Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is undeterred by the team's 0-2 start to the season, in part because there'll be an extra opportunity -- in the form of a 17th regular season game -- to wash away the early stumble.
The Falcons have looked dismal, particularly on defense, in losses of 32-6 to the Philadelphia Eagles and 48-25 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their average allowance of 40 points per game through two weeks is an NFL-worst. Yet, some of those points don't fall on the defense, as the Bucs pick-sixed Ryan twice in Week 2 and needed only an 18-yard drive to cash another touchdown coming off yet another Ryan interception.
The quarterback isn't looking back, however, as the Falcons prepare to visit the New York Giants in Week 3.
"Seventeen games," Ryan told CBS Sports. "You can throw all the old stats out. With that extra game, none of those rules apply that were there before. We've got a long way to go. We've got 15 games to go. I think we're a young team that made strides from Week 1 to Week 2. We need to continue to make strides as we go into Week 3. If we can do that, I really feel like we've got enough weapons and the right people that we can correct this thing and get it moving in the right direction."
The odds are certainly stacked against Ryan and the Falcons.
Since 1990, teams starting the season 0-2 have reached the postseason at a rate of just 11.6 percent, according to NFL Research, and only 5.8 percent won their division. Then again, those are numbers derived from a 16-game regular season schedule. And for Ryan, it's a new day.
"I think the biggest thing is we're capable of being in the mix," Ryan added. "Keeping ourselves relevant late into the season, in December and January. I think we're capable of doing that ... It's just about getting hot at the right time."
The sooner, the better, if history is a guide. And the Giants, 0-2 themselves, will have the same sense of urgency on Sunday.