Matt Ryan has struggled with his deep ball much of the year. It hasn’t been for a lack of arm strength—he’s overthrown quite a few, actually—but it was one of the few concerning indicators from his 2017 performance thus far.
So it was mighty encouraging to see Ryan have better success with deeper throws on Sunday against the Jets, even if you may not have realized just how good he was while the game was going on.
Per Pro Football Focus, Ryan had a perfect 158.3 passer rating on balls that traveled more than 10 yards in the air, going 9/11 for 172 yards and both of his touchdown passes. Those are terrific numbers, and they came despite slick conditions I thought might discourage Ryan from looking deep. The Falcons really did a much better job of setting themselves up for success through the air, and Ryan delivered consistently crisp throws to seal the deal. It was a deeply (sorry) encouraging performance.
If Ryan gets what he needs from his playmakers, Steve Sarkisian makes the adjustments he needs to make, and he can keep hitting these deeper throws, the offense is going to be a problem again before long.