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Ryan Comes of Age Just Six Games Into His Rookie Year

It was a coming of age on Sunday for Matt Ryan and the Falcons.  Ryan threw for his first 300-yard game of his career, but what was most impressive was his poise in making that pressure packed throw from the 44 when he found Mike Jenkins for a 22-yard gain that gave the team the shot for Jason Elam to win the game.

“He’s got it,” first-year coach Mike Smith said. “I don’t know what ‘it’ is, but he’s got it. The guys have really taken to Matt. He knows how to be a leader.”  The Falcons players and coaches are following his lead, and for a team that many thought would be lucky to win 4-5 games they are already 4-2 and well on their way to being a major factor in the NFC South.

Most of it revolves around Ryan, who is the first rookie starter to have started his first six games and be 4-2.  The third pick in the draft has thrown for 1164 yards, five TD’s and three picks.  He struggled in his first two road games at Tampa Bay and Carolina, but has shown what it takes to be a flat out great QB when he showed up and beat the Packers at Lambeau Field last weekend.

But what he did yesterday vs the Bears was even better.  He never got rattled, and even with just 6 seconds left seemed poised to pull off what was a great comeback, and maybe the best game the Georgia Dome has seen in a number of years.  Ryan is the key, and he and Michael Turner have been the main reasons why this team is sitting at 4-2 and not struggling through another long season.

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