FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Matt Ryan says he's "a lot more mature" than in his first two NFL playoff appearances.
"I think one of the biggest things I've learned in my two appearances in the playoffs is to not let all the outside things that come along with it affect your preparation and affect your approach to playing on Sunday," Ryan said. "I think I'm a lot better served. I'm a lot more mature than I was a couple years ago and even last year. I think that's going to help out."
Asked about the comment, Ryan just grinned and said "That's not something I worry about too much."
Offensive tackle Will Svitek also laughed at Tuck's comment but defended the unit's cut-blocking as within the rules.
"There's a way that we're coached, and that's playing hard, playing physical and playing to the whistle," Svitek said. "We do what we do and we don't let what people say concern us."
Ryan said he's keeping his focus on his game. He's entering the playoffs on a roll.
He has 10 touchdown passes with no interceptions in his last four games. He set the Falcons' record with 4,177 yards passing this season and set another personal high with his 29 touchdown passes.
"You can't assume because you're in tight coverage that he won't try to squeeze the ball in there," Kiwanuka said. "He's a prototypical quarterback. He has the confidence and ability to get it in there. He is going to make our job tough."
Manning, like Ryan, lost the first two playoff games of his career. Manning won the Super Bowl in his third chance after the 2007 season.
"I think it helps," Ryan said. "I think anytime you've been in the position before, the things you learn from it, they're invaluable. I think we have a much more experienced football team coming in this year and I think that bodes well for us."
Ryan said his 0-2 playoff record is "not that much" of a burden.
He said talk of the past playoff games is another distraction he has learned to ignore.
"I think the past doesn't really make a difference," he said. "We had opportunities and we really didn't take advantage of those. What matters is we put ourselves in this position again and we have an opportunity to move forward.
"I don't worry about it too much. I kind of just focus on trying to prepare and do well this week and doing everything we can to take advantage of the opportunity we have."
"There are a lot of guys who didn't win a playoff game until late in their career, but Matt's been doing a good job of getting us there and getting us an opportunity," White said. "I mean, we all want to win. That's going to validate everyone in this locker room if we get a playoff win. That's what we're pushing for."
Notes: Smith continued his practice of resting some of his veteran players on Wednesday. Players held out with injuries were WR Harry Douglas, groin; CB Brent Grimes, knee; safety William Moore, groin; LB Stephen Nicholas, toe; tight end Michael Palmer, knee; and LB Sean Weatherspoon, head. Smith said he expected Weatherspoon and most of the other injured players to practice on Thursday.
AP Sports Writer Tom Canavan in New York contributed to this report.