Atlanta Falcons Year in Review: Matt Ryan
The 2012 season was a great season for the Atlanta Falcons finishing the regular season with the number one overall seed with a 13-3 record. The offense turned more into a passing offense rather than a running offense which had been the case ever since head coach Mike Smith took over. This led to quarterback Matt Ryan having a career year with the Falcons.
Entering his fifth year in the league, Ryan was known as a really good quarterback who was yet to win a game in the playoffs. The season started off with much of the same as previous years for Ryan and the Falcons, winning game after game in the regular season, but not in dominating fashion, but by winning close games even against lesser opponents.
Ryan had career-highs in all meaningful stats for a quarterback. He finished the season with a quarterback rating of 99.1 while throwing for 4,718 yards with 32 interceptions. He also threw for a career-high in interceptions with 14. However, five of those interceptions came in one game. Ryan was consistent the entire season and flourished with his receiving corps, led by second-year receiver Julio Jones.
While the regular season was great for Ryan, no one took the Falcons serious until they proved that they could win a playoff game. After a first-round bye, the Falcons were in the divisional round of the playoffs facing a hot Seattle Seahawks team. After taking a commanding lead in the first half, the Falcons, on both offense and defense, slowly started to let Seattle back in the game. After two second half interceptions by Ryan, it looked like the same old Falcons all over again.
When the Seahawks took the lead 28-27 with 31 seconds left, Ryan proved why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. In just two plays, Ryan got the Falcons into field goal range as the Falcons and Ryan got their first playoff win under coach Smith. The season ended next week for the team, but with the young group of guys on offense and with Ryan getting into the prime of his career, there is nothing but optimism in Atlanta.
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