It’s hard to believe Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is in his fifth season, but he is, and he’s got his team at 8-1, the best record in the NFL.
Despite the loss to the Saints this past Sunday, which killed any thoughts of a 16-0 regular season, Ryan says the team is over it and they’re focusing on their next opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, who they’ll host on Sunday.
“You need to do it whether you win or you lose in this league.” Ryan said. “You have to put it behind you and move forward, and we’ve done a great job of that all year.”
The Cardinals should have some cause for concern on Sunday, because the Falcons always seem to bounce back from a loss.
Since 2008, they’re 18-3 following a loss.
Why are the Falcons so good after they fall?
“I think it comes down to good game planning and good execution,” Ryan said. “I think that’s always at a premium and that’s what we try and focus on.”
Since Ryan’s taken over the reigns at quarterback, their offense has been regarded as one of the best in the league, year-in-and-year-out.
Ryan has a new offensive coordinator this season in former Sun Devil head coach Dirk Koetter. Under Koetter, the Falcons are averaging 385 yards of offense and 27 points per game.
Ryan says things haven’t changed that much under Koetter, which he says is one of the things that’s helped the offense stay so potent.
“Dirk came in and changed a lot of his terminology to the terminology that we’ve had and I think that’s helped everybody in the transition,” Ryan said. “I think he’s done a great job in our vertical passing game. I think he’s very well versed in that area and I think he’s also helped us in terms of screens.”
Ryan said he and Koetter have worked really hard to develop their relationship ever since he was hired as offensive coordinator.
“The time we spent in the months of April, May, June has paid off,” Ryan said. “I very much enjoyed working with him and have a tremendous amount of respect for him.”
He and Koetter will have to deal with a Cardinals defense on Sunday who will be very aggressive in their schemes, especially in their pass rush.
Ryan knows his offensive line will have to protect him, plus he’ll have to get rid of the ball quickly against Arizona’s defense.
“I think their scheme is solid,” Ryan said. “When I watch them and their defense, I see one of the better defenses in the league and I think the statistics back that up.”