2017 Grade: .609
2017 3rd Down: .630
Week 1 at Chicago: The Bears did two things that almost no one did to the Falcons in 2016. Chicago pressured Matt Ryan, and kept everything in front of them. The MVP only needed one play to win the game for his team, however, as he delivered a three-point play (highest grade awarded on any given play) with an 88-yard touchdown to Austin Hooper. Ryan was sharp throughout the game exceling in play-pass, in-breaking routes, and subtle pocket movement to buy time.
Week 2 vs. Green Bay: Matt Ryan and the Falcons offensive line struggled on third down in this game (1 points on 7 drop backs), but it didn’t matter. Ryan registered just one negative play out of his 29 total drop backs. Atlanta is playing with a shorter field than other teams because of their ability to carve up chunks of yardage on any given play. Ryan’s patience and vision for routes opening up, along with his pinpoint accuracy, allows him to drop passes into the bucket anywhere on the field. His work as a play-action passer is a sheer joy to watch.
Week 3 at Detroit: Two of Ryan’s three interceptions were on tipped passes that were fairly decently located. Still, it wasn’t his sharpest game. His worst miss actually came on a third down completion on the verge of the red-zone. The lack of zip forced the receiver to slow down, preventing YAC, and costing the Falcons a first down. Still, Ryan’s worst games are better than most quarterback’s good games.
Week 4 vs. Buffalo: The Atlanta offense sorely missed Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu at the end of the game. The drops were crucial, but that incidental turnovers were back breaking. All three of Ryan’s give aways could be attributed to other forces (poor receiver play and bad officiating.) Still, Ryan made enough plays for his team to win the game, but they ultimately came up short.
Week 6 vs. Miami: Ryan played like his usual-self in this game, the Dolphins defense is just a juggernaut that no one really knows about yet. He was on time, accurate, threw around near-perfect coverage a few times and hit the deep ball. His interception to close out the game is not a negative play on the QB, but rather an outstanding defensive play.