Atlanta Falcons' QB Matt Ryan is not considered among the elite in the NFL. He is, pretty damn good, though. If you check his stats Ryan is practically step-for-step with our Eli Manning, who is now being considered one of the league's top QBs:
Both QBs threw 29 TDs this season. Ryan had a 92.2 QB rating, just a liver below Eli's 92.9. Eli's completion percentage was 61% while Ryan's was a bit higher at 61.3. Eli averaged 36 attempts per game to Ryan's 35. Manning was 21st in the league when it came to getting sacked (28 times). Ryan was 29th with 26 sacks.
This week, Ryan goes up against the Giants' red-hot pass rush, who are coming off back-to-back performances of five sacks or better. Ryan had some thoughts about the group that will be aiming to throttle him this Sunday:
"They have some talented guys in their front seven. They have defensive ends and guys that can rush the passer and they have really played well the last couple of weeks. I think the last four or five games their pass rush has been really effective. For us, it is going to be about identifying where certain guys are, being on the same page with the offensive line, quarterback and running backs in terms of pass protection and then winning those one-on-one matchups. They do a great job of creating one-on-one matchups with their d-linemen and we are going to need to be effective in those one-on-ones."
When asked if the weather would be a factor in his play, Ryan felt it would not make much of a difference to him:
"No, having grown up in Philadelphia and having played college in Boston, I have played plenty of terrible weather games so I am not too worried about it."
Being a star at Boston College, he naturally has a connection with many of the former players there. The Giants have four players on their roster who graduated from Chestnut Hill:
"Yes, actually all four guys that are up there right now, Kiwi, Snee, Mark and Will Blackmon, I played with all those guys at BC and know all of those guys really well. I have a lot of respect for those guys and they have done a great job. It will be fun to play against them and see them. I am happy for their success."
All of that cameraderie goes away come Sunday.