After the 2016 season, there were many in the sports landscape who thought that Matt Ryan would regress back from the incredibly high level of play he demonstrated en route to the Super Bowl. While fans saw his stats fall off in 2017, many Falcons fans noted that the entire team struggled while Ryan’s play wasn’t drastically different from the prior year. Yet, many were quick to dismiss his success in 2016 as a by-product of a brilliant offensive coordinator. We all heard it.
Without Kyle Shanahan, Matt Ryan just isn’t as good.
Fast forward to this season and the critics have run out of narratives to tell. Ryan is having another incredible statistical season even if the team record doesn’t fully reflect it yet. Better yet, if these trends continue, Ryan will end up with one of his best seasons ever.
If Ryan can keep up the pace for the next 9 games, his stats to finish the season would look like this:
- 71.1% completion rate (his personal best)
- 5,337 yards (his personal best)
- 34 TDs (his second best - 38 in 2016)
- 5 INTs (his personal best)
- 114.2 passer rating (his second best - 117.1 in 2016)
The only alarming statistic for fans? He would likely finish the season with 45 sacks, also the most ever in his career and topping the awful 2013 season (44).
If Ryan is going to hit these marks, the team absolutely has to stay as healthy as possible going forward. He’s already playing behind two backup offensive guards and there are some tough defensive match ups coming up. That said, it’s clear that the Falcons are not completely out of contention yet in large part to Ryan’s great performance this year. If he can keep it up, the Falcons may still have a shot at the post-season while Ryan stitches together one of his best seasons ever.