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Pro Football Focus: Matt Ryan was the NFL’s fifth best passer under pressure in week 8

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Fact: Matt Ryan never unties his shoes ... ever

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan hasn’t exactly had an ideal year. Ryan had the best season of his career in 2016. It was a magical year; one the Falcons would struggle to duplicate, no matter who had the offensive coordinator job. We knew that during the offseason, even if we struggled to admit it. But then the 2017 regular season smacked us in the face. We’re now in some sort of alternative reality where Ryan gets crucified every time a receiver decides to drop a catchable ball.

Ryan looked solid during yesterday’s game, notwithstanding some issues with holding onto the ball early in the first quarter. His go ahead touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu was a tight spiral, an impressive feat given the rainy conditions. Before making the throw, he evaded pressure, used some fancy footwork to navigate the pocket, and scrambled to his left. But for that pocket awareness, Ryan doesn’t complete the pass and the Falcons settle for a field goal. It was a pivotal moment in the game; perhaps the most important moment in the game.

In short, Ryan thrived under pressure yesterday, and now PFF is shouting him out for doing just that.

Rainy conditions always make a quarterback’s job harder, but for whatever reason, it seemed like Ryan figured out some things yesterday. He looked more like himself, navigating the pocket and staying composed. If it was a sign of things to come, there’s reason to be excited about what this offense can do going forward.

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