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Shutdown Corner

Matt Ryan throws three picks in a brutal first quarter versus Cardinals

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

While Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been one of the NFL's most productive and efficient signal-callers in the NFL this season, he will sometimes revert to the guy who threw 19 picks for Boston College in 2007. On Oct. 14, he threw three interceptions in a 23-20 win over the Oakland Raiders, and he another unsteady game against the Arizona Cardinals. The projected NFL MVP candidate threw three picks in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals, and the underdog Cards exited that first 15 minutes with a 10-0 lead.

[Also: Cincinnati's A.J. Green delivers catch of the year candidate]

Ryan's tough day started as early as possible, when he threw a pick to strong safety Rashad Johnson on the Falcons' first play from scrimmage, returning the ball from the Atlanta 43 to the Atlanta 9. Two plays later, Cards running back LaRod Stephens-Howling punched it in for a 3-yard touchdown. With 4:46 left in the first quarter, it was William Gay's turn to pick Ryan, and Kerry Rhodes got into the act with his own interception at the 2:46 mark.

The Cardinals might have been up by even more based on all those turnovers -- but quarterback John Skelton played so poorly, he was benched in favor ofrookie Ryan Lindley, and the Falcons escaped with a 23-19 victory. Ryan ended his day with five interceptions and no touchdowns.

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