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Matt Ryan Against The Ravens: The Best Passing Day By A Falcon Since The Twentieth Century

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At halftime of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons, it looked like Matt Ryan might be on pace to have a career day against one of the NFL's best defenses. He was projected to reach 320 yards with two touchdowns, which he more or less exceeded with 316 yards and three scores. He also didn't throw any interceptions or even almost-interceptions, giving him a tidy 13/5 touchdown-to-interception ratio on the year. Not that that stat means anything.

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Ryan's best game yet? Definitely. But it was an even more historic performance than that.

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ESPN's Pat Yasinkas notes Ryan became the first Falcon to pass for over 300 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions since Chris Chandler in week 17 of the 1999 season. But Chandler only completed 51 percent of his passes that day. Last night, Ryan completed 64 percent and called most of his own no-huddle plays throughout the first half.

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And, not to take anything away from a great game, but Chandler's was against the 4-12 San Francisco 49ers, not the AFC-leading Baltimore Ravens. And Ryan did it in prime time against evil twin Joe Flacco, outdueling his 2008 Draftmate thanks in large part to a fierce Falcons pass rush. And...

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Michael Vick may have had a couple more amazing all-around days as a dual threat quarterback, but no Atlanta passer has done more to help the Falcons win in over a decade.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.