QUARTERBACK Corner: Q&A with Matt Ryan

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan hopes to lead the team to a split of their season series with the Carolina Panthers and possibly keep the Panthers from winning the NFC South title.

The Falcons are coming off a disappointing 34-24 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Here’s a brief Q&A involving Ryan and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter.

Q: What would it mean to put a little damper on Carolina’s playoff hopes?

A: If certain guys are going to use that as motivation, that's fine. Whatever you have to use to get yourself ready to go, and that's a good thing. Anytime you play these division opponents there is a little something extra to it because you've faced off against so many of the guys so many times and you get to know them. They know you. Scheme kind of goes out of the window.

Q: Do you like that games against Carolina get a little chippy?

A: That's part of the sport. That's part of football, especially within the division. Games get like that sometimes. I like good competitive games.

Q: What do you see from their linebackers?

A: Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly are doing a great job. Luke makes a ton of tackles. I think Thomas Davis is a really good pass rusher. They blitz him quite a bit, but he's also extremely athletic, and he covers running backs and tight ends as well as any linebacker in the league, in my opinion. I think both of those guys are playing at a really high level.

Q: You all had two more guys added to the injured reserve list this week.

A: It's been tough sledding. There's no question about that. We have a number of guys (injured). It's part of the game. It's the part that you don't like about it, but it is part of the deal.