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Matt Ryan leads the way for the best QB performances in losses

Photo Credit: Associated to SB NATION Source

Read Full Article: Matt Ryan leads the way for the best QB performances in losses

By Rebecca Toback - SB NATION -

What more can Matt Ryan do to get the Falcons a win?

Matt Ryan was one of five quarterbacks to pass for at least 400 yards this week when he threw for 419 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 134.5 passer rating in the Falcons’ 37-36 loss to the Bengals. That followed a Falcons Week 3 loss to the Saints in which Ryan threw for 374 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 148.1 passer rating.

What does a guy have to do to lead his team to a win if those numbers aren’t cutting it? That got us thinking, how many quarterbacks have thrown for five or more touchdowns in a game and still lost? And how many have thrown for 370+ yards, five+ touchdowns and zero interceptions and still lost?

Since 1999, when Pro Football Reference started tracking these numbers, the answer to the first question is just 10!

In Week 3, Ryan joined a sad list featuring Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo, and Peyton Manning as quarterbacks to throw five touchdown passes in a loss (since 1999). But the list shrinks when you get rid of the quarterbacks who threw interceptions in those games.

When looking at quarterbacks who threw five touchdown and zero interception in a loss, it’s just Ryan, Eli Manning, Matt Hasselbeck, Blake Bortles, and Deshaun Watson. And among those quarterbacks, Ryan is the only one to throw for more than 360 yards in the loss.

So how about what Ryan did more recently in a home loss to the Bengals? Is throwing three touchdowns, zero interceptions, 419 yards, and still losing rare? Why yes, yes it is.

19 quarterbacks since 1999 have thrown for three+ touchdowns, zero interceptions and 400+ passing yards in a loss. And among them all, Ryan had the highest passer rating.

Still, Ryan is playing remarkably well, despite the Falcons’ 1-3 record. He has the sixth most passing yards in the league, a top 10 completion percentage (68.3 percent), the sixth most touchdowns, and the fifth highest passer rating among starting quarterbacks through Week 4. He really can’t do much more — and it’s not on the rest of the offense to do more either. Julio Jones had nine catches for 173 yards and rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley had two touchdown receptions in the Falcons’ loss to Cincinnati. Jones even broke an NFL record on Sunday, his 99th career game today, as he now has 41 games with at least 100 receiving yards. He surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (40) for the most 100-yard receiving games in a player’s first 100 games in NFL history. Additionally, Ridley made history as he now has six touchdown catches in the Falcons’ first four games, which is the most by a rookie in his team’s first four games of a season.

The Falcons defense needs to answer the call and step up to allow Atlanta to start winning games. It’s simply hard to watch Ryan play this well and still lose.