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LeSean McCoy ranks Tony Romo and Matt Ryan over Joe Flacco

LeSean McCoyLeSean McCoy may play for the Philadelphia Eagles and dislike the Dallas Cowboys, but that does not mean he’s not a fan of some of their players.

The Eagles running back provided some analysis of NFL Network’s annual Top 100 players, and that’s when he expressed his support for Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

NFL Network has revealed players 41-100 on the list so far. McCoy is ranked No. 45. Six quarterbacks are ranked between 41-100 on the list. Romo, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco have not yet appeared. Flacco and Ryan are likely in the top 40, but Romo might not have made the list at all.

According to The Dallas Morning News, McCoy would have Romo ranked higher than other quarterbacks.

“I like Romo, actually. I’m a fan of certain players,” McCoy said in his analysis, according to The Dallas Morning News. “I might not like the team, but I’m a fan of certain players. I actually think Romo and Matt make it (over Flacco). But obviously Flacco has to be in there because of the Super Bowl. I would take Matt, and I would take Romo.”

McCoy believes that having the backing of such a stellar Baltimore Ravens defense has helped Flacco significantly.

“As a quarterback, if you don’t feel that pressure of not having a great defense, where if you don’t go out and produce on this drive, the other team may score. Knowing you have that great defense behind you, it’s less pressure so you have to put that into effect,” he said, per the Morning News.

Flacco was certainly paid like a top quarterback in the league, and he played during the postseason like one of the best in the league. But McCoy is still not completely sold on him.

The six quarterbacks ranked in the top 41-100 are: Eli Manning at 43; Cam Newton at 46; Russell Wilson at 51; Ben Roethlisberger at 61; Matthew Stafford at 76; and Colin Kaepernick at 81. In order to evaluate their rankings, I would have to know what the rankings stood for. Are we ranking a player’s performance last season, how good we think they’ll be next season, or how good of a career they have had? Until all that is established, it’s awfully difficult to evaluate the list.

Panthers say Matt Ryan ‘totally disrespected’ them in first meeting

The Carolina Panthers may be out of the playoff hunt, but they have plenty to motivate them against the Atlanta Falcons this weekend. The Falcons are a far superior team, but they needed a miraculous comeback to beat the Panthers in Week 4. After leading the improbable come-from-behind victory, Matt Ryan apparently was not friendly to his division rival.

Several Carolina players say they have had Sunday’s game circled on their calendars because of the nasty things Ryan said after their first meeting.

“I can’t repeat it to you. That’s how bad it was,” cornerback Captain Munnerlyn told reporters, via the Charlotte Observer. “He totally disrespected us. They won the game. They came all the way back and beat us. But to say what he said, I don’t think it was called for. He could have handled it a different way. But he said it. … He said some harsh words. So it’s going to be a fight out there.”

As Pro Football Talk mentioned, Ryan was caught by television camera’s saying, “Get the f*** off our field!” after his team’s Week 4 win. It’s quite possible it was that statement that rubbed the Panthers the wrong way, and that is likely what has led to defensive end Greg Hardy wanting to embarrass Atlanta.

“I’m really not a fan of the team down the street,” Hardy said. “I’m trying to mess up their whole playoff experience. I want them to go home sick in the stomach, mad about life, a couple depression issues, all types of things. It’s going to be a long day from my point of view. I’m coming.”

It sounds like the 3-9 Panthers are not in search of any added motivation this week. The Falcons have already wrapped up the NFC South and are simply playing for playoff seeding, so it may be difficult for them to match Carolina’s intensity. That being said, there’s no question about which team has the edge in talent.

Matt Ryan’s family members reportedly hid their Falcons colors in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles fans have a reputation for being pretty ruthless, and Matt Ryan’s family was prepared for that when they infiltrated Lincoln Financial Field to watch the Atlanta Falcons dominate the Eagles on Sunday. According to CBS Philly, Ryan had about 60 family members on hand to watch him throw for over 250 yards and three touchdowns. You just may not have known it by looking at them.

The Ryans, McGlincheys and Lougherys all concealed their Atlanta black-and-red colors, and their No. 2 jerseys. They know the way Philadelphia fans can be. But you couldn’t help but hear them Sunday each time Matt completed a pass and had the Falcons up, 14-0.

With 60 people in attendance, Ryan’s family basically had their own cheering section. Eagles fans would have had to be completely oblivious and/or inebriated to not know what was going on. While we would not rule that out, it’s probably safe to assume their identity was not completely concealed.

Eagles fans obviously aren’t the only ones who would make you think about hiding your identity, but considering they have been known to harrass the families of their own players you can never be too sure. We also saw the creative way in which they heckled Rex Ryan last season, so a little precaution from the Ryan family was probably a wise decision.

