Person of Interest: Falcons’ Matt Ryan

Nov 7, 2013, 10:03 AM | Updated: 10:03 am

By Danny O’Neil

“Person of Interest” is a weekly feature in which we put the microscope on one player from the Seahawks’ upcoming opponent. This week, it’s Atlanta’s Matt Ryan.

Matt Ryan has thrown seven interceptions over the Falcons’ last two games. (AP)


• Position: Franchise quarterback, the Falcons’ only hope
• Height: 6-4
• Weight: 217
• Age: 28
• Experience: Sixth season

The storyline

The quarterback with two first names has only one career playoff victory, but he’s never had a losing season since entering the league in 2008. At least not until this year as the Falcons are 2-6 and will need a downright historic turnaround to save their season.

Ryan, however, had one of the best starts to any season in his career. At least he did until he was picked off seven times over the past two games in road losses to Arizona and then Carolina. He is on five quarterbacks in the league to have been picked off 10 or more times so far this season.

Ryan’s recent struggles may be due to the lack of options in the passing game, though. Julio Jones is done for the season, a foot injury ending what was looking like a career year after just five games. Roddy White has been inactive the past three weeks, and when he was playing earlier this year, he wasn’t nearly as effective as he has been.

The statement

The Falcons are averaging a league-low 64.4 yards rushing, which means that Atlanta’s best bet on offense is throwing straight into the teeth of Seattle’s defense: its secondary.

The Seahawks failed to sack Ryan in last year’s divisional playoff loss, but they did have two interceptions against him, including one by free safety Earl Thomas. The Falcons may be 2-6, but don’t think the Seahawks are underestimating the challenge Ryan presents.

“He’s very smart,” Thomas said of Ryan. “You could tell he prepares well, so my whole mindset is how well I can prepare. Better than him? It’s not a cat-and-mouse game, but the quarterback’s always trying to take advantage of what I do because they always study me. I know they do. Because I’m the free safety and I can kind of give away what we’re doing.

“So I’m just excited [for] the challenge. I’m still going to prepare better this time. That’s how I’m taking it.”

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

Mariners Luis Castillo...
Mike Salk

Salk: Take a breath — how to understand Mariners’ approach to improving

What was Jerry Dipoto getting at about the Mariners' approach to payroll during his Seattle Sports show Thursday? Mike Salk puts it all into perspective.
8 hours ago
Mariners Dipoto Servais...
Brent Stecker

Mariners’ Dipoto explains how their future impacts approach to payroll

If the Mariners are a "draft, develop and trade" team, what does that mean for signing free agents to big deals? Jerry Dipoto went in-depth on that Thursday on Seattle Sports.
1 day ago
Seattle Kraken Oliver Bjorkstrand Ryan Donato...
Brent Stecker

Why are Kraken surging this season? What broadcaster Forslund sees

Kraken play-by-play announcer John Forslund joined Brock and Salk to talk about the differences between surging Seattle now and last season.
2 days ago
Seahawks Tariq Woolen...
Brent Stecker

NFL Draft insider on why ’22 Seahawks class hit, possible ’23 targets

Seattle Sports' Brock and Salk caught up with ESPN NFL Draft analyst and insider Matt Miller to get his read on the Seahawks' rookies and what they could do in the 2023 draft.
2 days ago
Seahawks Broncos Russell Wilson...
Brent Stecker

Just how high will Seahawks’ pick from Wilson trade to Broncos get?

Brandon Stokley, a former star NFL receiver and current Denver radio host, shares his thoughts on where the Seahawks' top pick coming from the Broncos will land.
3 days ago
UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr...
Brandon Gustafson

What does the future hold for UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr.?

Should star UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. go pro or return to Washington in 2023? Brock Huard and Mike Salk have very different opinions.
4 days ago
Person of Interest: Falcons’ Matt Ryan