Matt Ryan Could Go From Draftable to Unstreamed

(Photo by MyAJC.com)

In an interview with NBC Sports Radio’s ProFootballTalk Live, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff expressed confidence by declaring it to have “no glaring holes” despite his team’s results showing the contrary.

The Falcons have missed the playoffs over the past three seasons, constitute of big-money free agents not impressing, and are missing on notable picks. Of the ones that come to mind are current and former defensive linemen Ra’Shede Hageman and Peria Jerry, and, unexpectedly, second-year pass rusher, Vic Beasley.

Left out is quarterback Matt Ryan as his Pro Bowls and 2012 NFC Championship appearance rid of him of any bust labels. But with his mediocre final seven games of 2015, including his passes of at least 20 yards worsening over the past two years (via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com), Ryan decided to seek help from alleged quarterback savior and throwing coach extraordinaire, baseball pitching coach, Tom House.

House is known to help out quarterbacks like Tom Brady and have saved the career of Drew Brees in 2004. But with House contributing to the quarterbacking career failures of Terrelle Pryor and Tim Tebow, failure in Ryan’s preseason should come as no surprise.

Ryan’s near second half of 2015 consisted of him posting an 84.3 passer rating with 1889 yards thrown and a 9:9 TD:INT ratio, a total contrast from his first nine games (92.4 passer rating; 2702 yards and a 12:7 TD:INT ratio). Now with his 54.7 passer rating consisting of him completing a miserable 48.6 percent of his passes and one interception, Ryan is likely not to turn things around for the Falcons, or even your team in any fantasy league.

He already averaged 15.9 fantasy points per game from Weeks 1 through 9 in standard leagues, but with a four-point drop in average from Weeks 10 through 15, the final week of a standard fantasy season, he is not just draft unworthy but untouchable.

Newly signed backup quarterback Matt Schaub has looked decent this preseason as he has posted a 103.6 passer rating by completing 73.6 percent of his 38 passes for 366 yards. Schaub is not only entering his second tour of duty with the Falcons but back with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, whom he had success with when Shanahan was Houston’s quarterback coach. With Ryan’s discomfort and failures with the offense, it is possible that Schaub takes over the starting job and, unexpectedly, ends Ryan’s season.

Weirder things have happened in the NFL, and a Ryan benching should be considered as potentially imminent. If I am wrong and crazy for imagining such a scenario, how did a quarterback that was so good over the past three years± get so bad so quickly*?

±2012-2014 averages:
425 completions of 631 attempts (67.4 percent), 290.2 yards per game, 29:15 TD:INT Ratio.
*2015 total:
407 completions of 614 attempts (66.3 percent), 286.9 yards per game, 21:16 TD:INT Ratio.