The Falcons came into the game as a slight 2.5-point favorite (www.sbrforum.com) and scraped by with half a point less.
Although this was the first playoff victory for the team since Ryan joined up in 2008, the Atlanta Falcons will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in two and a half weeks, and they will have “Matty Ice” to thank for it.
Matt Ryan has quietly moved his way up the ranks of quarterbacks in the NFL and his performance this season should solidify him among the elite.
He boasted the league's highest completion percentage this year while being ranked third in passing attempts.
Ryan led the offense to 26.2 points per game, enough for seventh place, while also finishing the regular season with the league’s third best QBR (NFL.com).
On top of all this, Matt Ryan was able to do all of this with one of the NFL’s lowest ranked rushing attacks, making it even more impressive that Ryan led the Falcons to the best record in the league this season.
I’ve got three names for you:
The first is a future hall-of-famer that will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest tight ends to play the game.
The second is a big play wide out, totaling six straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons in a row.
The third is a second year deep threat with a 38.5-inch vertical (NFL.com) and a very bright future.
These are the weapons at the disposal of Matt Ryan, and he uses them with perfection and precision. When a defense keys on one, the other two shine, and Matty Ice is the one providing the shimmer.
With arguably the league’s most dynamic receiving corps, Matt Ryan rarely has to scramble too far or take off running, but when he does, his feet do an above-average job of getting it done.
This year he rushed 34 times for 141 yards, a 4.1 yards per carry average and added a score as well (ESPN.com).
On his lone carry in their post-season opener, he managed a respectable 6 yards.
For a quarterback who isn’t in the conversation of elite running quarterbacks, Ryan sure can move when the need arises.
As the old adage goes: Defense wins championships.”
Over the course of this year, we have seen that the Atlanta Falcons defense is a force to be reckoned with.
Matt Ryan can put up the points on offense, and his defense helps keep the opposition out of the end zone and on the bench.
Over the past few days, many have been calling for the emergence of the nickname “Matty Ice 2.0” for Matt Bryant.
The Atlanta Falcons' kicker proved that he too has ice in his veins when he drilled an ultimately game-winning 49-yard field goal to put the Falcons up 30-28 last weekend against the Seattle Seahawks.
Bryant has been in the league for 11 years and—after going 33 of 38 in field goals this year and having been perfect on extra points for the past 4 years (ESPN.com)—it is easy to see how “M.I.2” has become one of the most consistent weapons for the Falcons.
Having a virtually guaranteed field goal in your pocket makes driving the length of the field a much easier process.
A kicker with such experience and skill really alleviates the pressure from Matt Ryan.
Matt Ryan and his Atlanta Falcons may have just won their first playoff game—but believe me, this red-hot team has what it takes to run the gauntlet, and they will be the champions of Super Bowl XLVII.