4. Matt Ryan is washed
There was a time when Matt Ryan was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The third overall pick out of Boston College back in 2008, Ryan was tasked with replacing Mike Vick for the Atlanta Falcons. He did that well, as he led them to a record of 120-102 in 14 seasons and nearly won a title following the 2016 campaign.
Ryan was the MVP of the league that season, and had it not been for some questionable play-calling down the stretch of the Super Bowl, he might have added that Lombardi Trophy as well. Even without the title, he has 62,377 yards with 378 touchdowns in his 15-year career.
As impressive as all that is, the Ryan that now plays for the Colts is not the same player we saw in Atlanta. At 37 years old, that’s expected — unless you’re talking about Tom Brady — which is why Atlanta moved on this offseason.
In 10 starts for the Colts, Ryan is 4-5-1 and hasn’t performed very well. He was struggling so much that Sam Elhinger was brought in by Frank Reich, although Ryan was reinstated when Saturday took over.
Ryan’s inability to push the ball downfield limits this offense and allows defenses to crowd the line of scrimmage, which has, at times, slowed Jonathan Taylor down. He’s also made several mistakes, including 10 picks on the season, and lost a key fumble in the red zone in their recent loss to Pittsburgh.
Dallas has a very opportunistic defense that has 45 sacks on the quarterback — which is a terrible sign for the immobile Ryan.
One area they haven’t been as good at this season is intercepting the ball, but that could change as Ryan feels the heat, giving the Cowboys a huge advantage.