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Don’t be too easy on Ryan

September 16th, 2008

Matt Ryan really struggled in Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Frankly, Matt Ryan is the reason we lost that game, at least the main reason. He played very poorly in the first half. He bounced back well in the second half however. But I don’t think we should mince words about Ryan’s performance. He played very poorly in the first half, and had he performed at a much higher level, we probably could have or even should have won that game.

And while Ryan’s early struggles are to be expected due to his lack of experience, Falcons fans shouldn’t give Ryan a pass on playing poorly. The Falcons coaching staff deemed Ryan was ready to start in this league. And as such, he should be held to a fairly high standard. Yes, he’s a rookie, so a reasonable person isn’t expect him to go out there in his second NFL start and win a game by himself. But if the Falcons coaches felt he was ready and prepared to face the music so early in his NFL career, then such a notion isn’t that far from the truth. Meaning, Falcon fans should hold Ryan to a veteran standard.

I was never a fan of the cult of excuse making that Falcon fans were involved in when it came to Michael Vick. Whenever Vick performed poorly, there would be a flood of excuses of why that was the case. Bad receivers, bad blocking, bad play-calling, etc. And I’m not going to say those things didn’t exist because they certainly did. But those things didn’t have much to do with the poor accuracy, touch, and decision making that Vick displayed often while our starter. And Ryan showed much of the same early on Sunday, and I’d hate for my fellow Falcon fans to get back into their old bad habits.

So when Ryan performs like he did on Sunday, don’t hesitate to say so. Trust me, Matt Ryan isn’t going to be reading these comments on the internet. He’ll be too busy worrying about our next opponent to care. You’re never going to hear Matt Ryan’s mother make a plea to the fans of Atlanta that her baby needs immense love and support to get through these tough times.

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  1. James H. a.k.a. Happ
    September 16th, 2008 at 16:23 | #1

    Great post, Pudge. I was not a big fan of Ryan’s when he was drafted, but he’s shown a lot in preseason and everything he did up to Sunday was better than I expected. He did come back and showed why he is has the nickname ICE. It was a good effort by the defense, which is promising, and Ryan will have growing pains, but I still think he’s moving in the right direction. He’s shown that he’s not content to be average, and will work to improve his game, which is why I think he’ll be a success.

  2. Dave
    September 18th, 2008 at 12:29 | #2

    I agree to a point. I think we need to recognize that while he was definitely the reason we lost the game, he showed improvement in the second half a against a tough defense.

    This isn’t going to be the last time he loses a game for us, and given how solid the rest of the team has looked, we need to hold Ryan responsible when he screws up. I just hope he doesn’t look bad against the Chiefs, because they’re an embarrassment.

  3. jay smith
    September 22nd, 2008 at 10:48 | #3

    Excellent post, thank you!

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