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Matt Ryan now all alone with 10th-most passing TDs in NFL history

He broke a tie with Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Matt Ryan has been struggling in recent weeks, but that hasn’t carried over to his first matchup of the year against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Aside from three tipped passes, Ryan has been rolling, with two touchdown passes in the first half.

That second one, a slightly high pass to Calvin Ridley that the gifted receiver pulled down while dragging his feet, moved him into a tie with Fran Tarkenton for 10th all-time in NFL history. Ryan would surpass Tarkenton and move into 10th place all by himself with a touchdown strike to Hayden Hurst in the third quarter.

Ryan needed a week like this, grumbles about draft position both too early in the first half of this one and completely understandable, because he has been scuffling in Dirk Koetter’s offense for long stretches of the season. That was particularly true over the past four weeks, culminating in a three interception effort that lost the game against the Chargers in Week 14. In this one, Atlanta and Ryan came to play, and Ryan set yet another mark in a long, impressive career.

Ryan is now top 10 in completions, yardage, and touchdowns, as well as 13th all-time in passer rating, and the only real questions left in his career are whether he can earn thatelusive ring and how long he’ll play, as it will likely determine where he’ll end up on the all-time leaderboards. He owns every Falcons franchise record outright and has had, regardless of what comes next, a pretty fantastic career in Atlanta.

No one knows whether Ryan is here beyond next year or not, but every reminder that he can still play at a high level (especially without Julio Jones) is a positive for the next regime in Atlanta. Congratulations to Ryan, who is going to keep moving up career leaderboards no matter where he’s playing.