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Matt Ryan And The Deep Ball In 2013

The star Falcons quarterback may not go deep as often in 2013.


In 2012, Matt Ryan connected on 56 plays that went for 20 or more yards. That doesn't tell the full story of the deep ball for the Falcons—those passes were pretty effective, but Ryan connected on less than 50% of his deep throws—but they tell us a little bit.

For a team with a ton of weapons, the Falcons don't always look to stretch the field. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez in particular tend to get a lot of work done over the middle of the field, on a lot of short-to-medium passes. Both of those guys can go deep, but that task falls to Julio Jones more and more often.

While I expect the offense to hum along at its usual absurd pace, we shouldn't assume Ryan's going to be slinging it downfield any more often than usual. The Falcons could have plenty of 20+ yard passing plays, because their receivers can break tackles, turn short routes into long gains and just generally make life difficult for defenses.But not every pass is going to be a bomb to Jones, as much as we may want to will that outcome into existence.

Will the Falcons turn to the deep ball more or less in 2013?