Falcons X-factor: Matt Ryan looking to bounce back

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) walks off the field after 24-9 loss to the Saints Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in New Orleans. (Brett Duke/AP)
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) walks off the field after 24-9 loss to the Saints Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in New Orleans. (Brett Duke/AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who is set to play in his 200th regular-season game, will look to bounce back from one of the worst games of his career.

He’s the X-factor as the Falcons are set to face the Raiders at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“This league will humble you, week-in and week out,” Ryan said.

In the loss to the Saints on Sunday, Ryan had a sub-50 passer rating for only the seventh time in his career. He has seven seasons without a sub-50 game, and his 48.5 passer rating was his lowest since he had a 47.2 against Arizona in 2013.

“I’ve got to do my part in terms of finding ways to make sure we are in the right protections, make sure we are sliding the right way and getting our double-teams where we need them,” Ryan said. “Just finding good spots to deliver the football. It takes all of us.”

The Raiders don’t boast a highly ranked defense, but they have been playing well over the past month, according to Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

Ryan was sacked eight times and hit 11 times by the Saints.

“When you give up a hand-full of sacks in a game, it’s never just one thing,” Ryan said. “So, we’ve all got to pull our weight a little bit better, but it starts with me.”

The Falcons are counting on Ryan, the only Falcon to ever win the league’s MVP award, to return to form.

“Matt is going to trust his process,” Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris said. “He’s going to study. He’s going to evaluate himself. Evaluate what he needs to do this week. He’s going to do everything in his power, that he’s capable of and go out there, and he’s going to make plays and put his team in the position to win.”

It also was Ryan’s fourth game of the season without a touchdown pass.

“We have nothing but confidence in Matt, in what he’s going to be able to do and how he’s going to be able to do it,” Morris said.

Falcons’ next four games

Raiders at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

Saints at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6

Falcons at Chargers at 4:25 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13

Buccaneers at Falcons at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10

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