Kevin C. Cox
Just wait. You'll see.
Matt Ryan was uncharacteristically off in Week 11, if his five interceptions couldn't tell you that already. While all of those picks weren't exactly his fault, it wasn't a performance from No. 2 we're accustomed to seeing, ever.
Against the Cardinals he completed 28 of 46 passes and finished with a quarterback rating of 40.5. A blemish on his MVP resume, but nothing you should concern yourself with going forward in 2012.
Disclaimer: Pretty much any interesting stat below was taken from Pro Football Focus.
Before this past Sunday, Ryan had only thrown more than two INTs in one game twice in his career. One of those outings came just a few weeks ago against the Raiders, as he completed three passes to Oakland and narrowly escaped with a victory. Did it have any effect on him in his next game? I didn't personally ask Matt about it, but his 262 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers in bad weather on the road seemed like the past was put behind him.
In Week 11 Ryan dropped back for 47 passes, 12 of which came under pressure. Out of 12 pressure situations, he completed just 18.2 percent of his throws, a mark that is truly an aberration if anything. Through 10 games in 2012 Ryan has completed an impressive 53.8 percent of passes when under pressure, including four throwaways and six drops. Basically I'm trying to tell you Sunday went completely awry from the norm. Of the five picks, most were tipped or handed to the Cardinals on a dropped pass. His INT below was the one egregious error I recall.
What did Atlanta's favorite quarterback have to say about it all? "You can't worry about it," Ryan said. "Part of playing this position in this league is knowing that there will be times when you make mistakes and fall flat on your face. You just have to get up and keep playing and keep throwing."
Want another uplifting quote from No. 2? Okay. "I think it says a lot about our football team that I made a lot of the mistakes, but I'm still surrounded by 52 guys on the active roster that show up and make plays. I'm fortunate enough to have those guys around me," said Ryan.
He shouldered the blame once again, he acknowledged he needs to do a better job of placing his paces, especially the ones that were tipped. Ryan knows it was a bad day, and it just ONE day.
Last week was an anomaly all across the board it seemed. Jacksonville rode a 236-yard performance from Justin Blackmon to nearly beat the Texans, Gronk broke his forearm on an extra point and the Falcons won after coughing up six turnovers. I mean, even this happened:
Yeah, it was a weird day.
"Statistically, the chances of that happening are two or three percent. In fact, since 2003 there's been 61 games (with a) five-or-more turnover advantage to one team, and only two times did the team win that was on the wrong side of that ratio," Mike Smith said after ordering a full investigation on the matter from his research staff. Clearly Nov. 18 was full of surprises.
Ryan's next opponent may be just the remedy he needs to get back on track. The Buccaneers
are really awful in pass coverage allow an average of 312.6 yards through the air each week. Given the fact they're currently ranked No. 1 against the run, we can expect another air-it-out approach come Sunday.
Matty Ice is 6-2 against Tampa since entering the league. This is a much improved Bucs team, I'll give them that, but not in the secondary. I fully expect Ryan to come out firing in Week 12, forgetting the horror that was his last performance. There's no reason to worry if you're a Falcons fan.