Atlanta Falcons Executing Correct Plan By Protecting Matt Ryan

Atlanta Falcons, Thomas Dimitroff, general manager (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Thomas Dimitroff, general manager (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons, despite what fans wanted, made the right move in the draft. A lot of fans were salivating at the thought of having the chance to draft Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence or Jeffery Simmons. Instead, the Falcons bolstered their offensive line by drafting two offensive linemen in the first round. Indifference was the mood after the first round concluded, but in the end the Falcons made the right move.

Matt Ryan is the heart of the Atlanta Falcons. After bottoming out in the 2007 season, the Falcons drafted Ryan with the third pick. Since then, Ryan has led the Falcons to a winning season in eight of his 11 seasons. That includes a Super Bowl Run and MVP trophy. Ryan is the only Atlanta Falcons player to ever win that award, after his incredible 2016 season. After so many years of success, the Falcons rewarded Ryan with the wealthiest contract a in NFL history at the time. Now, with the two first-round draft picks, the Falcons are trying to protect their most expensive and important investment.

Last season Matt Ryan was sacked 42 times. The only time Ryan has been sacked more than last season, was the 2013 season. Ryan was hit 44 times, while the Falcons played to a 4-12 season. It was Ryan’s worst season as the Atlanta Falcons quarterback. In 2013 Ryan struggled with interceptions throwing 17, compared to only 26 touchdowns. Last season despite all the sacks, Ryan had a good season throwing 35 touchdowns, to only 7 interceptions. That was similar to his MVP season when, Ryan threw 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions. So Ryan has proven that even with a lackluster offensive line and lackluster is being kind, he has no problem producing. Now with the offensive line retooled, the Falcons are hoping Ryan can take his play up another level.

Matt Ryan has given the Falcons 11 seasons. He still has more seasons, possibly great seasons in front of him. But Ryan will be turning 34 by the time next season begins. Unless Ryan has found the fountain of youth Tom Brady has been bathing in, the Falcons can not let their franchise quarterback continue to get hit at last season’s rate. The Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan have been beyond fortune with Ryan’s durability and luck. Alas all that can change in the NFL. It just takes one hit at Ryan’s age, to see his career come to a halting screech. By drafting the two offensive linemen and bringing in two guards through free agency, the Falcons are doing their best to extend Ryan’s career.

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The Atlanta Falcons go as Matt Ryan goes and luckily for the Falcons, Matt Ryan has been the most consistent thing about the team the last 11 seasons. If the Falcons want to extend Ryan’s career and this run, they will have to protect him. Clearly, that was the plan this offseason, with the addition of 4 offensive linemen and the Falcons are devoted to achieving this goal. With the struggle to find your “franchise quarterback” derailing so many teams like Arizona and Jacksonville, the Atlanta Falcons are lucky to have found their guy in Matt Ryan. If the Falcons can protect Ryan properly, this run of success for the Falcons doesn’t have to end anytime soon.