Atlanta quarterback has turned it around after slow start

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Matt Ryan is enjoying a strong recovery from his disappointing slow start to the season.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown only four interceptions in the past six games after a slow start.  File/Associated Press
File/Associated Press
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown only four interceptions in the past six games after a slow start.

Ryan, the Falcons’ fourth-year quarterback who was coming off his first Pro Bowl season, appeared to be having a career setback when he threw six interceptions in Atlanta’s disappointing 2-3 start.

The Falcons, bolstered by improved stability on their offensive line, have won five of six as Ryan has been on a roll.

He has nine TD passes and only two interceptions the past four weeks.

Ryan was especially sharp in last week’s win over Minnesota. He threw three TD passes with no interceptions. He had a season-high passer rating (128.3) and completed 27 of 34 passes for 262 yards for the second-highest completion percentage (79.4) of his career.

Ryan’s resurgence is good news for the playoff hopes of the Falcons (7-4), who play at Houston on Sunday. Atlanta is No. 6 in the NFC playoff standings.

“He’s getting into a hot rhythm right now,” running back Michael Turner said Wednesday. “That’s what you want to do. That’s what you want out of your quarterback and every player, constant improvement, and he’s been doing that. Hopefully he doesn’t slow down anytime soon.”

After those six interceptions in the 2-3 start, Ryan has thrown only four interceptions in the Falcons’ 5-1 recovery.

He said he still isn’t happy with his overall totals of 18 TD passes – tied for eighth in the league – and 10 interceptions.

“I think there are things I can certainly do better, that’s for sure,” Ryan said. “I think we’ve turned the football over a little too much. That’s an area we’d like to clean that up. There have been some things we’ve done well, too.”

Ryan shrugged when asked Wednesday whether he feels he is in a zone.

“I don’t worry too much about that kind of stuff,” he said.

GETTING BACK ON TRACK

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan’s decrease in productivity in the first five games of the season can be attributed to his 14 sacks. But as his sacks decreased (eight in past six games), Ryan’s productivity has increased.

                           W-L  COMP/ATT   YARDS   TDS    INTS    QBRAT

First 5 games    2-3     120/196          1,302         7             6            79.9

Past 5 games     5-1     126/198          1,585         11           4            98.6

Source: sports.yahoo.com


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