While the New England Patriots have largely remained static this offseason as Mac Jones enters his second NFL campaign, the Indianapolis Colts made a seismic move at quarterback. After trading Carson Wentz to Washington, Chris Ballard called up the Falcons and pried Matt Ryan away from Atlanta.
While he is nowhere near as sharp as he was during his MVP season, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the Colts could make the postseason. With New England doing very little to maintain their status as a playoff team, adding Ryan was a savvy move by Chris Ballard.
Due to Ryan’s ridiculous contact and the dead cap hit that the Falcons are taking on, a third-round pick was enough to snag the 37-year-old quarterback. The nature of the pick Indianpolis traded is another opportunity for Patriots fans to crack some 28-3 jokes.
The Colts only gave up a third-round pick to acquire Ryan, meaning Atlanta now holds the 82nd pick in the draft. In other words, pick 3-82. Turn that around. Does that number look familiar? This franchise just can’t seem to escape the shadow of what happened in that fateful Super Bowl.
Matt Ryan just can’t escape his Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.
Ryan was just 32 yards shy of topping 4,000 passing yards for the 11th consecutive season last year. With the Titans still the favorites to come out of the AFC South, Ryan and the Patriots will once again have to do battle with each other in order to secure one of the three Wild Card spots.
Ryan will head to Gillette Stadium to play the Patriots this year. On top of the fact that 28-3 is still looming over his head, Ryan (who got shut out by New England last year) is 0-4 with three touchdown passes against three interceptions in his regular season career against Belichick.
Ryan might be able to get the last laugh this year. Though the Patriots made the postseason in 2021, the AFC is stacked with quarterbacks. Ryan has an easier division thanks to two rebuilding teams in Jacksonville and Houston while Jones will have a much tougher road to the postseason.
While Ryan’s numbers and impact on the Falcons franchise are beyond reproach, there is no guarantee that he is going to start the second half of his career off in grand style. The 28-3 jokes have yet to subside, and more mockery could come his way if he struggles with Indianapolis.