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Can Matt Ryan Repeat His 2016 Success?

Matt Ryan NFL News via Flickr


Can Matt Ryan Repeat His 2016 Success?

Matt Ryan surprised many people last season. He had an amazing MVP run, setting new records and breaking some of his own. With the new season approaching, there’s one question on everyone’s mind. Can Matt Ryan repeat his MVP season? Ryan’s goal is to lead the Falcons to the playoffs, and to the Super Bowl again. With the arrival of new players and coaches and the departure of some as well, Ryan will have to find a way to stay consistent through the season. Here are a few factors that could help Ryan’s case that his MVP season wasn’t a fluke.

Core Group Of Receivers Still Intact

When talking about Matt Ryan’s success, you have to point to his receivers. Even though Ryan showed he had many other receivers to throw to, the Falcon’s three-headed monster is still together. Julio Jones proved that he’s one of the best receivers in the game after another 1,000-yard season and catching balls that look impossible to grab. Mohamed Sanu showed his worth on the team many times during the season, and his stats show it. For a #2 wide receiver, Sanu had 653 yards and was also recognized as one of the most sure-handed receivers in the league. Taylor Gabriel came on the scene late into the season, but his speed and shifty moves gave people something to talk about. If these receivers can perform at a high level again, Ryan will have no problem throwing touchdowns at the same rate he did last season.

Offensive Line Was One Of The Best

Maybe the most underrated factor of Matt Ryan’s success was the offensive line. The addition of center Alex Mack not only elevated Ryan’s game, but he helped the players around him as well. The offensive line opened up big holes for both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the run game. It also gave Ryan a lot of time in the pocket to pass to his receivers. Another thing that made the line so successful was how healthy they stayed throughout the season. The Falcons were the only team who had all five linemen play the entire season, which benefited Ryan in a major way. With the retirement of guard Chris Chester, the Falcons are going to have a competitive training camp. From there, the line can develop chemistry and help better protect Ryan in the upcoming season.

A New Offensive Coordinator

Another major reason Ryan was so great last season was due to new San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Ryan had one of his worst seasons when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator, but he showed with more time and freedom in the system he could be dominant. The Falcons went out and signed former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to replace Shanahan. Sarkisian’s offensive game plan implements many of the things Shanahan did in his first 2 seasons with the Falcons. The more comfortable Ryan is with the system, the more success they’ll have. It seems as if their relationship is off to a good start as well, which is also an important factor.

If these factors can live up to their expectations, Matt Ryan will be back at the top with amazing numbers. There’s a chance he could be in the MVP race again as well. Leading his team to the Super Bowl for a second straight season would be a sight to see, but the only way that will happen is if he plays close to like he did last season.