Saints/Falcons gameday: Can the Saints spoil Matt Ryan's MVP aspirations?


Staff member
Aug 1, 1997
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Sunset, La

Passionate Saints fans might not want to hear it, but Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan might have a legitimate claim as the NFL's MVP this season.

Ryan has the numbers. He’s completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 4,613 yards, 34 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Those numbers aren’t all that dissimilar from the numbers of Drew Brees, who has connected on 70.9 percent of his passes for 4,858 yards with 35 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

The difference is that Ryan has thrown 125 fewer passes, and the Falcons have a shot at finishing 11-5.

“He is certainly a strong candidate. He has played outstanding,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “When you look at not just the numbers, the totals, I think he’s done a real good job (with) ball security. One thing you see with this team offensively that is noticeably different this year is, they’re in the top five in the league, in regards to fewest giveaways, and you know it’s not like they are playing very conservative.”

Ryan will present a challenge Sunday. Throughout his career, he’s averaged around 297 yards passing against New Orleans. He didn’t exactly tear things up in the last game, passing for 240 yards and two touchdowns. But that also must be put in context. The Falcons ran wild for 200 yards in a 45-32 romp...

By Nick Underhill

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