"Fired up for the city": How Matt Ryan sees parallels between Falcons, Braves

The Falcons quarterback thinks the team can use the Braves postseason success as motivation moving forward

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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan #2 warms up before facing the New York Jets at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England on Sunday, October 10, 2021. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Atlanta Falcons)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons locker room has been buzzing throughout the last month as the Braves made a postseason run that ultimately accumulated in the first World Series championship since 1995 on Tuesday night. Matt Ryan said on Wednesday he stayed up to watch the Braves clinch Game 6. And always one to like the parallels sports narratives provide, Ryan couldn't help but think there are some similarities between the two Atlanta professional teams.

"When you're looking specifically at the Braves, it was a team that struggled to get over .500 until three quarters of the way through the season, and they started to play their best baseball towards the end," Ryan said. "They started to come together as a team, and rely and count on each other."

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The Falcons currently sit at 3-4 on the season, following a loss to Carolina on Sunday. If they would have beaten the Panthers, it would have been the first time since 2017 the Falcons got above a .500 record. But a performance on Sunday that left something to be desired kept the Falcons still striving to reach that .500 mark. That's why the Braves postseason success could be so inspirational to the Falcons at this point in the season, with 10 games left and a trip down to New Orleans coming up this weekend.

Now, there are always holes to poke in any comparison, and this one is no different. Baseball seasons and football seasons are vastly different. There are more chances for baseball teams to get back on track. After all, simple math tells us 162 games does not equal 17. Then, there were the moves the Braves made on the trade market that got them to where they wanted to be, picking up would-be game changers Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall in July. The NFL's trade deadline came and went on Tuesday with the Falcons quietly sitting it out, like a number of teams in the league this year.

But by not getting too deep into the weeds, Ryan said at a very simple level, there is something to be taken from what the Braves did in the back half of their season, and how it could impact the attitude of the Falcons. Ryan said he read Pederson's Player's Tribune article prior to the Braves heading to the World Series. Ryan called it poignant.

"(It's) the little things that kind of change the mindset, the culture, the attitude," Ryan said. "I do think you need to learn from others, and how other teams have come together. I think (the Braves) did a great job with it. I think our guys can certainly use that as motivation or inspiration for us to maybe be able to pull ourselves together and get to a spot where we can be in the mix late in the year."

Ryan said everyone recognizes how the Braves played and the moves made to get them there. He said he can absolutely see a parallel to how the Falcons started their season to the way the Braves started theirs. Again, Ryan said, there's something to be taken from that.

"Hopefully we can use that as motivation, or that it gets us going, too," he said.

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