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


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.

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

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.


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

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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

  17. 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”?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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….

  21. 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?


  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. “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!!!

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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

  36. “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.

  37. “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. 😉

  38. 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.

  39. 1. If the official hadn’t been daydreaming he would have called a roughing on the slide and Matt would have his run and no physical risk.
    2. Atlanta in case you haven’t noticed is leading the the NFC South and if they win the next two games (against opponents they have already defeated once) will win the conference with home field advantage to start. – no chance of the playoffs indeed

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