We all love snarky criticism. Matt Ryan, and the Falcons, beat Miami, but "it could've gone the other way". It didn't. The Falcons are 3-3. "It can be argued Ryan allowed Miami to inch back and nearly pull off the upset." They didn't pull it off. But, if Tua doesn't throw that interception to Hawkins, But, and, what if, they could've, we would've, they should've. The Falcons are 3-3
The SI author of the second quote was focusing on a play where Ryan threw to Calvin Ridley and Dolphins CB Xavien Howard stripped the reception from Ridley's hands. The writer also wrote about a fumble Ryan dropped deep in Atlanta's territory late in the game. The theme of the writer's column was that Ryan won, sure, but it almost seemed like he was trying to lose it. He wrote that "Ryan forced the ball to Ridley [on that play], and Ridley wasn't in stride." He also wrote that that pass was on the sidelines. It wasn't. That line, and the attempt to frame the play so that it faults Ryan, leads this reader to think the writer might not have seen the play, or that he didn't remember it well, because it's pretty obvious that the writer is trying hard to try to find fault for what Ryan did on this play. The rest of us could see it was a quick, imperfect pass from Ryan, and if there is any fault to be had for unusual play, it lies with Ridley for not securing the catch well enough. I choose to believe that neither was at fault, and it was a quick, perfect strip by Howard that he managed to eventually secure before it hit the ground. Good play Howard. Kudos and all that. Other than faulting Ryan for not throwing a perfect pass, I don't see how anyone can fault Ryan for that play.
Taking the Jets and the Lions out of the equation, how many NFL games are near-perfect blowouts? How many games are turnover-free, mistake free games by veteran quarterbacks? Turnovers happen, and all quarterbacks throw interceptions. Their job is to make amends for that error when they get the ball back. Don't be afraid to throw another interception. Play your game and win. This is what Ryan did.
Turnovers are a maddening element of the game that, for the most part, a team can control. Turnovers lead announcers and writers to inform their audience of the obvious fact that "If you want to win in the NFL, you can't turn the ball over." Anyone who has ever played football from the NFL down to a game of two-hand touch in the backyard knows that you try to make plays, and when you try to make plays things happen. One of the things that happen is you turn the ball over. You shake your head as you walk off the field and you drop a "dadgumit!" and you move on.
The writer goes onto write, "Sure, Ryan did his part to control the clock and let Koo nail a 36-yard field goal to secure the 30-28 win over Miami," but..."He [also] hit a 49-yard touchdown to Russell Gage, but the coverage was in his favor."
The Falcons blew a 13-point lead, they could've lost. Well, they didn't. They're 3-3, but they've only beaten the lowest of low teams, and they came close to losing all of those games. They didn't. They also could've won two of the three games they lost. They didn't. Your record tells you who you are, and the Falcons are 3-3. In week six, the Falcons are on the brink of matching their 2020 win total. How many NFL teams would love to be 3-3 heading into week 8? After last year, how many fans thought the Falcons would be this good? How many fans thought they'd be this bad? The Braves have the 12th best record in baseball, and they're headed to the World Series. They Falcons are 3-3. Does this mean that the Falcons are one of the better teams in the NFL? No. Does any team on the future schedule fear them? Probably not. Are the Falcons on the doorstop of the playoffs, of course not. They're 3-3.