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Tabeek: Falcons must find a way when Matt Ryan isn't Superman

The 35-year-old signal caller was the Falcons’ best player against the Packers, and that wasn't nearly enough


Let's be real here. Matt Ryan hardly played the best game of his career Monday night against the unbeaten Packers, but he did do some good things to give the Falcons a chance.

In the end it still wasn't close to being enough as the Falcons fell to 0-4 with a 30-16 loss in Green Bay.

Ryan, a former league MVP and now in his 13th season, walked off Lambeau Field after completing 28 of 39 passes for 285 yards and no touchdowns. He completed passes to 10 different Falcons players, including eight to Olamide Zaccheaus, the team's No. 4 receiver.

While Ryan was by no means Superman and arguably played more like Clark Kent at times, the 35-year-old signal caller was still the Falcons' best player against the Packers (4-0), a team many consider to be the class of the NFC.

Ryan might be able to carry the offense at times, but outside of 20-play offensive drives, he can only do so much for a defense that's 31st in passing yards allowed, 32nd in passing touchdowns allowed and 32nd in opposing quarterback passer rating.

Trailing by a touchdown in the first quarter, Ryan led the Falcons on a ridiculous 20-play drive that covered 94 yards and consumed 10:36 of the game clock. Unfortunately, the Falcons only came away with three points.

Later on in the third quarter and trailing 20-3, Ryan capped an eight-play drive by throwing one heck of a block to seal the edge and give Todd Gurley a 5-yard stroll into the end zone to bring the Falcons back once again, 20-9. Unfortunately, Elliott Fry missed the extra point.

Did Ryan miss on a couple of throws? Sure, but there were some drops, too. My point is outside of Ryan, though, it was hard to know who to look to when the Falcons needed a play to be made. And it's a big reason why the Falcons lost.

It's also why the Falcons are sitting at the bottom of the NFC South standings right now after the Buccaneers (3-1), Saints (2-2) and Panthers (2-2) all posted wins this past weekend. Making matters worse for Atlanta, all four of its losses were to conference opponents that now hold tiebreakers come December.

Sure, the Falcons have suffered their fair share of injuries, but what team hasn't so far during this weird season? Every single team in the league is dealing with injuries. You can't blame the schedule. I don't want to hear about conditioning, either.

The Falcons have been in position to make plays during the first four games of the season, but they just haven't made them. This team needs someone to stand up and make a play in crunch time. Make a tackle. Jump on an onside kick. Make a block. Make a better read. Don't commit penalties in critical situations.

At the end of the day, they need this story to change from a tale of woe, to one of unexpected heroes. We saw Green Bay get a three touchdown performance from an undrafted tight end on Monday night.

Where are those stories on the Falcons roster?

We learned that Matt Ryan can't do it all by himself. As good as he looked in the Falcons' new all-white uniforms, Ryan wasn't wearing a red cape Monday night.

And to be honest, I don't even think Superman could've pulled this one off by himself.

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers with top photos from inside Lambeau Field in Week 4.

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