Falcons’ Ryan is about more than just statistics

I’ve seen quite a bit of the Atlanta Falcons over the last several weeks. Some things that jump out at me: They’re learning how to win close games, and I’m liking the progress of the offense and QB Matt Ryan.

Ryan is going to be that type of quarterback where there are games in which statistics just don’t matter. To evaluate Ryan, you have to watch him situationally, and it goes back to his days at Boston College. There was a game against Virginia Tech in the rain in which he threw three interceptions¬†and had 101 yards through three quarters, and then had 184 yards in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning touchdown pass.

Ryan made it happen when it had to happen. Statistics be darned.

Ryan’s game against the Browns last week wasn’t a statistical work of art. But, he kept plays alive with his legs and stayed with routes knowing he would take big hits and still delivered the ball accurately. Several times, when drives stalled or didn’t pay off, Ryan didn’t let down and got it done later. That’s what makes superior quarterbacks.

I love what Ryan does for the Falcons’ offense. He’s an intelligent quarterback and is in full control of the two-minute drill, which the Falcons will run at any point of the game as a change-up. The way Michael Turner is running the ball, it gives Ryan the chance to take the big shot downfield to Roddy White, who had his first reception last week of 25-plus yards. That’s what the Falcons are looking for.

Ryan’s intangibles are off the charts. His teammates truly rally around him now and he’s acknowledged as their leader, even though he’s just a third-year quarterback. I don’t think there’s any question about that. I also don’t care what his numbers tell me during games, because I feel like at some point he’s going to make winning plays.

Someone in the league told me this week that although Ryan’s numbers aren’t that great, they felt like he’s an MVP candidate. That says it all about how people around the league are viewing Ryan.

— Charles Davis

Follow me on Twitter @CFD22 and follow the NFL Network @nflnetwork.

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