With the NFL season getting closer and closer, it’s fair to wonder just how great (or poorly) the season could go for the Falcons. Part of that will depend on how great (or poorly) the season goes for many of the key players on the team. None is more key than franchise QB Matt Ryan. Every fan knows how critical he is to the team’s success, but how great a season can we hope for? And what thoughts haunts us at nights? Let’s take a look.
Really, since 2016, Ryan has been at the top of his game. Even if his 2017 stats didn’t reflect it, his play definitely did. His 2018 was even better, with stats that nearly mirrored his MVP season. So, our biggest hope for Ryan is more of what he’s been doing. High yardage totals and TDs with few interceptions and overall MVP caliber play.
It’s not a huge stretch to hope that Ryan continues to play well, but hoping he is in the MVP conversation again in 2019 will require more than just Ryan coming through. After all, he had the stats in 2018, but the 7-9 team record kept him from being in any MVP conversations and even resulted in him being a Pro Bowl alternate behind the likes of Mitch Trubisky.
However, if the team plays well and Ryan continues playing at a high level, a second league MVP is not out of reach.
I’m almost afraid to type this into existence, but you probably already know what it is. Ryan has been incredibly durable during his career, missing just two games and none since 2010. If Matt were to go down for any extended period of time, this team is likely in deep trouble. Given that our QB has been taking a lot of hits in the pocket the past few years - and the fact that he’s in his mid 30s now - the risk of injury is only getting worse. Thankfully, Matt has always kept himself in good shape and quite flexible, but he’s still human. Hopefully, the revamped OL will keep him far cleaner this year and prevent this nightmare scenario from happening.
What are your biggest hopes and fears for this team’s franchise QB this season?