CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan passed Warren Moon for 10th place on the NFL all-time graduation list with his performance in Sunday's 29-3 victory at the Carolina Panthers.
Ryan entered the game with 49,072 yards, behind Moon 49,325. He finished the game with 311 yards and touchdowns on 21-of-31 passing and now has 49,383 yards career.
"It must be very special," Ryan said about being part of an elite group. "I am fortunate to play for a long time and have some success. To be mentioned with all the other people above is special. I always dreamed of being in that place as a child. To be there is good. There is a lot of work to do But when you seem to reach such a milestone, it's always more fun when you do it in victory so you can celebrate with friends. "
Wide receiver Julio Jones, who joked about Ryan's presence in "a long time" to achieve such an achievement, praised the quarterback for a milestone.
"That is just proof for him to take care of himself and be able to have a long life," Jones told Ryan, who was in the 12th NFL season. "The recipient goes in and out, but he still scores and becomes a great leader. He is just a midfielder."
Team owner Arthur Blank also recognized Ryan for being in the top 10.
"He has been a top-10 quarterback in everything for a very long time," Blank said. "I'm happy for Matt. I'm happy for the team. I'm sure glad we have had it since 2008."
Matt Ryan said it was special enough to be mentioned with all quarterbacks on the NFL passing list of all time, and added that it was even more fun to do it in victory.
Ryan, 34, is expected to be the 10th player to reach 50,000 yards at some point this season. John Elway topped Ryan in the all-time list at ninth with 51,475 yards.
Other players to surpass 50,000 meters are: Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning. Only Brees, Brady, Peyton Manning and Favre have surpassed 70,000 yards.
Ryan's appearance on Sunday helped the Falcons lead 20-0 in the first round. He finished 14 of 20 passes for 215 yards and was ranked a passer of 105.2 in the first round.
The 2016 MVP is very powerful throwing the ball in, completing 4 of 5 passes for 127 yards on a pass throwing 15-plus yards on the field in the first round. He was connected with Jones for a 48-yard pickup and connected with Calvin Ridley for 34 yards.
"We have special players outside, people who can make you pay," Ryan said. "And the two of us, Julio and Calvin [Ridley], they played very well today. Ridley has a very big game, so it's good to see from him. "
Ridley had 143 receiving yards and 6-yard touchdown receipts on eight catches, while Jones caught six passes for 91 meters.
Ryan's strong play on the offense, and a very strong effort by the defense, sparked the Falcons. Atlanta intercepted Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen four times and fired him five times.
"It's huge," Ryan said of defensive efforts. "When you create a turnover like that, you get extra property and you take property from them. It only gives you an advantage. I think offensively, we don't do a good enough job to take advantage of all those changes … Our defense plays, it gives you opportunities every week. "
The Falcons, however, go on with a second win in a row and have started 2-0 in the NFC South match towards next week's home match with Tampa Bay. There are different vibrations after the start of 1-7 this season.
"We have two great matches in a row," Blank said. "Today, it was very exciting to see all three phases improve it. Our defense has been truly spectacular in the last two weeks. Eleven sacks in the last two matches, and four choices today, so it's as good as we can play in defense" I think the whole team have done a good job, players and coaches. We must defend it. "