Ryan's Decline: Explained, Extinguished

I'm not going to bore you all with strenous explanations, but instead, with some delicious food for your hungry brains.  In a non-disturbing, non-zombie related way, of course.

Basically, everyone that's been worrying about Ryan really needs to calm down, because he has NOT regressed nearly as much as people have been saying.  I have no doubt that he will return next year with a far superior season to this sophomore slump he's been experiencing.  But on the other hand, when you look at the games he's played...can you really be too upset?  I'll lay it out simply.

The falcons schedule is, and admittedly has been, one of the most painstaking in the NFL this year.  But a look at the statistics prove that it's a much harder schedule for Ryan himself than for the team as a whole, which points simply to his much lesser stats.  Take a look at the top 10 pass defenses in the NFL.

Rank Team 2009  Last 3 Last 1 Home Away 2008
1 NY Jets (7-7) 159.6 101.3 152.0 148.9 170.3 234.5
2 Denver (8-6) 177.5 150.0 102.0 179.3 175.7 229.1
3 Buffalo (5-9) 185.7 133.0 115.0 168.3 198.8 204.4
4 Carolina (6-8) 192.6 234.3 196.0 175.3 210.0 212.7
5 Washington (4-10) 194.1 281.0 273.0 197.6 190.6 193.8
6 Baltimore (8-6) 200.3 160.0 98.0 167.1 244.5 191.1
7 Chicago (5-9) 203.2 163.0 222.0 189.7 216.7 241.2
8 Tampa Bay (2-12) 203.9 179.7 252.0 187.7 216.1 187.3
9 New England (9-5) 205.9 214.3 136.0 161.0 250.9 201.4
10 NY Giants (8-6) 206.4 296.3 213.0 228.1 184.6 197.2


So, do any of the teams look familiar?  I hope so.  As you can see, we have faced 8 of those top 10 pass defenses throughout our already ugly schedule.  And on top of that, we faced Tampa Bay and Carolina TWICE.  Basically, 10 of our 16 games are against top 10 pass defenses.  Ugly, in a word.

But wait, there's more?  Well, Ryan ALSO sat out two of our games against easier pass defenses, being New Orleans (No. 24) and Philadelphia (No. 14).  Not only does this jab a stick at the eyes of the Redman lovers who want him in over Ryan, as he faced the "easy" teams, but it also highlights how difficult Ryan has had it.  Assuming that he plays for the next two games, he will have had to face teams in the top 10 pass-defense rankings 10 times out of 14.

And on top of that, do injuries ring a bell?  Injuries to the line have caused him to make hasty decisions, and drops by Michael Jenkins, as well as the loss of capable 3rd down reciever Harry Douglas, AND Jerious Norwood's long-term absence...should I even continue?

Redman also didn't have to compete with 4 - yes, FOUR - teams coming off of their byes.  He didn't have to compete with four well-rested teams (Giants, Redskins, Bears, Cowboys), three of whom are in the top 10 pass defense already and DON'T need an excuse to make QBs perform poorly.

When it comes down to it, 1 INT per game doesn't look so bad at all.  Thoughts?

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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