Why Atlanta Falcons will reach the playoffs: Matt Ryan


Atlanta Falcons fans have plenty of reason for optimism this season. While it’s unlikely the Falcons will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February, they have an opportunity to get back on track and return to the postseason for the first time since 2012.

I’ve been making my case for why I think the Falcons will make the playoffs, and today I reveal my final reason why I believe this. For those interested, here’s a link to each argument I’ve made:

I’ve saved the most important, and perhaps most obvious, until last. While each of the other four reasons are crucial to the team’s success, there is at least hope the Falcons could make the playoffs if one of those didn’t come through.

If Freeman and Coleman don’t quite get it done on the ground, there’s still a chance the Falcons make the playoffs. If Julio Jones has an off year, there’s still some hope they could get there. It would be much less likely, but there would still be a chance.

With this fifth reason, however, Atlanta simply can’t lose him. The final reason why I think the Falcons will make the playoffs is because of Matt Ryan.

Ryan is often underrated in the national media, but that’s OK. You don’t win championships on recognition or hype, you win championships on consistent, high-level play. And that’s exactly what Matty Ice brings with him year in year out.

RELATED: Falcons can’t waste Matt Ryan’s Super Bowl window

Last year, Ryan finished with 4,594 passing yards and 28 touchdowns to his 14 interceptions. He finished fifth in the NFL for yards and seventh for completion percentage. It was far from a dominant season, but his ability is undeniable.

What’s more is Ryan is consistent. He has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of his past four seasons, and has thrown at least 28 touchdowns each year since 2009. His career average for interceptions is 13 a season, which isn’t bad.

Can he improve? Sure. There aren’t many quarterbacks in the NFL who can do everything; the Aaron Rodgers of this world are few and far between.

But Ryan is without a doubt a top-10 quarterback year in year out, and his importance is crucial to the Atlanta Falcons.

Take Ryan out of the team, and it doesn’t matter how much the defense improves, how good of a leader Dan Quinn is or whether the run game can get going or not. With no Ryan, the Falcons have no chance.

More from Blogging Dirty

At 30 years of age, Matty Ice is entering the prime years of his career. Whereas a running back or wide receiver’s skill set might begin to decline when they hit 30, many quarterbacks are only just hitting their stride.

As a seven-year pro, Ryan has the blend of experience and talent to once again be a top-tier quarterback this season. It helps when you have an elite receiver on your team, of course.

The quarterback position is by far the most important in football, and the Falcons have one of the best on their roster.

Every reason I’ve written about is important if the Falcons are to reach the postseason. The most important reason, however, is the man who wears the No. 2 jersey.

Next: Are the Falcons the NFC South's most improved team?