Matt Ryan Counting On 17th Game For NFL RedemptionBy Connor Lynch
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan believes they can be in the mix late into the season in spite of their 0 – 2 start.
History doesn’t back up his claim. Since 1990, 0 – 2 teams have reached the playoffs only 11.6% of the time. Only 5.8% of teams who lost their first two games have won their division.
However, as Matt Ryan points out, those stats are based on a 16-game regular season. With a 17th game now added, he thinks the Falcons can make up for their poor start.
“Seventeen games,” Matt Ryan said. “You can throw all the old stats out. With that extra game, none of those rules apply that were there before.”
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“We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got 15 games to go. I think we’re a young team that made strides from Week 1 to Week 2. We need to continue to make strides as we go into Week 3. If we can do that, I really feel like we’ve got enough weapons and the right people that we can correct this thing and get it moving in the right direction.”
Ryan is perhaps overestimating the healing powers of one extra game, especially considering how badly the first two went.
In a 32-6 defeat to Philadelphia and a 48-25 defeat to Tampa Bay, Atlanta has conceded an average of 40 points. No team in the NFL has conceded more so far.
The Falcons face the Giants in Week 3, who are also 0 – 2. It’s safe to say the team who loses that game can forget about the postseason.
Nonetheless, Ryan has faith in his team to hit form at the right moment and mount a challenge.
“I think the biggest thing is we’re capable of being in the mix,” Ryan added. “Keeping ourselves relevant late into the season, in December and January. I think we’re capable of doing that … It’s just about getting hot at the right time.”