Matt Ryan on Tom Brady Joining Bucs: NFC South Will Be 'A Battle Every Week'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2020

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, left, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, right, speak at midfield after an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

The addition of Tom Brady makes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a much scarier opponent for the NFC South, meaning the division will be even tougher going into 2020.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan discussed the free-agent signing Tuesday on SportsCenter.

"It didn't get any easier in our division, for sure," Ryan said (h/t Riley Gates of 247Sports). "They're solid. Tampa's defense was really tough. They add Tom, who's such a consistent and great player. The division's going to be a battle every week."

The Falcons don't face the Buccaneers until Week 15 and then again in Week 17.

"It's tough but I think any time you get those division games late in the year, it gives you a chance to either make up ground, or separate yourself," Ryan added. "That's what we're going to need to do that time of the year."

The Buccaneers have gone 12 straight seasons without a playoff berth, but adding Brady gives the team a quarterback who has won 11 division titles in a row with the New England Patriots. He has six Super Bowl championships, including one win over Ryan and the Falcons.

According to Caesars Casino, Tampa Bay has 12-1 odds to win a title this season, while the Falcons are listed at 60-1. With the New Orleans Saints already coming off a 13-3 season in 2019 and the Carolina Panthers adding Teddy Bridgewater in the offseason, the NFC South could be especially deep.

Meanwhile, the Falcons will need to improve after back-to-back 7-9 seasons.

Atlanta did end the year on a high note with six wins in the final eight games, but Ryan knows the improvements around the division will put more pressure on him.

"In terms of what we need to do offensively, we're obviously going to have to score some points," he said Tuesday. "There's some great offenses in our division. We've got to focus on that, going out week-in and week-out, finding ways to get touchdowns when we get in the red area."