By any measure, you can’t have less experience or less draft pedigree at backup quarterback. Well, I guess there’s Heaps’ one preseason incompletion last year, so it’s technically possible to have less experience.
Boykin came in after Russell Wilson’s one drive on Saturday and mostly wasn’t impressive throwing the ball. In the second and third quarters almost all of his passes were at the line or barely past it, and he was way off when he tried to go deep. Boykin completed 10 of 18 passes for 66 yards, for a low 6.6 yards per completion before giving way to Heaps. The Seahawks put Boykin back in late in the fourth quarter and he played better. He had a nice 25-yard completion on third-and-10. He completed a couple more passes and a Hail Mary in a two-minute drill at the end, which made his final numbers (16-of-26, 188 yards) look a lot better. The Seahawks beat the Kansas City Chiefs 17-16 by running in the two-point conversation with no time on the clock.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Matt Ryan tried not to dwell on it. You know: Out of sight, out of mind.
By chance, the dreadful memories of a 28-24 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 NFC Championship Game resurfaced for the Atlanta Falcons quarterback. Ryan hadn’t watched the game in its entirety since before training camp of 2014. But in October, a Showtime documentary about former teammate Tony Gonzalez incorporated clips from the gut-wrenching defeat.
“I saw a little bit of it,” Ryan said. “Obviously, yeah, there’s disappointment that goes along with that.”
Ryan no doubt wondered what might have been had he found an open Gonzalez on a fourth-and-4 from San Francisco’s 10-yard line late in regulation, or what might have been had the Falcons sustained the momentum of a 17-0 start.
“It’s like any game, right? It’s not just one thing,” Ryan said. “There are a handful of opportunities that come up throughout a game. Certainly, we had our chances when we were in the tight red zone. I think we had four opportunities from inside the . You’d like to have any one of those back where you could make that play. But that’s the nature of the game when you fall short, right? You wish you did some things differently.”
Critics might have viewed Ryan differently had he guided the Falcons to the Super Bowl that year. Instead, the skeptics see a player with a 1-4 playoff record and no Super Bowl appearances entering a crucial ninth year. The talk of “Matty Ice” being among the elite quarterbacks has cooled, at least outside of the Falcons organization.
A recent ESPN survey conducted with 42 league insiders placed Ryan in the bottom half of 13 second-tier of quarterbacks behind first-tier quarterbacks Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger.