By Shawn Lealos
The Atlanta Falcons clinched the NFC South pretty handily: They won with a two-game lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their closest rivals; Matt Ryan ranked first in the NFL in quarterback rating; and the Falcons ranked second in the NFL in total offense. Additionally, they broke 30 points or more in eight of their last 10 games of the season. That makes it no surprise that their offensive coordinator is now a hot commodity for teams searching for a head coach.
Kyle Shanahan Receiving Interest From Other Teams
Kyle Shanahan ran one of the best offenses in the NFL this year, and he will probably end up as a head coach in 2017. This weekend, while the Atlanta Falcons are on their bye, Shanahan will interview with a number of teams looking for a head coach, one of the most interesting of which is the Denver Broncos. His father, Mike Shanahan, was the head coach at Denver from 1995 through 2008 and won two Super Bowls there.
Other teams taking interest in Shanahan include the San Francisco 49ers, who just fired Chip Kelly, as well as the Jacksonville Jaguars and St. Louis Rams. Kyle Shanahan won’t go anywhere until the postseason has ended—so Falcons fans have nothing to worry about—but there is little chance that one of these teams won’t hire him, meaning the Falcons will have to find a new coordinator for 2017.
“Anytime you have success and your team has success, this is part of it,” Matt Ryan told ESPN. “People get recognized and people get opportunities. I wish him the best, but I think both of us are focused on trying to get the job done right now.”
Brett Favre Believes Matt Ryan Should Be MVP
Before Brett Favre became a star with the Green Bay Packers, he was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. This year, Atlanta’s current quarterback, Matt Ryan, put up numbers that dwarf even those of Favre’s. Ryan’s QB rating of 117.1 led the league and is the fifth-highest in NFL history. As a result, Favre has taken notice, and said he believes that Ryan is deserving of the 2016 NFL MVP award. Other names in the conversation include Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, who plays for Favre’s old team, the Packers.
“I think he [Ryan] does get overlooked,” Favre told Sirius XM NFL Radio. “Is he deserving? Absolutely. Only one guy can get it. That’s the reality. And there’s always going to be one, two, maybe three guys that you could make the argument [for]. I think his production has been nothing short of amazing.”
Matt Ryan Looks At Reversing Postseason Woes
Matt Ryan is having a fantastic season at quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, and has them looking great heading into the postseason. However, history is not kind to Ryan and the Falcons. Ryan has been to the postseason four times before and his record in NFL playoff games is 1-4. The last time that the Falcons won a playoff game was in 2012 when they beat the Seattle Seahawks, a team they have a great chance of playing in the second round of the playoffs this year.
The Atlanta Falcons have been to the Super Bowl before, but they lost it in 1998 to the Denver Broncos. The head coach of Denver in that game? None other than Mike Shanahan. In the 18 years since that Super Bowl appearance, Atlanta has only made the postseason seven times and is 3-6 in those playoffs. It has been four years since their last playoff appearance and Matt Ryan is ready to put those losses behind them.
“We’ve won in the playoffs before, so I don’t really worry about that too much,” Ryan told ESPN. “For me, it’s about, ‘How do we get the one win next week, whoever it’s going to be against?’ Putting any more pressure on yourself other than that is a waste of time.”