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Cardinals vs. Falcons: Matt Ryan 'playing at an MVP level'

The fifth-year pro out of Boston College has thrown for 2,771 yards and 20 touchdowns this season.

Wesley Hitt

The Arizona Cardinals have seen their fair share of elite quarterbacks this season, lining up against Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. But this week's matchup against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons might be the most imposing one yet, according to safety Kerry Rhodes.

"Matt Ryan is playing at an MVP level right now," Rhodes told "We know that Atlanta likes to jump out early on teams at home, and they are an explosive team. For us, we have to be on our A-game from the beginning."

Ryan, a fifth-year pro out of Boston College, has put up some of the best numbers in the NFL this season, recording 2,771 yards, 20 touchdowns and just seven interceptions while leading the Falcons to a 8-1 record. His passing yard and touchdown totals rank second and fourth in the NFL, respectively.

The Cardinals, though, have been solid against the pass this season, allowing just 194.6 yards per game through the air. Arizona's pass defense ranks as second best in the NFL, behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers.