Matt Ryan has already been named NFL MVP by the Pro Football Writers of America and is expected to receive the same honor from the Associated Press on Super Bowl weekend. On Sunday he will also try to lead the Atlanta Falcons past the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
To get to this point, Ryan made a lot of great plays during the season, including 38 touchdown passes. But his most memorable play of the year is one that he didn’t make and that was probably a good thing.
In late September, the Atlanta Falcons shellacked the New Orleans Saints, 45-32, to improve to 2-1 on the young NFL season. Ryan had a nice evening, going 20-for-30 for 240 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no turnovers.
He also displayed incredible judgment and body-control – or luck – to avoid getting in the way of a charging Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 308 pounds.
Ryan appeared to choose life over making a block:
The other great part of all this was Ryan’s reaction. It suggested that he saw his life pass before his eyes:
Ryan was recently asked on ESPN what he might have done differently if he had it to do all over again.
“I could have gotten out of the way faster,” Ryan said with a chuckle. “Looking back at it now, it is probably a good thing I slipped and fell or whatever because I have been able to stay healthy from that point forward. Had it gone differently, it might have ended differently.”