Matt Ryan’s MVP-worthy numbers have taken a backseat to a more pressing issue in Atlanta: the inability to oust their opponents on a weekly basis.
Among players with over 100 passing attempts, Matt Ryan is currently top three in completion percentage just behind Derek Carr and Russell Wilson. He’s second in passing yards behind Patrick Mahomes, and tied for second in touchdowns. Ryan is on pace to shatter the yards mark he set during his 2016 MVP season with an additional 352 — a boost that would put Ryan at third of all-time for yards in a season.
So if Matt Ryan is at the top of the league and out-gaining himself from an MVP season that led the Falcons to football in February, how could the 2019 Falcons be eyeing a 1-4 record entering Week 6?
Well, the answer is actually pretty obvious. Dan Quinn forgot how to run a defense. Coach Quinn has been working with defenses since his NFL coaching career began in 2001, including the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks who had of the greatest defenses of all time. The most concerning thing about this Falcons team is that the brilliant defensive mind and Head Coach Dan Quinn took over defensive coordinator duties for this season and through five weeks, their defense is ranked 27th according to Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, an accredited system that calculates significant data for defensive proficiency. The real reason Matty Ryan is racking up crazy yard totals is because his team’s defense has forced Dirk Koetter’s offense to play from behind.
In case you were wondering, some of Matt Ryan’s other stats are on pace to increase from his 2016 season. His attempts and completions are 166.4 and 125.2 ahead of schedule, respectively. Throwing at a rate that will leave him with the most completions ever in a season, ahead of Drew Brees’ 471 in 2016, and just 17 shy of Matt Stafford’s attempts record, 727. The Falcons’ quarterback is tied for second in the league for interceptions this season, placing Ryan middle of the road, No. 15, in Quarterback Rating. Ryan has an absurd amount of throws that has not even remotely bred success.
Although Ryan is on pace to put up all-time numbers in yards, attempts, and completions, his overall performance is not one to drool over. The Falcons are in serious trouble if they cannot establish a run game — which is not an easy task when trailing early due to defensive woes.