The moment has arrived! Its finally here Atlanta Falcons fans, a playoff win under Matt Ryan’s command. And in this game, when it mattered, he finally lived up to his nickname, “Matty Ice.” Against Seattle, at home, Matt Ryan threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns in his first career playoff victory and he was the mastermind of an incredible game-winning drive that might be one of the best moments in Atlanta Falcons history.
Atlanta jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead with Matt Ryan throwing two first half touchdowns, a 45 yard pass to Roddy White and a beautiful touchdown to Tony Gonzalez rolling left and throwing across his body (nice catch by Gonzalez as well).
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Matt Ryan answer a Seattle touchdown in the third quarter with a five yard shovel pass to Jason Snelling for another touchdown but that’s not what defined him tonight. With 34 seconds left in the game Seattle had clawed its way back to take a one point lead. Ryan took over at his own 28 with 25 seconds left. This is where Quarterbacks with nicknames like” Matty Ice” are supposed to embrace the moment. These are the points when Matt Ryan did not shine in his previous playoff starts.
Today was different. Today there was ice water running through the young quarterback’s veins. Today his nickname was just right. He completed a 22 yard pass to Harry Douglas and quickly called time out with 19 seconds left on the clock. He then completed 19 yard pass, up the middle, to Tony Gonzalez setting up the 49 yard game winning field goal. The previous pass showed poise and understanding of the game. He knew they had a timeout left and used that to his advantage exposing the middle of the field setting up that faithful game winning kick.
Today was a new Matt Ryan. The player everyone thought was there finally showed up. No more is the quarterback who could not win a start in the NFL’s second season (0-3 lifetime). No more is the quarterback that could not throw for over 200 hundred yards. No more is the quarterback that looked “out of sorts’ or as if the stage was too big to him. Today, Matt Ryan embraced the stage, embraced the moment and brought a playoff victory to the city of Atlanta. Watch out San Francisco; watch out AFC champion, if Matt Ryan truly has embraced the moment you could all be in for an Ice Cold memory that you will not soon forget. Just ask the Seattle Seahawks. “Matty Ice” has arrived, not just in the regular season but the post-season as well. Look out NFL; this could be a long decade.