Matt Ryan Will Look To Get Back On Track Versus Eagles

Al Bello

The star Atlanta Falcons quarterback has had a rougher go of it his last two games.

It's fair to say that Matt Ryan has been an excellent quarterback this year. He's on pace to sneak past career highs nearly across the board. He's finally, finally being mentioned among the elite quarterbacks of the league, and it's been well-deserved.

Unfortunately, the last two weeks have not been as kind to Ryan. Over two games against the Redskins and Raiders, Ryan has thrown just three touchdowns against four interceptions while averaging 6.6 yards per attempt, compared to his season average of above 7.4. He was only sacked twice in those two weeks, but was still under quite a bit of pressure throughout.

Some of this, naturally, is just an adjustment to the mean. Some quarterbacks are lucky enough to go an entire season with an absurd 1.something% interception rate, but it's extremely rare. Ryan was going to throw a few picks this year, no matter how well he did. And frankly, you'd have to be nuts to be overly concerned about a guy with a host of weapons, a 14/6 TD/INT ratio and those numbers despite a middling line.

The larger issue is that Ryan has been under pressure a lot this season and has been coping with receivers with drops. When you consider how much better his numbers would likely look with better pass blocking and minus about 15 drops or so, you can see why I'm not that concerned. The drops will ease up and (hopefully) the blocking will improve, either by personnel change or simple improvement among traditionally solid linemen like Todd McClure and Tyson Clabo.

Still, there's no denying that the last two weeks haven't been Ryan's best. As talented as the Eagles are, they've struggled to rush the passer in recent weeks and their vaunted secondary is opportunistic but just 13th in the league in yardage allowed. It won't be easy and Todd Bowles might have some tricks up his sleeve, but there's no reason why Ryan can't have a nice game.

Do you expect Ryan to get back on track against Philadelphia?

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