Atlanta Falcons: Why Matt Ryan deserves blame for loss

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Matt Ryan /

The Atlanta Falcons lost to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13, and the blame needs to fall squarely on quarterback Matt Ryan’s shoulders

There seems to be ready-made excuses for Matt Ryan whenever he falls short. Early in the season it was because of the play calling as he and new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian were learning to gel. There were many praising the quarterback, but ripping Sark, calling him unfit for the job.

In all honesty, that’s laughable. Sure, Sarkisian had never been an offensive coordinator in the NFL, but this wasn’t some kid off the street with an impressive Madden resume. Sarkisian has been a coach since the year 2000, and has twice been a head coach and was behind some of the best offensive seasons USC football ever had. Then when Ryan found his groove, the inappropriate jokes about Sarkisian’s drinking died as did questions about his ability.

Fast forward to Week 13 and the Falcons drop one to the Minnesota Vikings, and again this one is excused. There were dropped passes by receivers and the Falcons just played a tough team. That’s the new line, but it holds no merit. All that is, is giving a pass to Ryan because people like him.

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Here’s the facts: all quarterbacks have receivers who drop the ball, and they all play tough teams like Minnesota. If we want to be real, let’s look at the yardage through the air that other guys have managed against Minnesota in 2017.

Opponents passing yards vs. Vikings

Drew Brees: 291 yards
Ben Roethlisberger: 243 yards
Jameis Winston: 328 yards
Matthew Stafford: 209 yards
Mitchell Trubisky: 128 yards
Brett Hundley: 157 yards (off the bench)
Joe Flacco: 186 yards
DeShone Kizer: 179 yards
Kirk Cousins: 327 yards
Jared Goff: 225 yards
Matthew Stafford: 250 yards

Listen to us debate this very topic on the Blogging Dirty Podcast!

After all that, Matt Ryan came in at 173 yards passing. That means the 2016 NFL MVP had a game comparable to rookie DeShone Kizer and only out-did Brett Hundley and rookie Mitchell Trubisky. A game in which his team needed him to deliver and his defense held the opponent to just 14 points. A game where he was at home and could have put his team just one game back of the AFC South lead.

Yes, Matt Ryan is a likable guy and has all the tools to be a champion. The problem is he’s wildly inconsistent and no one wants to hold him accountable. Instead, it’s easier to find the reason everyone else is the problem and not him. Well in this loss, he deserves the most blame.