Matt Ryan outlasted so many Atlanta legends...including the not-so-legendary Atlanta Legends. Al Horford, Jason Hayward, and Rick Grimes came and went, while Ryan and his streak under center were seemingly eternal.
Now, like so many Atlanta seasons on every level of sports, it ends in heartbreak.
For the first time in 163 games, Ryan will not start at quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. The team announced his absence on Saturday afternoon through the promotion of Danny Etling, the practice squad quarback. Etling will back up veteran Matt Schaub as the Falcons take on the Seattle Seahawks (1:00 p.m. ET, Fox).
Ryan took over the Falcons' starting quarterback duties upon his drafting in 2008 and never relinquished them. His streak of 163 consecutive starts is good for the fifth-longest mark in NFL history. Through his career, Ryan became Atlanta's all-time leader in passing yards (48,890) and touchdown passes (310), marks each good for 11th in NFL history. Six of Atlanta's 14 playoff appearances have come under Ryan's watch and the team won their second NFC title in 2017.
The last non-Ryan quarterback to start a game for Atlanta is Chris Redman, who started the final contest of Atlanta's 4-12 campaign in 2007. Redman threw for 251 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-41 win over, ironically, Seattle.