2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons' Ryan: Still confident after interceptions

By GEORGE HENRY - Associated Press
    2012-11-21 18:14

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan hopes he never has to endure another five-interception game.

It might sound too simple, but Ryan considers last week's narrow victory over Arizona as a learning experience that could have ended much worse.

``I've got good players around me - that's the biggest part,'' Ryan said on Wednesday. ``I thought our defense played awesome last week. They kept us in it, and that's what it's all about. It's about winning games, but as a quarterback you need to do your part, too.''

Despite his career-high five picks, Ryan still helped the Falcons (9-1) squeak past the Cardinals to maintain a three-game lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the NFC South.

It wasn't easy to watch on film, particularly considering how many times Arizona tipped his passes and how often he threw to the wrong spot. Leaky protections hardly gave him much time to set his feet against blitzes up the middle.

``I've just got to find better passing lanes, and that's on me,'' Ryan said. ``I've done a good job of that in the past. I just didn't do a good job of that last week.''

Tampa Bay (6-4) has won four straight and five of its last six games, a streak that Ryan credits to the Bucs' ability to stuff the run and make an offense one-dimensional.

When the Falcons visit Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, their ground attack must overcome its ugly tendency to stall early in games and break down repeatedly in short-yardage and red-zone situations.

Against Arizona, Michael Turner's longest run was 10 yards, and Jacquizz Rodgers' longest was six. If the Falcons can reverse that trend this week, they must do so against the NFL's No. 1 run defense.

Atlanta averaged a paltry 2.6 yards per carry over the last two weeks in a loss at New Orleans, which has the league's worst run defense, and in a home win over Arizona, which ranks 21st.

Tampa Bay has two rookies, linebacker Lavonte David and strong safety Mark Barron, playing at a high level for a defense that leads the league with 87 negative plays, 59 negative runs and ranks sixth with 20 takeaways.

Falcons coach Mike Smith dismisses the poor numbers put up by the Bucs' pass defense - they rank last in the league - because opponents have been trailing Tampa Bay recently and have had to pass to try and catch up.

``They've been a very aggressive team in terms of stopping the run, and they're scoring a lot of points,'' Falcons coach Mike Smith said. ``The other thing shows up is that they're very good in the turnover ratio, but when they do create those turnovers, the offense is turning them into points. They're No. 1 in the league in terms of scoring touchdowns off turnovers.''

One reason the Bucs are tough up front: Their ends, Michael Bennett and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, and tackles, Gerald McCoy and Roy Miller, are adept at confusing an offensive line just before the snap. They disguise looks by shifting to a different front after an opponent's center makes pass protection and run-blocking calls.

``It's our job to anticipate the shift and to know your job before the shift happens so you don't get stuck in no-man's land and not be sure if you're supposed to go left or right,'' Falcons right tackle Tyson Clabo said. ``That's just part of our preparation this week and what we're going to have to overcome. On the road, it can be difficult to communicate.''

After Ryan's poor performance last week, the fifth-year veteran became the first NFL quarterback to throw five interceptions and no touchdowns in a victory since Green Bay's Bart Starr in 1967.

``If any quarterback has the right mentality for that, it's Matt,'' Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. ``His experience and the fact that it was very unusual. There were some unusual bounces. You've got to have a short memory. It's like the corner who gives up a touchdown.''

Smith credits Ryan's balanced approach - he doesn't get too fired up when the Falcons do something well and doesn't get too down when they struggle - with helping him stay focused.

``If it's a good play, you put it in the compartment and you move on to the next one,'' Smith said. ``If it's a bad play, it's the same thing. I think it just speaks volumes to be able to put things behind him and be very resilient. I think we've shown that as a football team a number of times this year.''

Ryan just wants to avoid making mistakes.

``You have to learn from things, but you have to be able to put them behind you, in the right way, and not let them take away as you move forward,'' he said. ``I think that I myself have done a good job of that, and I think our team has, too.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow George Henry at www.twitter.com/georgehenryAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

Joique BellJul 29 07:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (undisclosed) was placed on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday, July 29, as he recovers from offseason surgery. It is unclear what the [ More ]

James WrightJul 29 06:43p

Free-agent WR James Wright (Bengals) was placed on Reserve/Injured Wednesday, July 29.

Jordan ReedJul 29 05:43p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (knee) has been cleared for full participation in training camp, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Chase CoffmanJul 29 04:53p

Free-agent TE Chase Coffman (Titans) re-signed with the Tennessee Titans Wednesday, July 29, according to a source.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:33p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) can be placed on the Non-Football Injury list if/when he signs his franchise tender. Owner John Mara said the team would like [ More ]

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:23p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) is receiving his own medical treatment and rehabilitation at his home. There is currently no timetable for his return. Pierre-Paul, however, could [ More ]

Roddy WhiteJul 29 03:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White (knee) had his left knee drained before minicamp, and he could have it drained again before the season ends. White isn't concerned about it, [ More ]

Ryan KerriganJul 29 01:43p

Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan signed a five-year contract extension Wednesday, July 29, worth $11.5 million per season, according to a source. The deal includes a $16 million signing bonus.

Cyrus GrayJul 29 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Cyrus Gray was released Wednesday, July 29.

Carlos HydeJul 29 11:13a

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde is not believed to be injured and shouldn't be on the non-football injury list for long. Hyde suffered a calf injury during spring [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 09:23a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady posted on Facebook that he replaced his broken phone with a new one after his attorneys told the NFL 'my [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 01:53a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady could have had his suspended reduced based on a series of conditions. According to a source with knowledge of [ More ]

Eric BerryJul 29 01:43a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) has been cleared to take the practice field with the team Wednesday, July 29. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December [ More ]

Geno SmithJul 28 08:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith could be benched if he struggles early in the season, according to head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday, July 28. 'If you feel that [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 28.

Brodrick BunkleyJul 28 05:43p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (undisclosed) was released with a failed physical designation Tuesday, July 28.

James WrightJul 28 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright (knee) was waived with an injured designation Tuesday, July 28.

Darrin ReavesJul 28 05:33p

Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves was waived Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 05:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is facing a four-game suspension, but the Patriots have done fairly well without him. In games Brady has missed since he became a [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 28 04:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has given permission to the NFL Players Association to appeal his case in federal court, according to a source. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell [ More ]

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:43p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller may see an increase in carries in 2015, according to head coach Joe Philbin. 'If he's cranking and he got it 24 times a [ More ]

Le'Veon BellJul 28 03:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's original three-game suspension has been reduced to a two-game suspension Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 02:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 28.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group