Matt Ryan went to Boston College, but he’s a Philadelphia native. That’s where he started playing football, that’s where he became a highly sought-after quarterback prospect, and that’s where he’ll return on Saturday to face his hometown Philadelphia Eagles.
Ryan is 3-3 all-time against his hometown team, missing one game (kind of incredibly) with injury back in 2009, a Falcons loss with Chris Redman under center. He had won three in a row until the Falcons derailed against the Eagles last year in a 24-15 loss, and has completed 60% of his passes for 1,549 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions against Philly all-time. Solid numbers across the board.
Why am I leading with the stats? Because in very Matt Ryan fashion, he gave Vaughn McClure nothing to work with from a quote perspective in this otherwise quality writeup at ESPN.
“It’s always good to go back and play there, for sure,” Ryan said. “Obviously the family and friends, it’s great to see them. But it doesn’t matter where we go this time of the year. We’re just excited to be going and just still have the opportunity to keep playing.”
It is exciting to have that opportunity, Matt. It’s also Ryan’s first playoff game against the Eagles and first one in Philadelphia, which makes it kind of a historic game in and of itself. As McClure notes, it’ll be a chance for him to prove himself not only in front of a crowd of familiar faces, but against one of the NFC’s best defenses in 2017.
With any luck, Ryan will be a reviled man in his hometown by late Saturday night, and the Falcons will be on to the NFC Conference Championship Game. I’m sure he’ll take a little hatred from his friends and family if it means a win Saturday, right?