One of Falcons fans’ favorite things to do is debate Matt Ryan with two completely polarizing opinions — he’s washed or he’s the only reason the Falcons win games. As with anything, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It is easier for his apologists to point to the Falcons’ mediocre roster, but it is equally valid for critics to point the other direction that Ryan doesn’t move the needle. I am of the opinion that Ryan has some gas left in the tank. However, it is nowhere near the amount needed to lead this level of personnel to the postseason.
So when a Hall of Fame quarterback tweeted that Ryan frustrates him by making confusing reads and decisions after big-time throws, it will cause a rift among fans. Some of those dared to tell Kurt Warner, one of the greats, that he had no legitimacy without proof — what an insane point to make. So naturally, Warner followed up his tweet with a 25-minute film review on Ryan’s performance against the Buccaneers.
Few QBs frustrate me more watching film than #MattRyan… he makes so many big time throws, but equally as many confusing reads & decisions!!! I have no idea what to make of it… not sure how it’s possible, but it’s every week???
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) December 6, 2021
Loved the dialogue this week about #MattRyan & the passion from all you fans… so much can get lost in translation over Twitter so here is my #StudyBall breakdown of my confusion… @QBConfidential hit me w/ thoughts after watching! https://t.co/xQXYI5kzbX
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) December 9, 2021
Unfortunately for Falcons fans, Warner’s analysis is as unbias as it comes. He has no dog in the fight; if anything, he likes Ryan and wants him to succeed. However, the Super Bowl champion quarterback pointed out several questionable decisions the long-time Atlanta quarterback made. Warner emphasizes that Ryan is a really good quarterback, the offensive line has issues, and he doesn’t have the talent on the perimeter that he has had in the past; however, his main gripe with Ryan is his eyes and release time.
Warner goes through a dozen or so plays — some bad, some good. He points out the correct and timely progression Ryan makes on several plays then shows the complete opposite where Ryan struggles to make the right reads promptly. Watching the review will make you understand football more, and you should watch it. I came away with the conclusion that talent isn’t necessarily the cause of these issues.
Sure, the offensive line and wide receiver room could use upgrading, but Ryan’s familiarity with Arthur Smith’s offense is the more significant reason for the struggles. The veteran quarterback struggled with Kyle Shanahan’s offense in the first year of the system, but he had the ultimate security blanket in Julio Jones to go to, and Kyle Pitts hasn’t been that guy just yet. These mental lapses and poor judgment should dwindle as Ryan gets more familiar with Smith’s system, just as it did under Shanahan.