Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense had a quiet game by their 2016 standards, putting up only 23 points on the Chicago Bears. Ryan still pulled down 321 yards and a touchdown, and that was enough to earn him yet another nomination for FedEx Air Player of the Week.
You may recall that Ryan was up for FedEx Air Player of the Year in 2016, and that he won the award after an MVP season in Atlanta. This performance wouldn’t have ranked among his best from a year ago, but it definitely was one of the better starts this week when compared to the rest of the NFL, where only a handful of quarterbacks did anything noteworthy.
Ryan’s probably going to lose the award this week to Alex Smith, who was simply masterful against the Patriots on Thursday Night Football and has gaudier numbers. If this is the last time Ryan is nominated for the honor, though, I will eat my hat*.
There is a weird perception that Ryan didn’t have a good game against the Bears, but the truth is that he absolutely did. The larger issue was that more than a quarter of his yardage came on that busted play to Austin Hooper, and that the team didn’t take many deep strikes Sunday. I expect the offense to have an easier time against Green Bay, even if we’re not going to see the historic pace of the Kyle Shanahan offense of 2016, and Ryan should have plenty of great games ahead.
*My hat is a steak dinner