ESPN.com's John Clayton touched base on Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner in an indepth article on the Falcons offense. Since I've had Ryan ranked as a Top-5 Dynasty QB all offseason, I especially enjoyed the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady comparisons.
As for Ryan, I haven't been this excited about a quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning came into the league in 1998. Ryan has it all. He can make all the throws, he has a fourth-quarter presence similar to Manning or Tom Brady's, and he's a student of the game. In the first quarter of last season, Ryan had progressed enough he was able to get to his fourth read and complete passes.
Ryan has the ability to go into a no-huddle, three-receiver set with Roddy White, Michael Jenkins and Harry Douglas and still feature Gonzalez. With those types of weapons, you'd think Ryan would throw 40 passes a game and the Falcons would score 30 points each Sunday. The Falcons could be the eastern version of the New Orleans Saints.
Even though Peyton Manning is known more for this throwing than for how he manages the running game, look what happened to the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. One of the things that makes Manning's offense work so well is the stretch running play -- which Manning uses as a threat to get the play-action passing game going. So even though the Colts cut Marvin Harrison -- Manning's favorite pass-receiving target -- the Colts used a first-round pick on a running back, UConn's Donald Brown, and not a wide receiver. The Colts are coming off their worst rushing seasons.
It will be interesting to see if Ryan tries to manage games the way Manning does. The Colts have perfected the nine- or 10-possession game. While most games feature 12 to 13 possessions, Manning tries to win by executing long, time-consuming drives, which give his defense a chance to rest and be fresh. If the Colts score on five of their nine possessions, they are going to score around 27 points a game.