Newton crashes, then passes Ryan

It's Cam Newton's world now, the rest of us are just visiting.  (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

It’s Cam Newton’s world now, the rest of us are just visiting. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Having run out of conventional ways to fix Matt Ryan, perhaps it is time to do something desperate.

Put him in one of those crash test vehicles. Strap him in securely, mind you. Give him a helmet and plenty of padding. Don’t want to do any lasting damage, just shake him up a bit. And then run that sucker into a wall.

It may be too late to try this in advance of Sunday’s game against Carolina, but something radical needs to happen soon.

We mention car-crash therapy because of Sunday’s opponent. It has been a little more than a year now since the Panthers Cam Newton was involved in a roll-over accident that left him with a couple broken bones in his lower back and a deep sense of gratitude. Newton was granted the gift of perspective.

Since the crash, the Panthers are unbeaten in the regular season. Harnessing his considerable skills in his fifth NFL season, Newton has emerged as a MVP favorite.

Granted, Newton has advantages that Ryan does not enjoy. Like a formidable defense. And a real bail-out receiver in tight end Greg Olsen.

But what is particularly stunning here in advance of 2015’s first meeting between Newton’s Panthers and Ryan’s Falcons is how the former is out-performing the latter in managing the position. Credited with being such a cerebral fellow, a real astute decision-maker, Ryan has ceded even that advantage to Newton this season.

What has rendered Ryan the least important quarterback in his division are the critical errors that have piled up at his feet. Who could ever have pictured Newton the more efficient and effective player in a comparison between the two? And, yet, look at these 2015 numbers:

Touchdown/Interception ratio – Newton 25/10, Ryan 17/13.

Fumbles/fumbles lost – Newton 3/2, Ryan 8/3.

Red zone touchdown/interception ratio – Newton 19/0, Ryan 15/4.

Red zone quarterback rating: Newton 111.5, Ryan 78.3.

If such trends do not reverse, I see no alternative to the crash test dummy experiment.

Reader Comments 0


Why did the Falcons get a new coach? Mike Smith could have put a team this bad on the field. After 3 years the Falcons have not made a significant investment in their offensive line. Put Matt Ryan behind The Dallas O-line and he would be successful but this organization handicaps him with a pathetic pieced together O-line every season and it's a disaster. It's time to fire the GM.


It is not all on Shanahan, Ryan should get some of the blame also. Interceptions, fumbles, bad passes is Ryan fault. He even admits it.


@eturn You really need to to look at the raw numbers.

ALL of the QBs who play under Shanahan play worse than they ever have.

ALL of them.


The only way to fix Matt Ryan is to fire Kyle Shanahan, a petty product of nepotism who has an outsized and unearned sense of entitlement.

Here are the cold, hard statistics showing Shanahan has been the problem everywhere he's been:

Here is the anecdotal, but even more damning personal accounts about how he ruined Donovan McNabb in 2010 (who came off a Pro Bowl year in 2009) and burned his father's Redskins team to the ground:

The only thing Matt Ryan (and the Falcons) need to do is get away from Kyle Shanahan.