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Matt Ryan is the franchise. He's the one whom the Falcons will live and die with. And Atlanta needs to protect him much better than it has this season. In 2012, the Falcon had his best year of his career and was sacked 26 times, hit 42 times and pressured 122 times.
In 2013, through just 11 games, he has been sacked 23 times, hit 32 times and pressured 132 times. That means he's on pace to be sacked 33 times, hit 47 times and pressured 192 times. That's an increase of 27 percent in sacks, 12 percent in hits and 57 percent in pressures from 2012.
This is completely unacceptable. Atlanta needs to protect the franchise. It needs to make sure it has the best five pass-blockers out there at all times. If those end up being guys who may not be the best run or screen blockers, so be it.
But the Falcons need to keep Ryan upright and make sure that he can attack opposing defenses every single chance he gets. Who those five are is a mystery, but the Falcons do have the talent on the line with Sam Baker, Lamar Holmes, Justin Blalock and Joe Hawley. They just have to get healthy.