Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan probably had some words for Chris Chester and Ryan Schraeder after the week 10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, my educated guess is that some of those words were expletives. Because his ability to perform at an elite level depends largely on how much time he gets in the pocket, Ryan wants to be protected. He values it, he demands it, he requires it.
Ryan talked to the media today about the upcoming game and keyed in on the importance of protection. (Credit to the amazing Vaughn McClure for the quote. Please go read his article now, if you haven't already.)
"I think No. 1, we've got to be on top of our calls and protections," Ryan said. "It's trying to get our big guys on their big guys and making sure our running backs are on the right guys in our pass protection [... and w]hen they do pressure, if you can hold up, we've got the guys on the outside who can win in one-on-one matchups. That's what we've got to do. We've got make them pay when they bring five or six guys."
You may be looking at the Arizona Cardinals and judging their book by its cover. Admittedly they haven't been a good football team this season. But individually there are players not named David Johnson that can wreck havoc. That front seven, particularly Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones, is scary. If the Falcons didn't spend the bye week resolving whatever ailed the offensive line, Sunday's game is not going to go well.