Pro Football Focus has effectively re-branded their Twitter account into a snackable stats emporium, and we’ve gleaned a lot of cool things about the 2016 Falcons by simply scrolling through it. It’s no surprise, then, that they unearthed another telling and cool stat yesterday.
Like many of them, this one was about Matt Ryan.
In 2016, Matt Ryan led all QBs with an 84% completion percentage on slant routes. He also threw slant routes more often than any other QB. pic.twitter.com/paAyqlAsMY— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 1, 2017
This is not particularly surprising, but it does speak to one of the reasons the Falcons’ offense was so effective in 2017. Firstly, Ryan connected with his receivers exceptionally well on slant routes, which shows timing, anticipation, and a quality arm. Secondly, it shows that Kyle Shanahan knew that one of the best ways to get his receivers open and keep the offense humming was to get them open via slant routes, where his speedy crew could make a break and achieve some separation. I don’t think you’ll see Steve Sarkisian discontinuing that, under the famed “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” principle.
So long as Ryan has a competent coordinator and the plethora of options he currently has, this offense should continue to be potent. The success on slant routes is just one facet of that, but it’s one that should continue, too.