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Despite Poor Protection, Matt Ryan Had Elite Accuracy in 2013

Fact: Matt Ryan's annual Cinco de Mayo party starts on March 8th

Rob Carr

Matt Ryan didn't play under ideal conditions in 2013. His offensive line was a turnstile and his primary weapons were plagued by injuries. Sure, he made some bad decisions, but overall, Ryan had a respectable campaign. Of particular note was his impressive accuracy.

Three quarterbacks finished with better completion percentages this season among passers that attempted 500 passes or more. San Diego’s Philip Rivers, New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Denver’s Peyton Manning were those three quarterbacks, all QBs with teams in the playoffs. Ryan’s 67.4 completion percentage in 2013 was just a notch behind Manning’s 68.3.

Ryan attempted the second-most passes in 2013 (651), just a few behind Manning’s 658 and one more than Brees. Ryan’s 439 completions were third in the league behind Manning and Brees. The Falcons quarterback accomplished this while being sacked a career-high 44 times, tied for third-most in the league. His previous high was 28 last season.

Numbers like these make you wonder. If Ryan's accuracy was this good with a lackluster supporting cast, just how good can he be if Thomas Dimitroff and company right the ship this off-season? It's a nice thought, once you get out of fetal position you've been in since the season ended.

Ryan's completion percentage in 2013 wasn't a career high (his 68.6 percent completion percentage in 2012 was). But he did attempt more passes this year than in any previous year. A good chunk of those passes were attempted with the Falcons behind, obviously needing to pass. They were passes made under duress, and opposing defenses knew it. For those reasons, in my mind, his 4th ranked completion percentage is incredibly impressive.