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Bill Belichick: No weaknesses in Matt Ryan's game

Is it time to chisel Matt Ryan's likeness into a coveted spot on the Mt. Rushmore of Bill Belichick opponents?

Asked about the Atlanta Falcons quarterback on Thursday, Belichick lavished praise on his Super Bowl LI adversary, outlining the qualities that have propelled Ryan into the pole position for MVP honors this season.

"He does everything well," Belichick explained, via CSN New England. "He handles the line of scrimmage well, gets the team in the right plays, plays good in critical situations, deep ball, intermediate throws, possession passes, red passes; he's athletic, he can get out of some trouble. There's really no weaknesses to his game.

"He's a team player, he does the right thing for the team, puts his team in a position to win. There's not much to not like about him."

If the extent of Belichick's appreciation smacks of hyperbole, it shouldn't. In 51 years going back to the inaugural Super Bowl, no quarterback has entered the grand spectacle on a hotter streak.

After posting the second-highest passer rating (139.4) in conference championship history, Ryan has become the first quarterback ever to top the 120.0 mark in six consecutive games. His elevated performance over that span stands with the best six-game stretch of Tom Brady's career.

If the Falcons succeed in knocking off Belichick's Patriots in Houston, they will become the highest-scoring champions in NFL history.

Belichick is simply acknowledging a reality that former Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez stated so succinctly last week: Ryan is "a complete master at this game right now."

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