This fanpost will provoke a bit of objectivity from you all, so I fully understand what I'm diving into. However, I must call it as I see it and if that means I get Skip Bayless looks from some of you, so be it.
Matt Ryan. Where to begin? This guy brought us a boat load of hope following the train-wreck that was the 2007 season. As much as I've been calling Ryan out, you'll never hear me bi**h about his rookie year, because he was nothing short of incredible and I and I'm sure most of Falcon nation have no doubt in our minds that he would have driven back down the field against Arizona if Brooking would have covered his assignment on the tight end. Sadly, things haven't been that close in the postseason since.
Everything that I shall mention from here on out will be fact related. Matt Ryan has progressed from a statistical stand point each season. That's something we should definitely be proud of and look forward to a promising trend, especially when the coaching staff made the transition last season from Michael Turner's team to Matt Ryan's team. He led magical drives in 2010 to bring the squad to a 13-3 season and home-field advantage in the playoffs.
And then Tramon Williams happened.
The season is no problem for Mr. Ryan. I have confidence that he will continue to lead us to winning records. What I'm worried about is the after-season. In the 2nd half of the Giants game I sat and broke down each and every Ryan dropback. Sure he had a genuine rush chasing him most snaps. My problem came when he did have time to do something in the pocket. Not only did he not attempt a pass of 25 yards, he wasn't even looking to throw the ball 25 yards. Everything was short to intermediate.
This should call for a real cause for concern. How shook was he from the GB game? I don't know how much I can blame on the teachings of Smitty, as he has seemingly ingrained this "absolutely no turnover" meme in the mind of our QB. I'm sure you all can agree with me that turnovers happen. All we want to see is the actual effort in taking shots in the playcalling. I know the Ryan apologists will cite Mularkey or the fact that each loss has come to the NFC Super Bowl rep, which are all things of importance. But if you think we couldn't have won that game in New Jersey you're fooling yourself.
Citing Mularkey, Matt Ryan had (what looked to be) free reign at almost any point in the game to go no huddle. He went no huddle early and didn't take shots. We were down two TDs and we didn't take shots. I can give Ryan another year, and possibly two depending on how well he adapts to the new playbook. Sooner or later though, we have to see results. Everything has been geared to Ryan to optimize success.He's been the beneficiary of new tools on offense and a new coaching staff to lead him. There's got to come a time where we look at number 2 and ask "Is he the guy?" I think this season will answer that for us.