FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – During the Falcons four-game losing streak, quarterback Matt Ryan has been under duress seemingly way too much and it's hindered the offense.
Matt Ryan has been sacked 36 times this year, which is tied for the seventh-most in the NFL this season. The Falcons (4-8) have surrendered 81 knockdowns on Ryan, which was the most in the league heading into Week 13.
"I'm concerned about it because if we're not protecting him in the way that we can, then that gets hard," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "There are some games that the score is out of whack and it turns into a drop back game, there are going to be more chances for a defense to go after them, you know that. But at the end of it, yeah, I'm concerned, but I'm as concerned about us playing as well as we can."
The Falcons offense is at its best when they have balance in the run and pass game and are able to hit on the explosive plays their weapons have shown their capable of making. In order to hit on those explosive plays, Ryan needs the proper time to go through his reads and recently he hasn't been able to do that on a consistent basis based on the pressure he's seen.
"When you can create explosive plays, it gives you a much better chance of scoring, and we weren't able to connect on them, and that made it even more difficult to overcome," Ryan said following the 26-16 loss to the Ravens on Sunday.
In the four-game losing streak, the Falcons have had just one explosive scoring play and that was the Julio Jones 34-yard touchdown play against the Cowboys. Atlanta has averaged 17 points a game and Ryan has been sacked 14 times and hit 34 times during that time period.