Atlanta Falcons continue to ask far too much of Matt Ryan
The Atlanta Falcons lead the league in at least one stat so far this season, quarterback hits. Matt Ryan leads the league in punishment taken, not something you want for your thirty-six-year-old quarterback. That, however, is the position Atlanta has put Ryan in refusing to move on or build around their franchise cornerstone.
After Calvin Ridley stepped away from football Atlanta knew they lacked a receiving threat. Russell Gage is the only receiver Atlanta has rostered who would make most rosters in this league. Even then you will be hard-pressed to find a roster that Gage is the first option on. He is a solid option as a third or fourth receiver, not a player capable of stepping into the star receiver role.
Still with options in free agency and trades available prior to the trade deadline Atlanta has opted to stick with what they have. This might be understandable if you have committed to rebuilding or have an offensive line that can help you lean on the run game.
The Atlanta Falcons have asked far too much of their veteran quarterback who doesn’t have enough help to accomplish anything this season
Ryan isn’t blameless this season, he has held the ball too long at times attempting to make something happen. He has forced a throw into impossible coverage that goes the wrong way making the throw because there are no other options.
Ryan’s struggles this season can all be traced back to one reason, Atlanta hasn’t given him enough support or help to ask him to endure a beating behind an offensive line that directs defenders into the backfield.
The problem this season yet again isn’t Matt Ryan, despite what many fans may tell you. The problem is a directionless front office that has refused to protect their quarterback or bring in the weapons he needs at this point in his career.
This move is forgivable if they commit to an accelerated rebuild attempting to salvage Ryan’s final seasons. But even this hasn’t been the case with Atlanta’s leadership insisting they are still in the playoff hunt.
While this is technically true it is hard for a fanbase to buy into the notion when the moves aren’t there to support the idea this team is trying to win now. Why haven’t the Falcons attempted to add a veteran receiver to help their passing offense? Why have they not brought in a veteran lineman to try and slow pass rushers against their broken offensive line?
Options to improve this roster remain in free agency and Atlanta thus far has opted to simply hope Matt Ryan can make it work and find a way to keep their defense off the field. A formula that isn’t going to work for a quarterback who has absorbed far too many hits and a receiver group that isn’t capable of finding consistent separation.
Whether or not the Atlanta Falcons are headed in the right direction is impossible to tell. What we do know for sure is even Matt Ryan isn’t capable of dragging this limited offense to the playoffs.