When the Las Vegas Raiders roll into Atlanta, they should have an idea of how their season unfolded. On the other hand, the Falcons could still be searching for their identity. With that said, the Raiders defense must contend with Matt Ryan. In a season that expects Paul Guenther’s defense to evolve, Ryan brings a unique set of traits to the proverbial table.
Get It Out
Yes, we know the jokes. Truthfully, we’ve told them all. The Falcons, with Matt Ryan under center, collapsed with a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. Now, to be fair, the Falcons’ defense needed the Heimlich, that never arrived. Yet, the Atlanta defense fell apart. Sadly, quarterbacks in that scenario receive the majority of that blame, as the face of the franchise. Since that loss, the Falcons sit at 24-23 with Ryan. Whether you believe that is a residual effect or not, the game happened.
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Regardless of the outcome of that game, Ryan never changes what gained him accolades and an eventual call from Canton. From the snap, Ryan immediately features accuracy. Not just find the receivers’ hands but allowing for YAC opportunity. With a receiver in full stride, Ryan connects, allows the wideout to carve up the secondary. Within the construct of the Atlanta offense, Ryan uses proper velocity and touch at all three levels and depths. Ryan Hasn’t completed less than 64.7 of his passes his 2011.
Julio Jones, entering his tenth year, lived up to expectations, providing the Falcons with a number one receiver and deep threat. What makes Jones a monumental headache is the uncanny body control. Despite standing 6’3” and weighing 220 pounds, he controls his stride like a slot receiver. Moreover, Jones’ long speed chews up a cushion, forcing the wideout to stay with him. Additionally, Jones will use his strength to handfight and break free. On the bright side, Jones will drop his share of passes. Thirteen targets over the last two seasons met the ground. Meanwhile, drops or not, Ryan will look for Jones in every situation.
During his short career, Trayvon Mullen continues to build his reputation. Now, Jones presents an opportunity to compete versus an elite receiver. With Jones, Mullen surrenders the strength advantage. In contrast, Mullen could possibly run with Jones. At this point and nearly a decade in, Mullen is the fresher player, with less wear and tear. Mullen needs to stay attached to Jones. Hip to hip and active arms will help Mullen.
The Raiders feel confident in Trayvon Mullen. As a result, he must deal with elite receivers. By the time they arrive, the team will know what they have in the former Clemson standout.