Kevin C. Cox
The Arizona Cardinals have done well defending the pass, but they face a different level of challenge on Sunday.
The Arizona Cardinals have the unenviable task of facing an Atlanta Falcons team trying to bounce back from their first loss. Ray Horton knows how big of a challenge his team faces, and Arizona Sports had comments from the defensive coordinator:
"Trust, his accuracy, arm strength, he can make all the throws, he can run, he gets them in the right [spot]."
Ryan has thrown for 2,771 yards, the second-highest total in the league. He's fifth in QB rating (102.6), third in completion percentage (68.4), second in yards per game (307.9), fourth in touchdowns (20) and has only two fumbles on the year.
Ryan also has stellar receivers, including Roddy White and Julio Jones, both of whom are averaging more than 15 yards-per-catch this season. The connection between Ryan and his receiving corps is something Arizona will need to disrupt. As Horton said:
"Accuracy and probably the word I use most after watching him, which I've never played him, is trust. He trusts that whoever is going to be there is there. He throws guys open where when he throws the ball you're like ‘oh boy', and then all of a sudden wherever they say to be, they do so."
The Cardinals have some of the strongest pass defense in the league and allow the second-fewest yards per game, 194.6. That's offset by a pass defense that ranks in the bottom 10, but when they face Atlanta on Sunday it will at least be a contest of strength vs. strength.