Matt Ryan Isn't Jay Cutler

Scott Cunningham - Getty Images

Fact: Matt Ryan once stepped on a poisonous frog; he hallucinated for 3.5 hours, but it changed his whole perspective on stuff.

There's been some chatter about Matt Ryan holding onto the ball too long. He's only been sacked 12 times this season, far less than some quarterbacks. I'm talking to you Andy Dalton.

Take away the Carolina game and we'd have the second-lowest sacks per game average in the NFL.

That said, let's examine the "Get rid of the ball!" argument as it applies to Ryan this season. Of those 12 sacks, only four are considered long sacks, or sacks that take place 3 or more seconds after the snap. Long sacks happen when the quarterback doesn't get rid of the rock. They also happen when the defense covers well and/or when the offensive coordinator has had too much purple drank.

How rare are these long sacks for the Falcons? Exceptionally rare. We've logged 211 passing snaps. Again, only four of those have resulted in long sacks. For those without a calculator, that's 1.9 percent, 13th best in the league. If you don't count Skelton, Hasselback, and Locker (only 24, 89, and 109 passing snaps respectively), that's 10th best in the league. The league-average is 2.7 percent (i.e., Ryan is above-average in that respect).

But let's not give Ryan all the credit. The offensive line has only surrendered 4 short sacks (1.9 percent). Short sacks are when your quarterback gets rocked in 2.4 seconds or less. Our short sack percentage is the 21st best in the league, but the league average is 1.8 percent, so we're essentially mediocre.

Keep in mind that we're dealing with a small sample size. It's probably too early to assess the offensive line, but it's undoubtedly too early to accuse Ryan of holding onto the ball too long. As an aside, Jay Cutler is a delusional hack. His offensive line hasn't given up a long sack yet. He's like Dave after a Dr. Pepper and Pop Rocks binge.

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