Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Little changes for Ryan

In one day, Falcons QB Matt Ryan went from never having won a playoff game to being one away from the Super Bowl.

Associated Press

In one day, Falcons QB Matt Ryan went from never having won a playoff game to being one away from the Super Bowl.

ATLANTA — It's a question many people are asked around their birthday: "How does it feel to be another year older?"

The answer is almost invariably simple: "About the same."

It turns out it's the same for quarterbacks who win their first playoff game.

Even after mounting criticism, years of raised eyebrows suggesting Matt Ryan might not be equipped to win in the postseason and coming up short in his first three tries, the Falcons standout said there is very little difference now that he has shed the persona of being a perennial playoff loser.

His engineering of a last-minute drive to avoid a loss to the Seahawks on Sunday means he will never again be counted among those who could not get it done in the postseason. His Falcons logo no longer looks like an albatross.

So, Matt, how does it feel to be a playoff-winning quarterback?

"I feel the same as I did last week," he said as he prepares to face San Francisco in Sunday's NFC title game.

"When you walk in and you turn on the film on a Monday or a Tuesday and you're getting ready to play your next game, there's a whole new laundry list of problems that you need to address. That's more of where my focus has been, and that's where I think it needs to be."

Ryan has gone from never having a playoff win to needing just one more to get to the Super Bowl. Legacies can change that quickly. Earlier this week, as he sat at a news conference with the NFC championship trophy next to him, Ryan admitted there are some never-before-seen hurdles at this point in the season.

His news conference was moved to a different room, for example. And he said he is glad he does not have to answer any more questions about never winning in the playoffs because they can be a distraction.

"It's a little different," he said. "You have to be able to adjust. It's just a little bit different schedule. But that's part of the deal. You adjust. You work through it.

"It's not that big of a deal."

Little changes for Ryan 01/17/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After state, academics will trump athletics for King ace Brian Lee


    TAMPA — Brian Lee can still see himself on the pitcher's mound at Venice High School. Four years ago he was a freshman left-handed reliever just trying to keep King's state championship dreams alive.

    Pitcher Brian Lee participates in a practice at King High in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, May 26, 2017.
  2. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Golfer Tiger Woods was arrested on a DUI charge Monday in Jupiter, according to the Palm Beach County sheriff's office.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  3. Five cool things to do when it's hot outside


    Summer is not officially here, but it may as well be. School is out, vacations are coming, and it's time to enjoy the outdoors. Don't buy the argument that summer in Florida is too hot to get outside. There is plenty to do, and we'll prove it. Here are five cool things to do outdoors during another hot summer.

    Rainbow Springs State Park is a registered natural landmark. Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon is one several state parks with natural swimming holes in Florida. (Octavio Jones | Times)
  4. Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win


    Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

    Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.
  5. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”