Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan Will be Better in 2018


The Atlanta Falcons are coming into 2018 with a renewed energy and focus on bringing home a Super Bowl. No player will be more important to those hopes then quarterback Matt Ryan.

Matt Ryan had a regression for the Atlanta Falcons in 2017. His season was still solid but nothing compared to his great 2016 MVP run on the way to losing the Super Bowl. No fault of Ryan’s who did everything he could to carry his team through the playoffs.

Why should we expect Matt Ryan to be better in the 2018 season? If you study Matt Ryan’s history with offensive coordinators often he struggles the first year with a new coordinator. Struggling for Matt Ryan looks much like an average starting quarterback as opposed to the top tier starter he is capable of being.

Take a look at Matt Ryan’s Quarterback Rating on ESPN. Pay special attention to his numbers the first year that Kyle Shanahan was there. Ryan had a rating of 89.0 the year before his MVP run. During that run his rating jump all the way to 117.1 before dropping down to 91.4 this past season.

It is a trend you can see in Ryan’s career, making it easy to predict he will have a big year in 2018. Another reason to think Ryan will be better is the fact his 12 interceptions weren’t completely his fault. He will turn the ball over far less in 2018.

Any Falcon’s fan knows just how many of those picks hit receivers squarely and bounced into the defender’s arms. Make no mistake Ryan is more aware of this than fans and it will be a huge point of emphasis this off-season.

Ryan’s yardage was down a bit as well barely hitting 4,000 a year after almost passing for 5,000 yards. This number will improve considering the Falcon’s focus on Calvin Ridley and the need to throw the ball to their running backs.

For Ryan, the biggest improvement he needs to make this season shows a consistent approach in the red-zone.

Watching the Falcons red-zone offense last season was painful and Ryan must improve the team’s scoring abilities.

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With well over a year to learn the new playbook and fully understand his new offense, Ryan is set to take a leap forward in 2018.     The question is will it finally be enough to make the Falcons World Champs?