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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had league’s third lowest failed completion percentage in 2017

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Fact: Matt Ryan once killed a White Walker ... without using dragon glass

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had a productive 2017. His Pro Football Focus grade of 88.6 ranked 2nd among quarterbacks. He took his team back to the playoffs, notwithstanding a crushing Super Bowl loss. If all goes according to plan, he will kick off next season with a shiny new extension.

Five or ten years from now, when we look back on 2017, Steve Sarkisian’s adoption of the orphaned Falcons offense will stand out as a memorable storyline. And sure, their red zone efficiency fell off a cliff (from 64.56 percent/8th in the NFL in 2016 to 49.18 percent/23rd in the NFL in 2017). But they still moved the ball. They still got up and down the field.

Football Outsiders released their failed completion statistics today. Ryan’s failed completion percentage was 20.8 percent in 2018. That was the NFL’s third lowest failed completion percentage. Just so we’re all on the same page, this is how Football Outsiders defines “failed completion”:

[A]ny completed pass that fails to gain 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, or 100 percent on third or fourth down

So what does this mean? It means Ryan and company still knew how to get necessary yardage in 2017. They still knew how to get 1st downs by setting up third down conversions. Ultimately we should keep this in mind as we look ahead to 2018, because if the Falcons can resolve their red zone woes, the offense will look a whole lot better.

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