Helmet knock to Pro Football Talk

Matt Ryan to Julio Jones looking like winning combination

Many fantasy football experts had Matt Ryan and Julio Jones ranked highly entering the NFL season, and the predictions are looking clairvoyant through the first week of the season.

Jones, a first-round pick last year whom the Falcons traded several picks to draft, scored Atlanta’s first two touchdowns of the season on passes from Matt Ryan. The second-year wide receiver was targeted four times on the team’s opening drive and caught three passes for 39 yards, including an 8-yard TD. He was quieter on the team’s third drive as Roddy White caught three passes, but he scored a 14-yard TD.

Jones led the Falcons with 108 yards and two touchdowns in Atlanta’s 40-24 win, and he tied Roddy White for the team lead with six receptions. Ryan went 23/31 for 299 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also ran for 25 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons passed 31 times and only ran it 23 times (including Ryan’s scrambles), which is the type of pass-heavy offense many anticipated for Atlanta this season.

Jones had 54 catches for 959 yards and 8 touchdowns last season, so he already has a quarter of the TDs he scored last year. Jones displayed elite playmaking ability last season, but he was bothered by nagging leg injuries that slowed him. He still managed five 100-yard receiving games and scored in each of the team’s final four games, including two multi-touchdown games. Now that he’s healthy entering the new season, he looks like a difference-maker for Atlanta.

One game is too early to make conclusions about teams or players, but this was a great start for Atlanta. Sure, they were going against Kansas City’s secondary that lost Brandon Carr in the offseason and may have a weak pass defense, but Atlanta’s aerial attack looked strong. I don’t think they’ll be able to score at will against elite defenses, but the Falcons appear to have a passing attack that can light up many defenses.

Ndamukong Suh Denies Taunting Matt Ryan After Injury

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had his ankle accidentally stepped on by one of his offensive lineman Sunday, and the Falcons say the Lions taunted him after the injury.

“I had respect for [Lions DT Ndamukong] Suh before the game,” center Todd McClure said. “But when Matt was on the ground, the things he was saying and the trash he was talking was definitely uncalled for. There are certain things you don’t do. [He said], ‘Get the cart’ and several other things that I can’t repeat.”

Roddy White said, “I lost a whole lot of respect for 90 [Suh] today, and also 92 [Cliff Avril], the [bleep] they were doing when Matt got hurt. That was unacceptable. … Like 92 was kicking [Ryan’s] feet, saying, ‘Get him off the field.’ We don’t do stuff like that. We don’t rally over guys when they get hurt. It was just inappropriate behavior. I mean, ‘Get the cart’? Are you serious? Come on. When you compete, you never want to see a guy get hurt.”

This is not the first, second, or third time Ndamukong Suh has been called a dirty player, so this isn’t new territory. Predictably, Suh denied the charge when asked about it Monday.

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Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan Poised for Breakout Seasons

You know LB likes to drop in some fantasy advice when it comes up, and he’s already done so recommending a few running backs. Now it’s time to recommend a few quarterbacks who are going to take that next step to the elite level.

It goes without saying that Aaron Rodgers is a stud. So are Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Michael Vick (though Vick is more risky). Peyton Manning is elite but his neck injury is a concern for me (he should be humming by week four or five). Tony Romo and Matt Schaub ordinarily round out the top group of fantasy quarterbacks, but I think two more will join them this year: Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan.

You know I’ve been all about Matthew Stafford since the draft when he dominated the Wonderlic. His explosive preseason has done nothing to quiet my praise that began a few weeks ago. Stafford has gone 24-31 for 356 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions during the preseason. His numbers remind me of what Aaron Rodgers did in the 2009 preseason. In his second year as a full-time starter, Rodgers went 29-41 for 465 yards, six touchdowns and no picks in the preseason. He went on to destroy the league for 4,434 yards and 30 touchdowns — his best statistical year. Saying Stafford will put up those numbers is asking a lot, but there is little doubt he’s going to become a star this year.

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Bill Parcells Questions Drafting Jake Long over Matt Ryan and Later Pat White

Bill Parcells has built a lot of successful football teams and has helped turn around several franchises. He has been part of rebuilding processes in New York, New England, Dallas, and most recently Miami. With the Dolphins, Parcells was lauded for improving the team by 10 wins in his first year (from 1-15 to 11-5). Since the major turnaround however, the Dolphins have slipped to 7-9 in consecutive years and they’ve been plagued by a lack of consistency at quarterback.

Now, several months after leaving the front office in Miami, he has opened up about a few questionable draft selections they made.

In an interview with The Miami Herald via Pro Football Talk, Parcells admitted some of his picks were questionable. On the decision to draft Jake Long first overall instead of quarterback Matt Ryan who went third to Atlanta, Parcells says “maybe, we should have,” drafted the QB.

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