In this era of passing in the NFL, where six of the top 10 quarterbacks currently are on rosters, Falcons signal-caller Matt Ryan needs only 34 yards to surpass 50,000 yards passing for his career.
Over the years, the rules have been relaxed and tilted in favor of the passing game.
Ryan could hit the mark early when the Falcons (3-9) host the Panthers (5-7) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“It’s obviously something I’m proud of,” Ryan said. “To be able to do it hopefully at home and get it done there is exciting, but more important than anything would be getting a win … with all of the hard work we put in (last) week to try and accomplish something like that in a win would be great.”
Ryan passed for 311 yards in the Falcons’ 29-3 win over the Panthers on Nov. 17. In the two subsequent games, losses to Tampa Bay and New Orleans, Ryan was sacked a combined 15 times.
Regarding of the era, reaching 50,000 yards passing is impressive.
“I think that when you think of Matt, I come up with his toughness,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He is always ready to deliver and plays through injuries, plays through pain to still deliver the ball. All of those things, Matt stands for.”
New Orleans’ Drew Brees (76,228), New England’s Tom Brady (73,782), the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (58,090), Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (56,545), the New York Giants’ Eli Manning (56,537) and Ryan rank in the top 10. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (46,009) is chasing.
“It doesn’t surprise me that there are milestones there for a competitor of his level,” Quinn said. “All of those milestones are certainly great, and he is deserving.”
Chris Myers, who will handle the play-by-play for Fox on the Sunday telecast, believes Ryan will end up with a gold jacket.
“I still think you have a future Hall of Famer quarterback in Matt Ryan,” Myers said.
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