Matt Ryan has two rushing touchdowns for the first time in a long time

AP

I got Matt Ryan on the phone not long after Sunday’s 31-24 win over the Panthers, and I gave him a quick test: “When’s the last time you had two rushing touchdowns in a game?”

“I’m not sure I ever have,” Ryan said.

At the NFL level, he’s right. During a professional career that dates back to 2008, Ryan never had rushed for two scores, before Sunday. He last achieved that distinction on November 12, 2005, while playing for Boston College. On that day, Ryan had a pair of touchdowns on the ground against N.C. State.

His stat line that day: Five attempts, two touchdowns, minus-three yards.

On Sunday, Ryan’s second score came on a play that looked a little like the John Elway helicopter run from Super Bowl XXXII. So was Ryan paying homage to the Hall of Famer?

“I was just trying not to fumble,” Ryan said, adding that, while the play may not have been the prettiest of his career, it was effective — and it was necessary to a win that evened Atlanta’s record at 1-1.