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Nerdy Birdz: How Matt Ryan could surpass Joe Montana in the record books; 4 Falcons stats to know


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons will host their second home game of the season on Sunday, this one against their divisional rivals – the New Orleans Saints – at 1 p.m. ET.


Here are four key stats on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and how he impacts this Week 3 matchup:

1. Complete success: Ryan completed 23 of 28 passes for 272 yards, including two touchdowns and one interception for a 116.1 quarterback rating against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday. His 82.1 completion percentage marks his ninth game with at least an 80.0 completion percentage and first since Dec. 24, 2016 (81.8 against Carolina). When Ryan registers a completion percentage of 80.0 percent, the Falcons are 7-2. The Falcons will look to exploit the Saints secondary, which rank 29th in the NFL.

2. Saint Matt: Since entering the league in 2008, Ryan has faced off against New Orleans 19 times, averaging 294.9 passing yards per game, 64.6 completion percentage and has tallied 32 passing touchdowns. With two touchdowns this Sunday, Ryan will surpass Joe Montana (33) for the most passing touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints in NFL history.

3. No place like home: As Ryan and the Falcons gear up to face the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, their second NFC South matchup of the season, a cool thing about the 11-year veteran is that he averages 261.4 yards per game at home, including 271.0 against NFC South opponents. In Week 2 against Carolina, Ryan threw 272 yards to eight different receivers and it looks to be another high-passing game again this week.

4. QB's best friends: Last Sunday, the offensive line did not allow a sack on 28 pass attempts and paved the way for Ryan to score two rushing touchdowns, marking his first NFL game with multiple rushing touchdowns. Atlanta's record when Ryan is not sacked is 21-9 and the Saints' defense has only tallied three sacks in their first two games of the season and are the 29th-worse defense in the league. If the Falcons offensive line can hold off the defensive line again like they did against the Panthers, Ryan could have an opportunity to lead the Falcons to another great offensive performance.

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