask the Packers how important the starting QB is to a team and their season goals.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    LOL, yea without the eliteness of Ryan behind center they may have only won two games so far…oh, wait.

  28. mediasloppy says: Nov 23, 2013 12:36 PM

    He was not going to make a TD and slid. Call him a coward if you want, because you’d be calling him an idiot if went for it and got hurt.

  29. doe22us says: Nov 23, 2013 12:38 PM

    There is a saying “discretion is the better part of valor”. Look it up. He wasn’t going to score any why take a nasty hit from two linebackers who were ready to tee off on him.

  30. Brian says: Nov 23, 2013 12:41 PM

    Maybe he doesn’t score, but maybe he gets close enough that it’s worth going for it on 4th down. Besides, this was pretty much the season for the Falcons–no chance for the playoffs and it’s the biggest rivalry game of the season on your home field. How do you slide in that situation?

  31. slobmykolb says: Nov 23, 2013 12:44 PM

    I’m a falcons fan n it was the right play n I only say that because at this point, why score n have a chance to win instead, slide lose and get that high draft pick. I also have Ryan on my fantasy team and would still rather he slide

  32. doubleogator says: Nov 23, 2013 12:46 PM

    Brees almost had his head taken off, got back up and played on, people calling him “soft”…Ryan didn’t even try to score with one defender in front of him, so what would you call that? “Cowardly”?

  33. keylimelight says: Nov 23, 2013 1:02 PM

    Had Ryan’s slide happened anywhere else on the drive, we’d probably all consider it smart–because it was smart given the injuries that running QBs have sustained this season.

    It’s too bad that it happened just yards from the goal line with his team behind in points. No guts, no glory applies here.

  34. keylimelight says: Nov 23, 2013 1:04 PM

    With the Falcons having no shot at the playoffs, Matt decided to live to fight another day. But, I would like to see the QB of my team to go for the score.

  35. wayupsouth says: Nov 23, 2013 1:07 PM

    The problem with the Falcons is Smitty coaches like Jim Mora used to coach. Just timid. Atlanta’s got way too much talent for that, even with the injuries. Not that us Saints fans are complaining….

  36. lbijake says: Nov 23, 2013 1:08 PM

    ananonymoussource says:
    Nov 23, 2013 12:26 PM

    Matt Ryan lacks “want-it” and “the-will-to-win.”

    ——————————————————
    He is definitely not half the man you are. How is your fantasy football team doing?

    Quantcast

  37. nirvana504 says: Nov 23, 2013 1:13 PM

    Drew Brees would have scored

  38. noahbird says: Nov 23, 2013 1:15 PM

    Got to live to lose another day.

    – George Washington

  39. thundastormz says: Nov 23, 2013 1:23 PM

    Cam Newton > Matty Ice….throwing and running.

  40. imjinrat says: Nov 23, 2013 1:27 PM

    Right play or not, wouldn’t you rather have a quarterback who goes for the end zone?

  41. asseenonokra says: Nov 23, 2013 1:35 PM

    Matty Spice screams like Ned Flanders.

  42. tdshouldbeinthehall says: Nov 23, 2013 1:35 PM

    Why do they call him Matty ice? He lacks FIRE!

  43. mancave001 says: Nov 23, 2013 1:36 PM

    Hilarious. The same people who rip Vick for sacrificing his body are now criticizing Ryan for being smart. No way he was going to score. No way you take that risk in the 2nd quarter of a game when you’re 2-8 going in. If it was the playoffs or the SB and it’s the 2nd half, that’s different. Just way too much risk for the situation.

  44. maninbrown says: Nov 23, 2013 1:37 PM

    I’ll bet Tony Gonzales is glad he un-retired to come back for this great season with the Falcons.

    Flacco > Ryan

  45. mizzousooner says: Nov 23, 2013 1:44 PM

    .
    Irrelevant.

    Atlanta’s season has been over since about week 3.

  46. nflunbiased says: Nov 23, 2013 1:46 PM

    Matt Ryan is a better than average qb and that’s it. He is not a “winner” either. On that play, he had one guy to beat. Even thought he doesn’t have much speed, he has to go for it. Most “winners” would. If he had 3 guys in close, hot pursuit I understand, go to the ground. One challenger, you have to try to shake him. It’s not like he’s never faked anyone out…unless you include the people who think he’s a high caliber QB.

  47. chut26 says: Nov 23, 2013 1:47 PM

    “For who? For what?”

    -Ricky Watters

  48. derekgorgonstar says: Nov 23, 2013 1:52 PM

    When the going gets tough, quit.

  49. bobsnygiants says: Nov 23, 2013 2:22 PM

    time for him to be traded

  50. thebirdofprey2 says: Nov 23, 2013 2:25 PM

    I don’t know about it being the right play but why isn’t anyone calling out WR Harry Douglas? He caught 9 balls and probably gave him self up and slide on 7 of those catches. Some of them the defender is 3 yards away from him.

    I know he is not the biggest guy but try get a few of those hidden yards. To me that is far weaker than a QB sliding.

  51. farminfool says: Nov 23, 2013 2:37 PM

    Say what you want about him but Ponder dives for the touchdown.

  52. weepingjebus says: Nov 23, 2013 2:40 PM

    I admit I snickered when I watched it live, mostly because it seemed like he slid too early. But if he’d gotten flattened and fumbled, there goes everything. The real question was why even bother in the first place if you’re not going to score anyway.

