The Washington Post

Falcons offensive player to watch: QB Matt Ryan

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has led the Falcons to a 4-0 start. (Denis Poroy/Associated Press).

How he beats you: Now in his fifth season, Matt Ryan continues to develop into one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. He has a strong arm, good athleticism and can make plays both from the pocket and on the run. Through four games, Ryan boasts a league-best passer rating of 112.1 after completing 69.4 percent of his passes for 1,162 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. 

 “He’s really comfortable and does a good job of running that offense, and a lot of the no-huddle and things like that,” Redskins linebacker London Fletcher said. “He has great control of the offense, is calling a lot of his plays at the line of scrimmage. He throws a great ball and has a lot of weapons. He’s definitely the man there.”

 How to stop him: The Redskins know they have to get pressure on Ryan to prevent him from sitting back and carving them up. Ryan has plenty of weapons, with receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez leading the way. The Redskins must execute their assignments consistently, demonstrate an ability to make in-game adjustments and bounce back quickly if the Falcons torch them for a big play.

 “Really, [we have to] just understand that they’re going to make some plays,” Fletcher said. “They have a lot of guys, a lot of weapons, but just make them earn everything, and really try to execute our stuff, do well with what we want to do.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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