Quarterback Matt Ryan is off to a slow start along with his 0-2 Atlanta Falcons. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com has Ryan falling even farther in his quarterback rankings this week.
Ryan is down three spots after a three interception performance in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Rosenthal has Ryan dropping from 15th to 18th and has questions about the 36-year old's arm.
"Only Andy Dalton has a lower average depth of target among starters. Ryan has only attempted three passes over 20 yards in two games, failing to complete one. This is partly an offensive line problem, but Ryan's deep ball doesn't look the same. Doesn't he know that quarterbacks aren't supposed to age in this era?" - Gregg Rosenthal
Ryan and the Atlanta offense showed improvement against a good Buccaneers defense, but poor field position and offensive line play in the fourth quarter quickly turned a 28-25 deficit into a 48-25 blowout.
Ryan's two late interceptions were returned for touchdowns by Tampa Bay to seal the game and sour what was an otherwise solid performance for Ryan. On the day he completed 35 of 46 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Rosenthal mentions Ryan's lack of depth on his targets being partially an offensive line problem. He's probably underselling the offense line problem. Ryan has been forced to get rid of the ball quickly in passing situations because of a young, leaky offensive line.
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Ryan was only sacked once by the Buccaneers, but he was hit seven times. The Falcons rushing attack ranks 24th in the NFL with 89.5 yards per game, but over 100 of those roughly 180 yards rushing came in the first half of the first game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Atlanta managed only 55 yards on 20 attempts (2.8 avg) against Tampa last week.
Atlanta faces the New York Giants on Sunday at 1 p.m. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones edged out Ryan at 16 on the NFL.com rankings, and ironically, he's been the Giants' main threat rushing.
Jones had 95 yards on nine carries last week against the Washington Football Team, so the Falcons defense will have its work cut out for it containing Jones in the running game.
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