The start of previewing and predicting every position on Atlanta’s roster is upon us. Who will be the starter(s) and backup(s) for the Falcons in 2015? For this article, I will be previewing the Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks. Here is a quick look on what to expect from the quarterback position in 2015-2016.
Starter: Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan is the obvious starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. His accolades and accomplishments speak for itself, and he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Many believe Ryan is close to elite, but in order to be elite, one must lead their team to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, Ryan has yet to do so in his seven-year career in Atlanta. In the past four years, Matt Ryan has thrown for over 4000 yards. If Ryan wants to take the next step it starts with limiting his poor decisions. Ryan is usually careful with the ball, but he has had 12 or more interceptions in the last 4 years. A big factor into that negative stat is the offensive line that has slowly started to deteriorate around him. The Falcons have tried hard to address that need in order for Ryan to have more time in the pocket. If the offensive line can hold up, expect Ryan to have a big year. Even though the Falcons have the easiest schedule in the NFL, Ryan’s competitive nature will not allow him to play down to lesser opponents. Ryan is your clear cut starter as a Falcon, until the day he decides to hang it up.
Backup: T.J. Yates
I give T.J. Yates the backup role over Sean Renfree for one reason; experience. Yates has been in the NFL for four years and has actually had to play meaningful snaps. Throwback to 2011 when Yates was a quarterback on the Houston Texans. Starting quarterback, Matt Schaub, went down with a season-ending injury, which meant Yates had to step in for the final six games. Not only did Yates help lead the Texans to the playoffs, but he actually led them to a playoff victory. Backup quarterbacks are not the most talented players on a team, but Yates has value in the experience he has had in his young NFL career.