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Matt Ryan ties John Elway for 7th in game winning drives in a big play, big anxiety win

Atlanta’s defense came close to giving it away, but #2 and company got the job done.

Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Matt Ryan has not had enough easy wins in his career, to put it mildly. This Falcons team has tended to disappoint or surprise with a last second win, and on Sunday against the Dolphins, they did the latter again. Atlanta drove downfield and gave Younghoe Koo a short field goal attempt he inevitably converted.

That gave Ryan and company a crucial win that brought this team to .500, but it also gave the Falcons quarterback his 40th game winning drive. That ties him with John Elway for the seventh-most in NFL history, and gave Ryan another game where a generally great day ended up outweighing a small handful of costly mistakes, namely a fumble that gave the Dolphins a shot at the lead and an interception earlier in the effort.

This was yet another game where it felt like Atlanta should have blown out their opponent, but the win is what matters in the end. This was a game of big mistakes—the fumbles, the defensive miscues, etc.—but also a game where the Falcons managed a blocked field goal courtesy of Ade Ogundeji, a pick from Jaylinn Hawkins in the end zone, and several borderline miraculous catches by Kyle Pitts. Ryan, who put up close to 350 yards and two touchdowns on the day, was able to take advantage of those big plays with major assists from the likes of Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson and earn the victory.

The Falcons can’t count on Ryan being perfect to win games, though he’s clearly still playing very well. This was yet another ugly win where they were able to get it done in the end without that being the case, and if they ever get this defense figured out, maybe Ryan won’t have to pilot this team to any more last second wins to wind up with the victory. Either way, we’ll take being 3-3, especially after the ugly start to the year.