  53. raymondtx says: Nov 23, 2013 2:43 PM

    Did John Elway slide feet first in their first super bowl victory? I am sure everyone remembers him diving and gettin upended. I am certain it fired his whole team up at the time. Those are winning/defining plays. The fact that Matt Ryan “would do it again” even knowing the outcome says all you need to know as to why he will never be up there with the elite QBs.

  54. borg9 says: Nov 23, 2013 2:47 PM

    Matt Stafford would’ve tried to score there.

  55. jmcneill1961 says: Nov 23, 2013 3:12 PM

    Ryan made the right play. There were two DBs bearing down and he would have been rocked, with a possible fumble and/ or injury. Ryan isn’t Vick, so a “juke” to get past the DBs for a TD was fantasy.

  56. dodohead418 says: Nov 23, 2013 4:01 PM

    He is not getting hit, so of course it is the right play if you do not risk injury to your QB!

  57. thegreatgabbert says: Nov 23, 2013 4:04 PM

    It was the called play. “Curl, Fetal Ball, Right”.

  58. sakit3 says: Nov 23, 2013 4:20 PM

    johnnyjagfan says: Nov 23, 2013 12:10 PM

    If he’d of ran through the tackle Mike Vick-style and gotten hurt, this story would read how reckless and short-sighted Ryan was for not sliding.

    …But if all that happened, and his TD was the game winner, this story would read how much Ryan is a hero who sells out for his team.

  59. tahnoonzee says: Nov 23, 2013 4:20 PM

    Don’t worry, Matt Ryan was being a good boy and obeying direct orders from Vegas.

  60. walnuts76 says: Nov 23, 2013 4:29 PM

    He made the right choice. Matty ice knows the falcons can’t beat the far more talented SAINTS. Matty showed the falcons have no heart and are play’n for draft picks now.

  61. tincansailor981 says: Nov 23, 2013 4:29 PM

    No fan of Atlanta but I can’t criticize the play. Saints defenders were going to blow his ass up and possibly injure him had he tried to run it in. Wise of Melted Ice to settle for the three and try to score on the next series.

  62. walnuts76 says: Nov 23, 2013 4:37 PM

    No heart

  63. baltimoresnativeson says: Nov 23, 2013 4:45 PM

    No heart. He will never win the big one. Said it 5 years ago.

  64. walnuts76 says: Nov 23, 2013 4:55 PM

    Great comment novoodoo!

  65. jpb12 says: Nov 23, 2013 5:00 PM

    Business decision

  66. bmorefalcon says: Nov 23, 2013 5:06 PM

    Given that the Saints are proven cheaters who have to try and injure their opponents players in order to win, I would have slid as well.

    Those coaches and players did not get suspended last year because of good sportsmanship.

  67. qdog112 says: Nov 23, 2013 5:12 PM

    “Gotta take the 3 points” What does that mean? If he failed to get in after trying, the FG was still available. Does he know the rules? Does he think not sliding takes a down away?

    I’m with Sam Jackson on this. Pathetic!!!

  68. seahawks12thman says: Nov 23, 2013 5:29 PM

    The quarterback of a team who was a superbowl favorite in the beginning of the year and his team being 2-7 takes that hit. Gotta take one for the team and at least try and get that TD.

  69. imjinrat says: Nov 23, 2013 6:52 PM

    A Championship QB tries to score there. So, I guess for him, it was the right thing.

  70. bradwins says: Nov 23, 2013 7:12 PM

    How is this even an issue. So dumb. Not sliding had a 0% chance of resulting in a TD and a 75% chance of ending in an injured QB or a turnover.

  71. mrlaloosh says: Nov 23, 2013 7:29 PM

    I’m always amused by the bandwagon Atlanta fans making excuses for their underachieving team. Remember, y’all actually played in a Super Bowl once last century. RISE UP? Bwa-HaaHaHaaaa!

  72. gammynomnom says: Nov 23, 2013 9:07 PM

    Tim Tebow would have scored.

  73. theheyseed says: Nov 23, 2013 9:56 PM

    you bunch of Mom’s basement pro bowl champs calling him a wimp are pretty sad. You would mess your spandex pants if a punter yelled at you, no telling what you would do with an NFL linebacker trying to rip your head off. Ryan did the smart thing. I haven’t looked but I bet you were the same people saying that RGIII was stupid for trying too hard and getting hurt.
    You guys need to go back to watching Ophra

  74. liquidmuse says: Nov 23, 2013 10:03 PM

    Would Tom Brady, pre-Super Bowl wins, have taken that slide? I think we all know the answer to that.

  75. steves11 says: Nov 23, 2013 10:13 PM

    “Matty Ice still threw for 292 yards on 30/39 passing”

    That sounds a lot better than it really was. Most of those completions were short dump off passes that you or I could have completed.

  76. jacobslatter says: Nov 23, 2013 10:42 PM

    “That sounds a lot better than it really was. Most of those completions were short dump off passes that you or I could have completed.”

    The short & medium passes are the Matty Ice way, & were in position to win the game even in the 4th quarter playing a lousy looking Aints team & if undrafted rookie WR Darius Johnson didn’t drop a wide open pass which was a sure TD the end result would have been victory #3. But it’s Jadeveon Clowney time. ;)

  77. 504in860 says: Nov 23, 2013 10:59 PM

    The short & medium passes are the Matty Ice way, & were in position to win the game even in the 4th quarter playing a lousy looking Aints team

    Saints played 3 games in 12 days…and won them all. Falcons just suck. Clowney won’t help you…better draft Jake Matthews instead.

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