Matt Ryan last missed a game in 2009, but unfortunately he’ll be out again versus the Seahawks this Sunday. I say unfortunately because it snaps a 151 regular season game streak of starts by the Falcons’ veteran quarterback, which is the fifth-longest streak for the position in NFL history. Matthew Stafford (134) and Russell Wilson (119) are the two quarterbacks who figure to challenge that streak in the next couple of seasons, if all goes well. The chronically underrated Philip Rivers has the second-longest such streak at 215 games, and he’s still building on it.
Ultimately, it’s absolutely the right decision for the Falcons to hold him out. The team is 1-6, and despite his best efforts (literally, in the case of the Arizona game, one of his better games statistically), the team is absolutely not going anywhere in 2019. I doubt the Falcons will hold him out the rest of the year or anything, but not exposing his ankle to further damage in a game where the team figures to be missing James Carpenter and facing a still-capable Seahawks defense is the savvy play. It’s still a little sad to see a historic streak like that come to an end.
The last time Ryan missed a game was 2009, his second NFL season. In 2009:
- The Steelers were defending Super Bowl champions, having defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23
- The Chicago Cubs filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, while the Yankees beat the Phillies in the World Series
- NASA found a ton of water on the Moon, but all this time later we have not built a large enough straw to get at it
- The country was just coming out of the Great Recession, and bailouts were being delivered to giant insurance firms and banks
- The first “block” of Bitcoin’s blockchain was created
- Swine flu was the global pandemic scare of the moment
- Analog television broadcasting ended in the United States
- Windows 7 was released to something still resembling fanfare, and the iPhone 3GS and Motorola Droid were two of the most popular phones of the moment
If that doesn’t help take you back in history, the Falcons:
- Were led in rushing by Michael Turner, who piled up 871 yards and 10 TDs in 11 games
- Were led in receiving by Roddy White, who put up 85 receptions, 1,153 yards and 11 TDs
- Saw Jason Snelling put up the third-highest all-purpose yards on the team with 872
- Signed Matt Bryant for the final five games of the season after incumbent kicker Jason Elam struggled mightily and ultimately retired after the season
- Were led in sacks by Jonathan Babineaux with just 6, while Brent Grimes led the team with 6 interceptions
- Finished 9-7 to put up the first-ever back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history
It’s been a long time, folks. Let’s hope Ryan starts a new streak, this one featuring a Super Bowl win, here in the near future.