So what’s wrong with Matt Ryan?


Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is struggling. And it’s not clear why.

“I just don’t think he looks as comfortable back there,” Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway recently told PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. “I think Ryan just looks a little uncomfortable. I don’t know if it’s protections or just the throws or routes that they’re throwing into but he just hasn’t looked as comfortable to me the last few weeks when we were watching the most previous games.”

So why is he uncomfortable? Some would pin it at least in part on the decision of receiver Roddy White to complain about his role in the offense after a 4-0 start. Although the Falcons won their fifth game, Ryan’s passer rating against Washington plummeted from 112.6 to 55.1.

In the first four games, Ryan had six touchdown passes and two interceptions. In the seven since then, Ryan has 10 and 10.

Here’s a possible explanation. Whenever a young quarterback gets his first shot at playing in the NFL, opposing defenses develop after several weeks enough game film to allow them to crack the code, figuring out what the quarterback does well, what he doesn’t do well, what he likes to do, and what he doesn’t like to do. They also can spot tendencies and tells, which make it easier to determine what will happen after the ball is snapped.

While Ryan isn’t a new quarterback, he’s in a new offense, run by Kyle Shanahan. And it’s possible that things that worked early in the year simply aren’t working now, with defenses available to either take them away or see them coming.

Regardless of what’s happening with Ryan, he has shown in the past that he has the ability to play at a high level. And the Falcons are confident he’ll turn it around, and that he’ll be the team’s quarterback for years to come.

Besides, if they give up on Ryan, what are they going to do at the quarterback position?

32 responses to “So what’s wrong with Matt Ryan?

  1. Turns out that without the fake crowd noise, he can hear thousands upon thousands of Falcons fans trying to digest tons of beans and cornbread.

  2. They need to dump Shanahan. I’m a Falcons season ticket holder. It looks like they’re running a college offense out there. Throw it to Julio regardless isn’t an offense. The fumbles are a massive problem I can’t blame on Shanahan, but I just don’t think his offense is suited to Ryan’s talents.

  3. Whats wrong with matt Ryan?

    Here’s what’s wrong with Matt Ryan; I drafted him as my QB1 this year, very reluctantly, and again, he has me on the brink of making the playoffs, with help needed.
    I knew I shouldn’t have drafted him….again

    Same thing happened a few years ago

  4. His numbers are still projected to be his what he’s averaged for his career plus or minus a couple of touchdowns. I think the issue with Ryan is that the NFL has become so passing friendly that it’s taking time for people to adjust what are good passing numbers. 18 QBs have a rating of 90 or higher. He’s playing the same margins as previous seasons, it’s just been devalued because of the nature of the modern NFL.

  5. Oh, nothing is wrong with Matt Ryan.

    He’s only had Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, All-Pro Roddy White, and All-Pro Julio Jones to throw to all those years.

    So… let’s keep giving Ryan all the excuses while continuing to attack Andy Dalton (when all Dalton’s had is A.J. Green and a couple of serviceable #3 wide receivers masquerading around as #2 wide receivers – serviceable if you consider the Houdini-esque disappearing act that is Mohamed Sanu a serviceable #3 wr).


  6. “…he’s in a new offense, run by Kyle Shanahan. And it’s possible that things that worked early in the year simply aren’t working now, with defenses available to either take them away or see them coming”

    Same thing happened w/ RGIII. His success in his first year was largely due to defenses playing him to run. Receivers (especially tight ends and slot receivers) were left wiiiiide open. Hence, god-like numbers in Year 1.

    Year 2 meant tape, and tape meant defensive preparation. No more open receivers. RGII starts forcing it and, well, the rest is history.

    Like Ryan’s problems now, it stems from Shanahan. Shanny Jr. has never shown himself to be adaptable to defensive adjustment. He’s terrible, and shouldn’t be allowed around professional QBs (not that Im defending RGIII, mind you. He stinks, too)

  7. Ryan’s biggest problem is that he needs perfect conditions, zero adversity and perfect health to succeed. Take away any one of those had he gets awfully average awfully quick.

  8. Yes, it’s totally Roddy White’s fault that Ryan is throwing to the other team in the red zone. Ryan is a vet, other that the Shanahan “eff-you critics” three straight calls to Roddy to open the game a few weeks ago it doesn’t look like he’s forced the ball to White at all. Actually he forces it to Julio or just to anyone in general in the red zone trying to make a play. He doesn’t look comfortable coming off his first read and doesn’t seem to have an intuitive grasp of where all his receivers are in Shannahan’s dink and dunk west coast O as in the past.
    But for the love of Tommy Nobis, can we stop blaming something a veteran WR said in a locker interview 2 months ago for the Falcons problems?

  9. “he has shown in the past that he has the ability to play at a high level.”

    Whatever it is surely can be corrected… He has shown it numerous times already, so he can play as a quality QB… He is, for some reason, in a slump!

    1 game at a time…. Protect the ball, make goods decisions and tell the d-line to get after their qb as if it was their sister, girlfriend, wife, mom that he disrespected!

  10. Probably the same terrible offensive coordinator that has ruined other teams offenses who inexplicably keeps getting jobs because of his last name. Pretty simple stuff if you ask me.

  11. No it is Chip Kelly’s fault because they figured Chip out and therefore since he talked to Ruan after the firs game of the season that conversation led to Matt Ryan being figured. Matt should go back to college! Matt think’s he is smarter then everyone else. Matt plays in a college offense very much like Kelly’s sphere should retire. Oh wait could it possibly be that Matt Ryan is in a small slump??? Or the rest of the offense isn’t doing their jobs? NO NO LETS TALK ABOUT HOW CHIP KELLY IS AT FAULT HERE. LOL!

  12. So Florio this is your second article on Ryan this week. Is Kyle paying you to plant these stories and create this narrative? Because if you want to know what’s wrong with Ryan look at his offensive coordinator and his history in the league.

  13. It’s pretty simple, really. He’s throwing more interceptions. The rest of his stats aren’t substantially different from previous years. The issue then becomes, why is he throwing more interceptions?

  14. Has Kyle Shanahan ever done anything successful as an offensive coordinator? How does he have this job?

  15. Matt Schab best year in career 2009, pro bowl. RG3 has best rookie year in the history of the NFL. Also the best offensive production in the history of the Redskins. Makes Hoyer and Cleveland respectable. They are currently a top 5 offensive team in Atlanta. Get rid of Shanahan and bring him back to Washington. By the way, 2013 with RG3-a first place schedule with a 36million dollar cap hit and a owner and a QB who want to run a different offense because he thought with his success in 2012 that he was Aaron Rodgers.

  16. He’s been over-rated since he was the #3 pick 9 years ago. Also in that draft? Joe Flacco who owns more SB, SBMVP, and playoff wins than Matty Ice will ever have in his career.

  17. The problem with Ryan is a lack of talent around him. Julio Jones and Matthews are the only two other players on the entire offense that could start for any of the top 16 teams in the NFL.
    I also think a big part of the issue is the toll of being constantly hit season after season behind the 31st best OL in the league. At some point, that toll results in rushing the ball and throwing too soon before the receiver breaks open.

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