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One More Mind-Blowing Matt Ryan Statistic

If you can believe it, there are even more in this fantastic season.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

We know all about how the Falcons have racked up 500+ points in just 15 games and that Matt Ryan became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw touchdown passes to 13 different receivers in a season. But here’s something that I think is even more compelling: Atlanta has 10 different players with 100+ receiving yards, 10+ receptions for first downs, and 2+ touchdowns.

Take a moment to think about that. Ten first downs means that these players are all true parts of Atlanta’s offense. These aren’t just gimmick players (eg tackle-eligible catching a pass) coming in for a trick play at the goal line or substitutes getting a taste of action.

I had mentioned this statistic in a comment in another article, but I think it deserves an article of its own so that we can get the word out there to social media - perhaps eventually even getting the major media outlets to pick up on it.

By comparison, the Saints (leading the league in passing yards) have seven. Washington (second in passing yards) has six. New England (fourth in passing yards, with Atlanta in third) has seven. Pittsburgh (fifth in passing yards) has five. The Chargers and Colts each have six, while the Packers and Raiders each have four. Arizona has six. Baltimore has four. Seattle has two. Dallas has five. Detroit has four.

But Matt Ryan has done that with TEN different receivers. So it isn’t just Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman doing it all for the Falcons. It isn’t even just the quintet of Julio, Mohamed Sanu, Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Taylor Gabriel.

What makes it even more staggering is how little fanfare the other players had from media outlets going into this season. The media had a generally negative reaction to Atlanta signing Sanu, didn’t think much of ANY of Atlanta’s tight ends and regarded Coleman as a major disappointment in his rookie year. No one thinks of Levine Toilolo as a receiver. There’s no talk about Justin Hardy or Austin Hooper. The only discussion involving Jacob Tamme is how everyone hates that guy - he invented telemarketing robocalls, and he’s the one who taught Negan how to play eenie-meenie-miney-moe.

So the overall perception was that Ryan had Julio and Freeman - and very little else. For that matter, even other teams didn’t think much of our supporting cast. Aldrick Robinson was out of the league for the 2015 season after having been released by the Redskins in 2014 and ending that season on Baltimore’s practice squad. Taylor Gabriel was released by, of all teams, Cleveland, and was not picked up by anyone ahead of us on the waiver system.

But that doesn’t matter to Ryan. We saw proof of that when Nick Williams racked up four first down receptions and 49 receiving yards in just seven snaps played, or when #4 and #5 tight ends Joshua Perkins and D.J. Tialavea both joined the touchdown parade on Saturday. Perkins is an undrafted rookie, and Williams and Tialavea were fresh up from the practice squad.

So he’s not just leaning on a pair of mega-stars. Matt Ryan is using every toy in the box, and with him at the helm, everyone who gets on the field is a potential weapon.