Is Matt Ryan on the Hot Seat After the Atlanta Falcons' Loss?
Early exits in the NFL playoffs are becoming a recurring theme for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Their inability to win a big game might be frustrating, but it shouldn't be a threat to Ryan's job.
Despite the New York Giants' overwhelming defensive effort, Ryan wasn't the reason the Falcons lost this game. Ryan didn't turn the ball over and his offensive line got beat on Atlanta's two fourth-down attempts in which he took it himself.
The Falcons quarterback might have had five or more completions alone if Roddy White and Julio Jones could hold onto the ball. You can't be too effective as a quarterback if your receivers have holes in their hands.
And to further stack the deck on Ryan's 41-pass day, head coach Mike Smith abandoned his running game, making his 1,300-yard running back non-existent during the game, most notably the two fourth-down situations that didn't work.
In total, the Falcons only ran the ball 21 times for 64 yards with 15 carries for 45 yards coming from Michael Turner. What was their recipe for success during the season turned out to be the nail in their coffin come playoff time.
Without much going on around him and a dominating Giants' pass rush, I'm not sure what more Ryan could've done.
Is Matt Ryan on the hot seat?
That's not to say that the past two seasons you couldn't throw any blame at Ryan for the Falcons' losses, but you simply can't do that in this instance.
Besides, even if you throw a portion of blame at Ryan for this disappointment, are you really ready to throw him on the scrap heap just yet? Is it wise to throw a fourth-year quarterback in the garbage after he throws for 4,117 yards and 29 touchdowns this past season?
Of course not.
If the Falcons did, Ryan would be unemployed for all of two seconds with all the teams in the NFL needing a quarterback. I think it's time to place the blame where it really belongs, and that's on the guys around him and his coaches.
Ryan is certainly good enough to be a Super Bowl quarterback, but Atlanta needs to put it altogether if that's ever going to happen.
Until then, Ryan will continue to suit up as Atlanta's quarterback and continue to put up numbers that will make him this franchise's greatest of all time someday.
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