The Atlanta Falcons had to burn a timeout during the second quarter of Thursday night’s opener against the Philadelphia Eagles after Matt Ryan busted his knee brace.
Ryan was scrambling on a 1st-and-10 play from the Philly 27 late in the second and slid after gaining two yards. He broke the knee brace he was wearing on his left leg while sliding.
Ryan went towards the sideline to have his equipment checked out, and the Falcons soon realized they needed to take a timeout to address things.
The staff ended up cutting off Ryan’s brace entirely because they were in a time crunch.
A very popular argument among NFL fans has to do with the quarterbacks: who are the best? Which team’s quarterback is superior? Whom would you trust to win one game if you had to?
We have no expectation that this list will settle any such arguments, but it’s still fun to debate. Which quarterbacks are the best? Who means the most to their team? Here are the top 15 signal-callers in the NFL.
15) Jared Goff, Rams
A breakout 2017 has ensured that Goff is regarded as one of the NFL’s rising young stars at the quarterback position. He threw for 3,804 yards and 28 touchdowns to just seven interceptions in his 15 games, a massive improvement from a promising but uneven rookie season. Expectations are higher than ever for his third NFL year, where he’ll guide an offense that will be expected to contend for a Super Bowl.
Now that Matt Ryan has signed a contract extension with the Atlanta Falcons, Aaron Rodgers should be the next star quarterback in line to get paid. Rodgers knows it, which is why he recently cracked a joke to one of the people in charge of negotiating Ryan’s new deal.
In an appearance on Andrew Brandt’s “The Business of Sports” podcast this week, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff recalled a funny exchange he had with Rodgers in Minnesota during Super Bowl week. Basically, Rodgers urged him to hurry up and work something out with Ryan.
“I saw Aaron, interestingly enough, at the Super Bowl in the airport,” Dimitroff said, as transcribed by Herbie Teope of NFL.com. “He just said to me, ‘We don’t know each other that well, but just get this deal done with Matt first so I can get on with my life.'”
Rodgers still has two years remaining on his current contract, but Ryan’s extension should excite him. Ryan inked a five-year, $150 million deal that includes $100 million guaranteed, and there has already been talk about Rodgers shattering records when he signs his extension.
The Packers have not seemed like they are in a huge rush to get the Rodgers deal done, but Ryan’s extension should help move things along. Plus, it’s obvious Rodgers hasn’t been all that thrilled with the moves Green Bay has made this offseason. Making him the highest-paid player in football should help ease some of that tension.
The Atlanta Falcons announced on Thursday that they have agreed on a 5-year contract extension with quarterback Matt Ryan that will pay him $30 million a year and include $100 million guaranteed.
It’s a massive deal for the 2016 NFL MVP, but worthwhile considering the consistent success the Falcons have enjoyed under their franchise QB.
The Twitter reactions to the contract were interesting, with some focusing on how Aaron Rodgers is now next in line for a big deal, while others were happy that Ryan will remain with the Falcons for the longhaul. Here’s a sampling of the reactions:
Ryan ranks seventh among active QBs in passing yards and eighth in passing touchdowns. Since being drafted in 2008, he has helped lead the Falcons to 95 wins.
The Atlanta Falcons are still looking to lock down quarterback Matt Ryan to a long-term deal, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff believes it will happen.
Dimitroff said Tuesday that re-signing Ryan to a long-term deal is the team’s No. 1 priority, and that he expected the team and player to come to an agreement.
A year ago, we heard that the Falcons were poised to make Ryan the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. A year has passed and that mark has only gone up, but you can bet that the Falcons will still be aggressive in keeping their star.
Matt Ryan was bloodied during the first half of Saturday’s NFC wild card playoff game between his Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams began to dial up the heat on Ryan, sacking him three times over the Falcons’ final two possessions of the first half. One of the sacks gave Ryan this cut on the back of his head/ear:
Ryan entered a medical tent to be checked out and was later cleared to return to action. After a 13-0 start, Ryan’s Falcons struggled to close the half and saw their lead cut to 13-10.
The 2017 regular season has been packed full of surprises. From a team perspective, the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants stand out for being so much better and so much worse than we expected, but it’s not just limited to those two organizations.
Yes, the Rams and Giants have gone in totally different directions than expected, but units like the New England Patriots defense have been worse than expected, and the the New York Jets have even found a way to open eyes.
But what players have contributed to all these surprises? Well, here’s a look at every NFL team’s most surprising player, good or bad, so far this season.
