User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Patriots hoping to contain Falcons' QB Ryan

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - New England's Tommy Kelly doesn't expect Atlanta to run the ball that much Sunday night.

Advertisement
The Patriots defensive tackle is so certain the Falcons will primarily pass, he's focusing solely on quarterback Matt Ryan.

``That's their offense,'' Kelly said Friday. ``You got a top-five quarterback, two big-time receivers, Hall of Fame tight end, they're going to throw the ball.

``Me personally, I'm playing pass. I'm defending the run on the way to the quarterback,'' he added with a chuckle. ``I'm going to put all my eggs into that basket thinking they're going to throw the ball.''

With Ryan under center, there's no reason to believe Kelly is wrong, either.

Now in his sixth season, Ryan has developed into one of the game's premier passers, due in part to the stockpile of receivers e has to choose from. Between deep threat receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, and perennial Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez, Ryan is a threat to throw a touchdown every time he touches the ball.

He is one of seven quarterbacks this season to average more than 300 yards passing per game, a tall task even for New England's sixth-ranked passing defense.

Kelly, who faced Ryan last year while playing for the Oakland Raiders, grouped him with some of the league's elite signal callers.

``Whoever is the best, he's up there with them, with Tom (Brady) and Peyton (Manning) and Philip Rivers, Drew Brees,'' he said. ``He's up there - top five, top 10.

``The whole offense runs through him. The game's on the line, he's going to have the ball in his hands. So, we've got to try to get him off the spot and try to make him make some hurried decisions.''

That's a lot easier said than done.

Despite a 1-2 start, Ryan has completed 68.1 percent of his passes, third best in the league, and has lost just once in his last 13 regular-season starts at home. In fact, the two-time Pro Bowler is 34-5 at the Georgia Dome, and with a victory against New England (3-0) can tie Brett Favre for most wins by a quarterback in his first 40 home games.

When discussing Ryan earlier this week, Patriots coach Bill Belichick highlighted just about every desirable quality a quarterback can possess.

``He looks pretty good at everything to me,'' he said. ``He has a good touch, he does a good job throwing the ball down the field, reads coverages well, doesn't make many mistakes, manages the game well, he's accurate, he's tough, he'll definitely stand in there, throw the ball and take a hit.

``He has very few bad plays, let's put it that way, very few. So, consistency, I think that's the mark of any great player. He's pretty consistent - every play, every game, every series. He does a lot of things right.''

Kelly is hoping to change that, even though New England has yet to face a quarterback of Ryan's caliber. Rookies EJ Manuel of Buffalo and Geno Smith of the New York Jets posed plenty of problems for the Patriots, who escaped with two wins by a combined five points. They had no trouble Sunday handling Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman, who just three days later was benched in favor of another rookie.

Kelly, however, couldn't care less who is under center. He just wants to hit them.

``All the glory comes from sacking the quarterback,'' he said, ``so if you can't get up for a chance to play a quarterback who throws the ball a lot, you're pretty much in the wrong league.''

Defensive end Chandler Jones said the key to rattling Ryan is pressuring him and pushing him out of the pocket.

``With a guy like Matt Ryan, you don't want him sitting back there just picking your defense apart,'' Jones explained. ``You want to go out there and get after him, move him off the spot a little.''

There are benefits to facing a prototypical pocket passer such as Ryan, though.

Kelly, for one, knows exactly where he will be most of the time, making the job of the defensive line a lot easier.

``You don't pretty much worry about those guys getting out of the pocket unless it's a desperate situation,'' Kelly said. ``So, you can just get into your move and just know he's going to be five yards behind the center.''

There's only one caveat.

``Just need him to hold it a little bit,'' Kelly said with a laugh.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Lawrence: Handicapping Win Totals
Stoffo: Preseason Report - Coaches
Rogers: Home 'Dog Breakdown
Stoffo: Preseason Report - AFC
Stoffo: Preseason Report - NFC
Fisher: 2015 Playoff Surprises
SportsBoss: Turnover Analysis
Browns fans flock to see Johnny Football
Clowney on field as Houston opens camp
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks-
2013 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 1340
Chip Chirimbes + 1286
The Gold Sheet + 1262
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last Week  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Joe Nelson 60 %
The SportsBoss 59 %
The Gold Sheet 59 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 805
The Gold Sheet + 713
Scott Pritchard + 615
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 400
Joe Williams + 324
Tony Stoffo + 203
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
ASA + 670
The SportsBoss + 385
Brian Edwards + 337
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!