Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here belong to Matthew Tabeek and not the Atlanta Falcons, unless noted otherwise.
There's not much of a debate when it comes to the Falcons quarterback situation heading into the 2020 season. Matt Ryan, who has been the face of the franchise since the Atlanta selected him with the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, is the undisputed starter.
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If there is any sort of conversation to be had in regard to the Falcons quarterbacks, it would center around the backup position, which has been held by Matt Schaub since 2016. Kurt Benkert, who played well in the Hall of Fame Game last preseason before suffering a toe injury in that exhibition opener and landing on the injured reserve list, has had a solid camp this year.
Schaub, however, is the clear No. 2 at this point. He understands the offense very well, brings 15 years of experience to the table and the Falcons' coaches are extremely comfortable with him behind center if called upon. In his lone start during the 2019 season, Schaub completed 39 of 52 passes (75 percent) for 460 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
More magic in Year 2? Matt Ryan and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will be heading into their second season together – again – and that's significant. Although they worked together from 2012-14, Ryan has worked under five different coordinators in his 12 seasons in the league. And, as Will McFadden noted in his pre-camp position previews, Ryan has had a noticeable jump in play during his second season working with an offensive coordinator compared to his first during the second half of his career. Will the trend continue?
More milestones in reach: With each passing season, Ryan continues to rewrite the Falcons records, and at the same time, he continues to move up in the NFL records books. With a strong outing against the Seahawks on Sept. 13, Ryan has a chance to bypass John Elway (51,475 yards) to No. 9 on the NFL's all-time passing list in the season opener. Ryan, who has thrown for 51,186 yards in his career, needs less than 300 yards to achieve that milestone. In 2019, he passed for more than 300 yards in 11 of the 15 games he played in.
Ryan's records: As noted above, Ryan owns several franchise records, including: career passing yards (51,186), career pass attempts (6,817), career completions (4,460), career touchdowns (321), career passer rating (94.6), career completion percentage (65.4), and career 300-yard games (64).
Captain comeback: Speaking of John Elway, Ryan has a chance to pass him and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on another all-time list in 2020 – fourth-quarter comebacks.
- No. 1 Peyton Manning (43)
- No. 2 Tom Brady (36)
- No. 3 Drew Brees (35)
- No. 4 Johnny Unitas (34)
- No. 5 Dan Marino (33)
- No. 6 John Elway (31)
- No. 6 Ben Roethlisberger (31)
- No. 8 Matt Ryan (30)
Here are the number of quarterbacks the Falcons have kept in previous seasons on the initial roster:
- 2017: 2 quarterbacks
- 2018: 2 quarterbacks
- 2019: 2 quarterbacks
Here are the players who I think are locks to make the team (i.e., starters and key reserves) unless something unforeseen should happen (listed in alphabetical order):
- Matt Ryan
- Matt Schaub
ON THE BUBBLE
Here are the players who I think are still in the mix to make the team, could land on the practice squad or will be released (listed in alphabetical order):
- Kurt Benkert
- 2020 roster forecast: 2 quarterbacks
Tabeek's Take: Once again, there are no big surprises when it comes to this position group. The Falcons will once again carry two quarterbacks, and it will be Ryan and Schaub. The Falcons like Benkert a lot and my guess is that they will likely keep him on the practice squad.
- Matt Ryan
- Matt Schaub
PREDICTING THE 53-MAN ROSTER
- Aug. 26: Cornerbacks (6)
- Aug. 27: Quarterbacks (2)
- Aug. 28: Tight ends (3)
- Aug. 29: Safeties (5)
- Aug. 30: Running backs (5)
- Aug. 31: Linebackers (5)
- Sept. 1: Wide receivers (6)
- Sept. 2: Defensive line (10)
- Sept. 3: Offensive line (8)
- Sept. 3: Special teams (3)
A look at quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub. The views and opinions represented here and in the corresponding article belong to Matthew Tabeek and not the Atlanta Falcons, unless noted otherwise.
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