The Falcons were forced to throw the ball a lot in 2019, and they've been in plenty of shootouts throughout Matt Ryan’s career. Fortunately for Atlanta, Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL when asked to air it out at a high volume.
According to Pro Football Focus, Ryan has been asked to throw the ball at least 40 times in 115 career games. Ryan has achieved a minimum grade of 75 from PFF in 33.9 percent of those games, which ranks 10th among all NFL quarterbacks with at least 25 games of 40-plus pass attempts since 2006. In tracking this data, however, PFF found that Ryan can reach a higher level of performance more frequently than some of the other quarterbacks on the list.
Among the 10 best high-volume passers, Ryan is seventh in games with an 80-plus PFF grade, reaching that threshold 21.7 percent of the time. He is fourth among those 10 quarterbacks in percentage of games with an 85-plus PFF grade, hitting that mark 12.2 percent of the time, and he is fifth among quarterbacks when that threshold is a 90-plus grade, which he has achieved in 5.2 percent of those 115 games.
"Ryan, again, shows that he may be a little underappreciated in league-wide circles," PFF's Sam Monson writes. "The 21.7% of high-volume games in which he has graded 80.0-plus ranks seventh in the PFF era and is right behind the best quarterbacks we have seen. His rate of even better games is also high, and he has one of the best rates of any passer at any grade threshold we set."
The players ahead of Ryan on the list are familiar names such as Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, but he has proven every bit as capable as those NFL icons at shouldering the load. Given the offenses the Falcons will face in 2020, including the Saints, Chiefs, Cowboys and Buccaneers, Atlanta could find itself in plenty of shootouts.
If that does turn out to be the case, the Falcons can feel confident in knowing that they have a talented offense led by one of the league's top high-volume quarterbacks.