The Falcons started the season 5-0 and looked like a surefire playoff team, but they’ve lost five of their last six games to drop to 6-5. Their postseason hopes are now in serious jeopardy, and one reason for their skid is the lackluster play of quarterback Matt Ryan. During their four-game losing streak, the Falcons have averaged fewer than 17 points per game and Ryan has thrown just seven touchdowns against six interceptions. Two of those picks came in a crucial 20-10 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. Afterward, owner Arthur Blank and head coach Dan Quinn expressed confidence in Ryan, a three-time Pro Bowler who has been the Falcons’ QB since they drafted him third overall in 2008.
“He’s demonstrated his abilities over eight years. He’ll be fine. He’ll be good,” Blank said, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.
Added Quinn, who said he isn’t thinking about benching Ryan or anyone else, “He’s absolutely the competitor that I want. He’s what we look for and our team looks for the whole way.”
Here’s more from the NFC:
- Whether he retires or the Seahawks simply decide to move on from him, there’s a good chance Marshawn Lynch is in his final year in Seattle, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Lynch underwent groin surgery earlier this week and it’s possible he’ll end up on season-ending IR in a month if the team decides he’s not ready to return. Regardless, from an on-field standpoint, the five-time Pro Bowler has become less essential to the Seahawks’ offense with the emergence of rookie Thomas Rawls. From a business standpoint, cutting Lynch would save Seattle $6.5MM on its cap in 2016 and $10.5MM in ’17.
- Don’t expect Giants general manager Jerry Reese to be a fall guy if they miss the playoffs, tweets ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
- The Packers – who are in desperate need of weapons in their passing game – are close to getting injured tight end Andrew Quarless back, per . Quarless has been on the shelf since tearing his ACL in Week 3, and head coach Mike McCarthy said he could practice in the coming week. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be active for Green Bay’s game against Detroit on Thursday, however.