The Union Recorder

Local Sports

December 27, 2012

Falcons' Ryan closing regular season on hot streak

(Continued)

ATLANTA —

The best news for the Falcons is Ryan is gaining momentum for the postseason. He completed 23 of 28 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 34-0 rout of the New York Giants two weeks ago. He completed 25 of 32 passes for 279 yards with four touchdowns and no picks in last week's 31-18 win at Detroit.

Ryan's rating in each game was 142.6. Smith said he hasn't seen the quarterback play better in consecutive weeks.

"The numbers I think will back that up in terms of quarterback rating and the passing yardage but really it's about running the offense and our offensive team," Smith said after Wednesday's practice.

"He's done a really good job with good plays at the right time and he's got us out of some bad plays. He's looked very comfortable in the pocket and going through his progressions and getting the ball to the guy we need to get it to most of the time."

McClure said Ryan's mastery of the offense and confidence in his skills show in his performance.

"He's learned the game better," McClure said. "He's learned our offense. Now he's just confident with where everybody is on the field. He knows where everybody is at any given moment. Right now he's making all the throws and that's why he's playing really well."

Ryan, who will be joined by tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receiver Julio Jones in the Pro Bowl. said improved consistency has boosted his confidence.

"I feel like my confidence the entire year has been as high as it's ever been," he said. "I've felt good each week. One of the things I've always strived for is consistency. I try to be consistent week in and week out. I think I've been better with that the last couple of weeks and really the entire year."

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