Arizona Cardinals – Adrian Peterson, RB
After appearing in only 20 games over his final three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, many believed the career of Adrian Peterson had reached its end. Even with another opportunity given to him by the New Orleans Saints, little changed for Peterson. He appeared in four games, gaining just 81 yards on 27 carries. Then came the trade to Arizona. Although he hasn’t exactly returned to Hall of Fame form, he has gained 369 yards in five games, providing the Cardinals with an unexpected spark on the ground.
Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan, QB
A year after winning the NFL MVP Award and leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl, Matt Ryan has hit a bit of a wall. He’s returned to 2015 form and seen his completion percentage, yards per game, touchdown to interception ratio, yards per attempt and quarterback rating all drop — some of those considerably. He threw for 38 touchdowns last season and has just 15 in 10 games this season. His passer rating has dropped from 117.1 to 95.7. To cap it off, the Falcons are 6-4 and are no shoo-in to make the playoffs.
The Atlanta Falcons are 4-4 after a disappointing loss to the Carolina Panthers, but quarterback Matt Ryan is unfazed by the slow start.
Ryan has overseen a struggling offense that has the team in third in the NFC South, but with half of the season still to play, the quarterback isn’t losing faith.
“Well, I think it’s fair to say we have a lot of work to do,” Ryan told 680 The Fan, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN. “I think we’re halfway through the season. Like they say all the time, they don’t give the trophy out at this time of the year.
“I think we can be better than we’ve played up until this point. I think we are better than we’ve played up until this point. I think we’ve played mediocre, but yet I don’t think we’re a mediocre team. I think we can be a very good football team.”
The Falcons have been just a little bit off in 2017 — plays like this are evidence of that. It’s not too late for them to make something of their season, but things have to turn quickly.
Week 4 featured a few surprises — hello Houston! — while some teams continued impressive trends of winning or disappointing trends of losing. You had the Titans get blown out, the Dolphins’ offense fail to produce once again, and four teams slipped to 0-4. Some team units had abysmal performances on Sunday, and some star players had down days.
Here’s a look at the 15 biggest disappointments of Week 4 in the NFL.
Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
The Oakland Raiders’ offense was anemic for the second week in a row, and Cooper was at the center of the disappointment. Cooper had just two catches for nine yards on eight targets. He dropped a pass in the fourth quarter, giving him an NFL worst seven drops on the season. Then when the Raiders were making a final effort late in the game to try and take the lead, a pass intended for Cooper was intercepted. One could argue he could have done more on the play.
After consecutive 1,000-plus yard seasons to start his career, Cooper has been a total disappointment this season with just 12 catches for 110 yards and one touchdown. That’s the kind of stat line fantasy football players were hoping to see weekly from the receiver!
New England’s defense
The Patriots were hoping that Dont’a Hightower’s return would help stabilize one of the NFL’s worst defenses, but it was not to be as New England once again struggled to stop an opponent at home. Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers entered the game looking like an inferior opponent, having struggled with inconsistency during the season. But they came into Foxboro and posted 444 yards on a comparatively modest 60 plays. New England forced two turnovers, but it wasn’t enough, as they still lost 33-30. There has to be serious concerns about how bad this unit has been all season.
Nick Folk, K, Buccaneers
Let’s give some credit to where it’s due: yes, Nick Folk did make the game-winning kick for the Bucs on Sunday to help them win 25-23. But the game wouldn’t have come down to that kick if Folk hadn’t made so many errors earlier in the game. The 32-year-old missed a 46-yard field goal early in the second quarter, a 49-yard field goal attempt early in the third quarter, and he missed an extra point in the first quarter. That’s seven points he left on the table that he is expected to convert. “It’s probably the worst you can feel after a game-winner,” Folk said of his feelings following the game.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan tried to calm things down after he was perceived to have criticized former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s Super Bowl playcalling.
Ryan said in a recent interview with Pete Prisco of CBS Sports that Shanahan’s habit of taking a long time to call plays led to difficulty late in the Super Bowl, a game in which Atlanta blew a 28-3 lead.
On Sunday, Ryan tried to clarify, saying it wasn’t an excuse and was how the team operated all season long.
“I think sometimes the headlines of articles can be misleading,” Ryan said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN. “In that situation, it was just a reference to how we operated all year. It wasn’t coming in too late or anything. That’s just the way it came in. I thought Kyle did a great job for us last year.
“I think everybody is reading a little bit too much into it, and it is what it is. But we’ve moved on. We’re on to this year. And we’re focused on trying to become the best football team that this team can be.”
Shanahan was heavily criticized for what many felt was overly aggressive playcalling as the New England Patriots stormed back into the game, and there were whispers that Falcons players were dissatisfied as well. Still, this is not a discussion Ryan wants to be having at the start of training camp, particularly in public.