Gruden: “We Have to Play Better On Defense to Slow Ryan”

The key to a Raiders victory on Sunday lies in slowing downing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
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The 13th season veteran vs. the seventh-year quarterback.

The Falcons have a top-10 offense in the league through 12 weeks when it comes to yards per game.

They are the second-best passing offense in the league, averaging 280.6 yards per game with Matt Ryan under center.

In comparison, Derek Carr manages the 20th best passing offense in the league, averaging 235.2 yards per game.

Ryan has four targets he typically throws long balls to--wide receivers Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones and Russell Gage, and tight end Hayden Hurst.

All four average over 11 yards per reception.

Carr bounces around four targets on the field as well. Wide receivers Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agholor, Henry Ruggs III, and tight end Darren Waller.

Waller averages 8.6 yards per reception. The wide receivers average over 14 yards per reception.

Carr and Ryan are comparable in some ways. But for head coach Jon Gruden, it’s all about slowing Ryan down.

“Well Matt’s done it a long time at a high level,” Gruden said. “I’ve always enjoyed the way he’s played. He’s a coach on the field. He’s a great down-to-down competitor. They call him Matty Ice for a reason. When the game is on the line at the end of the game, he has a way of bring his team back.

"I think a lot of our quarterback, obviously. I’m not going to compare them, but we have to play a lot better on defense to slow Ryan and this offense down.”

It’s all about slowing Ryan down on the field. He’s been productive and so have his receivers. Ryan is a veteran who can think on his feet, coach on his feet and adapt on his feet.

It’s not about comparing the two quarterbacks. It’s about stopping the opponent’s quarterback.

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