Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart Breakdown: Quarterbacks

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Dec 14, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

QB1 — Matt Ryan

Bet you didn’t see this coming. Matt Ryan is of course the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons heading into 2015, and he is an excellent passer.

Dec 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws the ball prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

After an awful 2007 season, finishing with a 4-12 record, the Falcons turned to Ryan with the third overall selection of the 2008 NFL Draft, and he was the starter right from the season opener.

After seven years in Atlanta, Ryan has completed 2,508 passes for 28,166 yards and 181 touchdowns to 91 interceptions.

Ryan is consistently one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and has ranked in the top-five for passing stats in each of the past three seasons. He has featured in the top-10 every year since 2009.

Not only is he consistently among the best passers in the league, he’s also proven his durability. Since his debut in 2008, Ryan has missed just two games, which both came in 2009.

The best news for Atlanta is the fact he’s only 29 years old. For a quarterback, that’s still very young. If he stays healthy, Ryan could potentially play another ten years, possibly even more.

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Tom Brady, the 2014 Super Bowl MVP, won his fourth championship at 37 years old; Peyton Manning led the Denver Broncos to the big game in 2013, also at 37.

Over the next few years, Ryan will be entering the prime of his career, which could coincide perfectly with Dan Quinn’s rebuild of the defense. With the defense improving and Ryan hitting his stride, the Falcons could become a force a couple of years down the line.

Ryan will lead the way again in 2015. Along with star receiver Julio Jones and a transformed run game led by Tevin Coleman, the Falcons’ offense will once again be among the league’s best.

Next: The backups