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Offensive lineman Jake Matthews sets new Falcons record for consecutive starts

The 2014 first-round draft pick notched his 155th consecutive start Sunday, breaking former quarterback Matt Ryan's record.


ATLANTA — Offensive lineman Jake Matthews has officially broken a major Atlanta Falcons franchise record.

As he took the field Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the Falcons' first offensive snap against the New Orleans Saints, Matthews notched his 155th consecutive regular-season start. That tops former quarterback Matt Ryan's benchmark of 154 consecutive starts.

"Man, this is a storied franchise with a lot of really good players that have been here," Matthews said after Sunday's game. "The fact that I can be tops in that category is very humbling, pretty amazing. As much as I would love to take credit for it and say I have all the answers, I think God's bless me with a body that can just take a beating and do this -- and really a lot of guys in my family. So, I'm very thankful and very honored."

Matthews, a three-time team captain, was the Falcons' No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Texas A&M. He started his first game ever as a rookie on Sept. 7, 2014, in a win over the Saints. He played 42% of Atlanta's offensive snaps, tallying 30 total. Matthews then missed the next game due to an ankle injury, but that remains his first and only inactive game despite appearing on nine injury reports over his 10 years of play.

The 31-year-old left tackle from Missouri City, Texas, has started in 156 of a possible 157 regular-season games since coming to Atlanta. In those that have been completed, he has taken 10,177 of the Falcons' 10,428 offensive snaps. Those are good for 99.4% and 97.6%, respectively.

Matthews' streak began Sept. 18, 2014, with a Week 3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is obviously still active, now in the history book's No. 1 spot.

Ryan's streak began Dec. 20, 2009, with a Week 15 win over the New York Jets. It ended Oct. 20, 2019, with a Week 7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Ryan was inactive the next game due to an ankle injury. In total, from 2008-21, Ryan started in 222 of a possible 225 regular-season games for the Falcons.

The two Atlanta offensive staples played together eight years. That means 128 of their streak games overlapped.

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