Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan stepped in front of the cameras Wednesday with a demeanor that leads you to believe his team is 7-4 instead of the reverse. That's one of the many gifts of the team's remarkable leader.
The face of the franchise, Ryan has not shied away from the team's up-and-down season. During Week 12, he was sacked three times and forced to run more than most quarterbacks would prefer.
Despite the physically rough loss, Ryan was not seen pointing fingers and casting blame. Instead, teammates describe their quarterback as an energetic 'fix-it man,' really focused on identifying breakdowns in a play and getting issues resolved as quickly as possible.
The calm, cool and collected Ryan also does a masterful job of studying the opponents, preparing for any scenarios that may be presented on Sunday. A headline-stealing matchup against Arizona's defense will be star cornerback Patrick Peterson against Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. While impressed by Peterson's jaw-dropping abilities, Ryan's confidence in his own weapons remains sky-high.
"Patrick Peterson is about as good of a cornerback as there is in the league," Ryan said. "He's going to play at a high level, and he's going to make some plays. We also know that Julio Jones is about as good as it gets at the wide receiver position in this league. It'll be a good matchup if they're matched up one-on-one. We always feel like if we get one-on-one (matchups) with any of our guys, we have confidence that they're going to make plays."