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QB corner: Matt Ryan discusses the Bucs
Over the past two weeks, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has had a careerhigh in passing yards and interceptions.
tlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes from the pocket in the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons at MercedesBenz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
He passed for 411 yards against New Orleans and followed that performance by throwing five interceptions against Arizona.
"You have to be able to put them behind you in the right way and not let them take away from what you want to do as you move forward," Ryan said of the five picks.
Here's a brief Q involving Ryan and The Atlanta JournalConstitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter.
Q: What do you make of Tampa Bay's defense that is first against the run and last against the pass?
A: I think statistics like that sometimes jump out at you, but they've played with a lead in a lot of different games, and teams have been forced to throw the ball against them. I think that's part of it. They are very good against the run. They are very stout.
Q: How does Ronde Barber look at free safety?
A: He looks solid. Ronde is an extremely smart player. He probably knows his defense as well as anybody in the NFL. He's done a great job. He's a very good pattern reader. He's very good at reading quarterback's eyes and anticipating things coming from the offense. I think he's been a good fit for them.
Q: How are their young linebackers, Lavonte David and Mason Foster, looking?
A: Their linebackers do a great job in the run game. They blitz hard. They are good, solid tacklers, and they shed blocks very well when they are pass rushing.
The Xfactor: Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs for a 67yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. Martin, a rookie who was born in Oakland, rushed for a franchiserecord 251 yards and four touchdowns. / AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
With the next to last pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Doug Martin.
Cleveland took running back Trent Richardson with the third pick in the draft. Martin, who went 31st overall, was the second running back selected, and the Bucs have been happy with the pick.
Martin, who played at Boise State, rushed for 138 yards and had four catches for 23 yards in Tampa Bay's 2721 overtime win at Carolina on Sunday. Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
He is rushing at a rookierecord pace.
Martin has 1,019 yards from scrimmage over his past six games and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (1,066) and Edgerrin James (1,045) as the only rookies in NFL history to gain at least 1,000 yards in a sixgame span.
"He's running it extremely well," Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said. "He's a very good back. He reminds me a lot of (Ray) Rice at Baltimore. He's very comparable."
At 5foot9, 223 pounds, Martin is a squatty back with speed. He also has been effective catching passes.
"He does a great job out of the backfield (catching passes) and does a great job in the backfield (running the football)," Nolan said. "He breaks a lot of tackles. He's sturdy. He's strong. He's tough. He runs hard. He's a very good back. We're all very impressed with him."
Martin has scored seven rushing touchdowns.
"It's two backs that they base out of, but he comes out of the backfield and catches some check downs as well," Nolan said. "He has 27 catches on the season. When he gets out in space, he's a very good runner. He's got really good speed. He outruns a lot of people."
On the hot seat: Falcons run defense
The Falcons' run defense will be on the hot seat against Tampa Bay's rushing attack.
In eight of 10 games, they have given up a run of at least 29 yards. Overall, they have given up six runs of 40 yards or more, most in the NFL.
Last week, Arizona's LaRod StephensHowling broke loose for runs of 40 and 52 yards through a maze of missed alignments and missed tackles.
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