One playoff win not enough for relieved Falcons QB Ryan

Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:40pm EST
 

(Reuters) - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was a relieved man after finally getting the first playoff win of his career on Sunday but said he was not about to settle for just ending his post-season jinx.

Ryan completed 25 of 35 passes and threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-28 win over the Seattle Seahawks and also gave up an interception in the fourth quarter that led to a massive shift of momentum.

But even after Seattle scored three touchdowns in the final quarter to erase a 20-point deficit and grab a one-point lead, Ryan calmly led Atlanta down the field to set up Matt Bryant's 49-yard game-winning field goal.

Ryan had lost all three of his playoff games heading into Sunday's clash in the Georgia Dome, leaving question marks over whether the 27-year-old quarterback had what it takes to thrive in the high-pressure environment of the postseason.

"Our goal isn't to win one playoff game and to stop answering that question. Our goal is still in front of us and we have two more games to go," said Ryan, whose team host the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football Conference title game on January 20 for a place in the Super Bowl.

"That is my mindset and the one our team has. We still have some work to do."

Ryan, drafted third overall by Atlanta in 2008, was so nearly facing an 0-4 career playoff record after an outstanding rally from Seattle and he took a large part of the blame himself for his interception.

With a little over 11 minutes remaining Ryan overthrew a pass intended for receiver Roddy White and Seahawks safety Earl Thomas snaffled up the opportunity.

"The one thing that threw us off was the interception that was just a bad play on my part. It is something I can't do. But luckily we made enough plays after that to come out with the win," said Ryan.   Continued...

 
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan celebrates after the Falcons defeated the Seattle Seahawks in their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in Atlanta, Georgia January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Keane