Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/1/12

Matt Ryan has firmly cemented himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL with his stunning come-from-behind victory against Cam Newton and the Panthers on Sunday.  Ryan came into this game as the highest-rated QB in the league while leading the Falcons to an undefeated record of 3-0. Many thought the Falcons would easily run and throw all over the Panthers in this game. 

If you look at the offensive stats for this game, it would seem that they did. Matty Ice threw for 369 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Turner eclipsed the 100 yard mark for the first time this year while also adding a his first career reception touchdown on a screen-pass that went 60 yards.  Roddy White led the way with 8 catches for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns.

When you see these stats, one might think that the game was a blowout with the Falcons winning by at least two scores.  That was not the case, however, for the Matt Ryan led Falcons.  Cam Newton and the Panthers gave it everything they had and pushed the Falcons all the way to the end. 

Cam Newton played one of his best games of his young career, decision-wise, and only made one mistake at the end of the game.  He had a career-high  in rushing yards with 86 and a touchdown.  Newton also added over 200 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. This proved to not be enough to beat the Falcons.

So how did the Falcons pull out this victory? It all started on the Panthers second to last drive of the game.  Their defense had previously forced a Falcons Punt with just over 2 minutes left.  All they had to do was run out the clock and the victory would be theirs.  On a third-and-short, the Panthers called Newtons number on a QB sneak. 

At first, it appeared he got the first down. But the ball was knocked loose. The Panthers would recover, but they recovered the ball behind the first-down marker and were then forced to make a decision.  Punt or go for the first on fourth-and-short.  

Being up by one point, the Panthers tried to get the Falcons to jump offsides but were unsuccessful and would decide to instead to punt.  Their special teams crew did a wonderful job by downing the punt at the Atlanta 1 yard line.  Many people might have thought the game was over at this point because the Falcons had less than a minute left, ball at their own 1 yard line and no time outs remaining. But with Matt Ryan at the helm, the Falcons never believe it is over.

On the first play, Matt Ryan walks up to the line of scrimmage with ice water in his veins.  After reading the defense, the Falcons snap the ball and Matt Ryan drops back.  He waits a few seconds and then unleashes a deep pass towards Roddy White.  As the ball flies through the air, a collective gasp is taken by all Falcons fans.  As the ball comes down, Roddy White reaches up with both hands and grasps the ball over a Panthers defender and comes down with the reception 60 yards down field. 

The dome erupts in cheers and at that point, the Falcons and their fans knew they were going to win this game.  The Falcons use a few more pass plays to get the ball a little closer for Matt Bryant and the kicking team.  With 10 seconds left, Bryant crushes a 40 yard field goal to take the lead at 30-28 and cement the victory and the legacy of Matt Ryan as a an elite QB.

With this victory, the Falcons not only attain a strong hold on the NFC South Division and show that the Dome is Matt Ryan's House.



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