Is Matt Ryan elite?
I’ve argued this point ad nauseum, and almost to the point of trading blows because the term “elite” is thrown about so liberally when it comes to the quarterback position.
The thinking that Ryan is overrated is based largely on the Falcon’s winless record in the postseason, and the fact the offense’s focal point had been Michael Turner for the majority of Ryan’s career.
Last year’s failure only seemed to give the Ryan haters more fuel to heap onto the fire, as the Falcon’s sputtered against the Giants.
Coming into the season, I had lukewarm expectations regarding Dirk Koetter and the supposed improvements to the downfield passing attack that he promised. After all, I’d heard the same thing from Mularkey after the team basically gave up an entire draft for Julio Jones.
With a quarter of the 2012 season in the books, I think it’s clear that the Falcons have successfully transformed their offense with Ryan being the centerpiece.
Against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4, the Falcons struggled to protect Matt Ryan who took a beating from mostly the front four of the Panthers defense.
Newton looked smooth and in charge, playing a largely mistake free game until he fumbled in the 4th quarter, and the Panthers ahead by one point. You always throw out records for divisional games, especially against rivals. And after riding high from the dismantling of the San Diego Chargers in Week 3, the Falcons really took a beating at the hands of their divisional rival for most of this game.
Until of course the fateful drive, where Matt Ryan and the offense took over on their own 1 yard line with less than a minute left in the game.
Visions of 2008, Ryan’s rookie year flashed in my mind, where the then first year quarterback out of Boston College led a comeback against the Bears on a last minute flag route thrown to Michael Jenkins with pressure in Ryan’s face.( still his most memorable Falcons catch )
Ryan marched the Falcons down the field and beat the Panthers 30-28 with 5 seconds remaining. And in doing so Atlanta became the first team since 1981 to start a drive in the last 60 seconds of the fourth quarter inside their own 10-yard line and go on a game-winning drive.
All this after taking seven sacks against a inspired Carolina team that clearly had a chip on their shoulder after being embarrassed on the road by the Giants a week before. The Falcons had allowed just four sacks in 3 games before the Panthers pummeled Ryan.
With the win, the Falcons extend their lead in the NFC South and give themselves another win under their belt before facing the electric RGIII and the Redskins.
Best part of all? Matty “Ice” is showing signs of an attitude, and quite frankly, it’s about damn time. After taking a beating all game, having Cam Newton rush for a score, do the A-town stomp and his signature Superman celebration move, Ryan had just one thing to say to the Panthers and in response to Newton’s dance.
With his 17th career comeback win, Ryan is an early season leader for the MVP race and atop the NFC South with a 4-0 record. He is 12-3 over his last 15, going 329 of 517 (63.6 percent) for 4,037 yards, 7.81 YPA, 33 TD, 8 INT, 102.5 passer rating.
Numbers aside, I love the resilience of this guy and what he brings to the football field. Nobody gives him enough credit, for basically walking into the worst team situation maybe in NFL history, posting a 48-19 overall record.
Only Joe Flacco (44-20) and Dan Marino (41-18) have won as many games as a starter in their first four seasons.
Elite? maybe.. maybe not.. But he’s one quarterback I’m glad is wearing Falcons colors at the end of the day.
Jay Cutler…. Leader?
It’s tough to appreciate Cutler these days, but someone’s got to do it. Being a fan of the ZBS, I found him fascinating during his time in Denver where he put up video game numbers on offense. He’s got a supremely gifted arm, and doesn’t lack in the confidence category when it comes to playing quarterback.
Often times, that very same confidence rubs people the wrong way or makes him look like a total douche when he isn’t playing well.
Which is why I love watching the guy I guess, he puts together a fantastic outing and dazzles with his arm, or throws six picks and comes off looking like a crybaby. There is no middle ground for Jay Cutler, and that’s the beauty of it all.
But he clearly lacks the leadership qualities one desires in a franchise quarterback, from sitting out the fateful playoff game, to the bumping of his offensive linemen, one can seriously question whether or not Cutler has the mental makeup to lead men.
I for one, believe that Cutler is a good quarterback but a bad leader. Which can be okay for a veteran laden team such as the Chicago Bears. But perception can often lead to reality, which is why Cutler should avoid such instances as this on the sideline :
Both Mike Tice and Cutler have dismissed this interaction ( or lack thereof ) but it still cannot bode well for Cutler’s image or his reputation. Now, are we nitpicking here a little? Sure.. but such is life for a NFL QB.
Perception is reality Jay.
Thankfully, the Bears downed the Cowboys in epic fashion, intercepting Tony Romo 5 times and invoking Romo’s inner “Cutler” So much for glory holes huh Jerry Jones?
More F bombery
Tom Brady appears to have said “fuck you, bitches” after a reviewed touchdown play was ruled in favor of New England in Week 4. That or “vacuum switches”..
Goat of Week 4
Has to be Carolina Panthers free safety Haruki Nakamura, who singlehandedly showed the youth of America how NOT to play safety in the NFL.
Nakamura was brought in from Baltimore where he backed up Ed Reed, yes… THE ED REED. How this guy was ever expected to step in for Big Ed, I will never know because he is flat out bad.
Beaten for a touchdown where he lost track of the ball in flight against Roddy White? okay I will give you a pass there. But the Falcons on their own 1 yard line, you not only do not provide the corner with inside help, but you mistime the jump and allow White to catch a huge bomb on the Falcon’s first play!
LOL… so bad.. might be looking for a new job after Week 5.
Up next? bring on the Redskins and RGIII!
P.S. Cam Newton?
GTFO our house. Thanks.