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Dec 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes the ball against the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

(Formerly) Boston College Football

Falcons QB Ryan tries to put dismal year behind (Athens Banner-Herald, George Henry)

Matt Ryan is one of the most recognizable Boston College alumni in the sports world today. Franchise quarterbacks for NFL teams usually are.

As the face of the Atlanta Falcons franchise, many know that the success or failure of the Birds rests on his throwing arm. In 2013, just a year after going 13-3 and cruising one of the best regular season performances in the league, Atlanta crashed to 4-12 last season.

Ryan’s numbers on their own were not terrible. He threw for over 4,500 passing yards and had 26 touchdowns to 17 interceptions, with a completion percentage of over two-thirds, but the team around him did not perform. Notably, Atlanta’s defense had a ghastly 2013 season, coming in near the bottom of the NFL in most major measurable categories.

Still, the job of a leader is to lead, and despite the fact that Atlanta had bigger problems than him last year, Matt Ryan knows he has to be better.

Of course, when they play the Carolina Panthers in divisional games, fellow ex-Eagle Luke Kuechly will hope he’s not.