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Buccaneers vs. Falcons: Matt Ryan named NFC offensive player of the week

The accolades for Matt Ryan continue with Thursday's announcement that he's the NFC offensive player of the week.

USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan has played as well as anyone in the NFL the past two weeks, and on Thursday he was named the NFC offensive player of the week for his four-touchdown performance in a win over the Detroit Lions last week. The news came a day after Ryan was named to his second Pro Bowl.

At one point, Ryan completed 22-straight passes between the first 12 attempts of the Lions game and his final 10 in a win over the New York Giants the week before. The mark fell just two shy of the NFL record for consecutive completions. In a Q&A with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ryan responds to his coach, Mike Smith, saying Ryan's last two games might be he best back-to-back stretch of his career:

"I think it's good. It certainly beats the alternative. But I feel like my confidence has been, the entire year, as high as it's ever been. I feel that way going week in and week out. One thing I've always strived for is consistency. I think I'm been better with that the last couple of weeks but really the whole year."

One difference between Ryan now and Ryan in seasons prior, according to the quarterback, is how much harder he prepares week in and week out:

"That's kind of helped me let my talent go out there and do the rest. I think I'm better prepared. I think I'm a better decision-maker than I was then. I think physically I'm better than I was then-stronger, more accurate, better footwork. All those things I think are things I've constantly tried to improve on since I've been in the NFL."

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