Matty Ice is still learning

With how exceptionally well he played as a rookie last year, it’s easy to forget that Matt Ryan only has 24 career starts under his belt.

Ryan did some great things in the Falcons’ 35-27 loss to the Saints on Monday night, most notably throwing a 68-yard rainbow to Roddy White to cut New Orleans’ lead to 28-21 early in the third quarter. He also found White and Tony Gonzalez on some key third downs to keep the chains moving and leave the Saints’ dynamic offense on the sidelines for most of the second half.

But he also made some mistakes that second year quarterbacks are unfortunately prone to making. Things like zeroing in on Gonzalez or forcing a pass into a well covered White late in the first half that led to a huge defensive touchdown for the Saints. He also looked rushed in the pocket at times and took a couple of unnecessary sacks because he didn’t go through all of his progressions. For a young man who has built the reputation of having ice water in his veins, “Matty Ice” looked uneasy several times when the Falcons needed a big play in the passing game.

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The Saints have that Super Bowl feel about them

With their thrilling 35-27 win over the Falcons on Monday night, the Saints are off to their best start in franchise history at 7-0.

They were far from perfect tonight, but it’s hard not to watch the Saints without getting a sense that this team is destined for big things. Their offense is balanced and can beat opponents in a variety of ways, while the defense is incredibly opportunistic and more aggressive under new coordinator Gregg Williams than they have been in years past.

Save for a fumble that led to a Falcons’ defensive touchdown and an interception (what a play by Atlanta cornerback Brett Grimes) that killed a potential scoring drive, Drew Brees was incredible again tonight. Some of the throws he made were so perfect that he couldn’t have walked them to his receivers any better. And speaking of his receivers, Marques Colston, Jeremy Shockey and Robert Meachem made some absolutely athletic catches with defensive backs draped on top of them. The one-handed grab that Shockey made in the fourth quarter to help set up the Saints’ final touchdown was one of the best catches of the year.

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