Atlanta Falcons: Can Ryan-Quinn Duo Win Super Bowls?

For a team to win a Super Bowl in this era of the NFL, a team will need two undisputed leaders in its organization.  I’m talking about leadership emanating from under center at the quarterback position and on the sideline from the man calling all the shots, the head coach.

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If you look at the last five teams to win a Super Bowl (New England, Seattle, Baltimore, New York (NFC), and Green Bay), each Champion has a great head coach (Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, John Harbaugh, Tom Coughlin, and Mike McCarthy) as well as a strong quarterback that delivers in clutch moments (Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, and Aaron Rodgers).

I am of the strong belief that you need both to achieve the ultimate prize of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.  While I have felt that Matt Ryan has been that level of a passer for the Falcons since 2010, I was never sold on former HC Mike Smith being able to bring the Atlanta Falcons an NFL Championship.

With new HC Dan Quinn coming to Atlanta via Seattle in 2015, will this new quarterback/head coach duo of Matt Ryan and Dan Quinn ultimately be strong enough to deliver the Atlanta Falcons its first Super Bowl victory in the not so distant future?

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Matt Ryan is the type of quarterback that will thrive in any passing system.  He can game manage effectively like he did in his first three seasons in the League.  Ryan can also spread the ball vertically to multiple receivers and throw for over 4,000 yards if need be.  Matt Ryan will now have to thrive of the play-action and occasionally run a bootleg in new OC Kyle Shanahan’s balanced offensive attack.

Dan Quinn brings a simple, yet effective 4-3 Base Defense to Atlanta this season.  Quinn’s staff in Seattle was one of the League’s most adept at player development turning third day draft picks (Richard Sherman, Malcolm Butler) into household names on championship contending teams.

Coach Quinn inherits a defense that can really only improve on a dismal 2014 campaign that ultimately held back an elite passing attack from playing in the postseason.  Expect the Atlanta Falcons defense to at least be somewhere in the middle of the pack in most categories in 2015.

Since both Ryan and Quinn’s area of expertise exist on opposite sides of the football, I believe that difference only helps the Atlanta Falcons become a more well-rounded team in the Dan Quinn Era.  Even coming off a 6-10 2014 Season, the Falcons still have many Pro Bowl caliber players on its roster and many more on the verge of breaking out into impact players this fall.

Though it is likely several seasons away at this point, I believe that the Matt Ryan/Dan Quinn connection will lead the Atlanta Falcons to at least one NFC Championship Game within the next five seasons.  Matt Ryan is too talented of a quarterback and Dan Quinn is too talented of a defensive mind for Atlanta to stay in perpetual mediocrity until 2020.

Matt Ryan will only be 35 in 2020.  Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees could all contend for Super Bowls as they rapidly approach 40 years of age.  Even if the Atlanta Falcons struggle the next few seasons, I believe that Quinn’s ability to draft and develop defensive players can give the Falcons a Top 5 NFL defense by 2020.

The biggest obstacle for the Atlanta Falcons getting back to the Super Bowl is how the team protects its franchise quarterback.  I see the offensive line as a work in progress in 2015 as LT Jake Matthews has not established himself as an elite blind side protector or would any other Falcons lineman outside of G Jon Asamoah even start on most contending teams.

If the Atlanta Falcons’ o-line can keep Matt Ryan clean in the pocket and defensive players like Desmond Trufant, Ra’Shede Hageman, and Vic Beasley progress to near Pro Bowl level, I don’t see why Matt Ryan and Dan Quinn couldn’t bring Atlanta its first Super Bowl before Ryan ultimately has to retire, hopefully many years from now.