Matt Ryan Proved the Haters Right in Just One Play

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan looks for a flag as he is taken down by Bills Efe Obada.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan looks for a flag as he is taken down by Bills Efe Obada. /

The Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan has given the disillusioned fans, the unsatisfied armchair quarterbacks, and disgruntled supporters ample content to be upset about during the 2021 season. However, the season will be remembered for just one play, and the play proved the haters were right.

Even days later,  Ryan’s slide short of the goal line has been and will continue to be debated for weeks, if not the whole off-season. The play happened with about six minutes to go in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills. On second and goal, the pocket collapsed (as usual) around Ryan forcing the 36-year-old to run. He needed six yards for pay dirt, but he gave himself up and slid about a yard short. The Falcons went on to lose 29-15.

It’s been replayed countless times, and there have been screenshots dissecting the play frame by frame all over social media. Clearly, and by rule, and confirmed on video review, he was down, and the ball was short of the end zone. But the endless replays raised more questions.

Ryan Could’ve and Should’ve Made it

Everything happens in seconds, but clearly, Ryan didn’t have to slide (short) or give himself up (short) of the goal line. A simple angle correction to go more to the sideline would’ve done enough to break the plain. Or there was another option, to take the hit, he was going to take it anyway, might as well make it count. Had he been upright, he may have got the ball in the end zone too.

To make matters worse, the guy they call Matty Ice has a meltdown, spike the ball at the defenders’ feet and lips off to the opposition in front of the official. The 15-yard penalty moved the Falcons back to the 16-yard line, and it all but ended Atlanta’s chances at a comeback and at a playoff spot.

Ryan Provide Content for the Haters

There has been no shortage of haters on Ryan for years, but it’s been amplified this year. But even the most loving and adoring of Ryan faithful have to question what happened. Remember, the last pass Tom Brady threw as a player for the New England Patriots was intercepted. Ryan has one more game and another two seasons under contract, but that play may be a memorable one for a few years.