After having one of the most efficient games of his career in the NFL, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 4th time in his career.
— Randall Liu (@RLiuNFL) October 23, 2013
While Ryan may not have set any career marks for counting stats in the 31-23 victory over Tampa Bay, the 28-year-old quarterback did set a personal best with a 148.4 quarterback rating during the game. That is (obviously) incredibly impressive, and his 20-for-26, 273-yard, 3-touchdown performance would stand on its own as an outstanding one.
However, Ryan’s unique challenge of entering the game without three of his top offensive weapons (Julio Jones, Roddy White, Steven Jackson) makes this explosion leap off the page in an even more dynamic way. His yards per attempt average of 10.5 was excellent, but moreover, it was the lack of mistakes that set him apart. Ryan’s excellence also allowed Harry Douglas to have the best game of his career with 7 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown, and it proved (once again) that Ryan isn’t a product of the talent around him.
In the long term, it would be irresponsible to say that the loss of Jones and the continued absence of Jackson and White wouldn’t affect Ryan, as that type of talent is irreplaceable. However, this showing should silence Ryan’s critics that refer to him as a “system” quarterback, and he did everything possible in order to lead the team to victory in an absolute must-win spot. His numbers for the season (career-high 105.9 QB rating, 13 TD, 3 INT) stand alone, but they are even more amazing when considering the circumstance, and I hope that Falcons fan appreciate the efforts of their quarterback.