Overreaction: Kyle Shanahan, not Matt Ryan, was real MVP

October 24, 2017 - 2:06 am

Kyle Shanahan was the real MVP for the Falcons last season.

A team that averaged almost 34 points per game in 2016 can't score anymore. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman are still in Atlanta but the offense has 121 points in six games, 21.3 per game.

The missing ingredient? Shanahan. He was the offensive coordinator last season when the Falcons were nearly unstoppable until the second half of the Super Bowl.

Now, Shanahan is coaching the San Francisco 49ers (0-7) and Atlanta (3-3) is struggling. The Falcons have lost three in a row, including a 23-7 loss to the Patriots in a Super Bowl rematch.

Ryan, who threw for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns while winning the NFL MVP award last year, is on pace to toss just 17 TDs. Jones finally caught his first TD in garbage time against New England.

It must be new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's fault. There's no creativity in his offensive system.

Players have to make plays. Blame them.

Here are more overreactions following Week 7:

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OVERREACTION: The Browns (0-7) are getting close to a win. They took the Titans to overtime before losing.

REALISTIC REACTION: They're a mess. Hue Jackson is playing yo-yo with quarterback DeShone Kizer. And, 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas suffered is injured for the first time in his career.

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OVERREACTION: The Bears don't need a quarterback to win. Mitchell Trubisky has completed 12 passes

REALISTIC REACTION: They can't rely on safety Eddie Jackson to keep scoring TDs. Eventually, Trubisky will have to throw the ball.

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OVERREACTION: Marshawn Lynch will quit the NFL if his one-game suspension isn't overturned.

REALISTIC REACTION: He's just a misunderstood peacemaker.

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OVERREACTION: Cam Newton is overrated.

REALISTIC REACTION: His NFL MVP season in 2015 is looking more and more distant with each inconsistent performance.

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OVERREACTION: The Patriots (5-2) fixed their problems. Onto the Super Bowl.

REALISTIC REACTION: The Steelers (5-2) and Chiefs (5-2) won't be pushovers in the AFC.

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OVERREACTION: Carson Palmer's career is over.

REALISTIC REACTION: Given the dearth of quality starting QBs, a 38-year-old Palmer coming back from a broken left arm still will be better than many guys still playing.

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OVERREACTION: Trevor Siemian will lose his job to Brock Osweiler.

REALISTIC REACTION: The Broncos (3-3) already went down that road before. Siemian is their guy unless he gets hurt.

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OVERREACTION: The Jaguars are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

REALISTIC REACTION: Their defense is dominant, but they haven't had a winning season since 2007 so prove it.

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OVERREACTION: Jeff Heath is better than most kickers .

REALISTIC REACTION: Heath did a nice job filling in for Dan Bailey, but there's a reason why he's a starting safety for the Cowboys.

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OVERREACTION: Los Angeles is a better football town than New York.

REALISTIC REACTION: Don't confuse better teams — Rams (5-2) and Chargers (3-4) vs. Jets (3-4) and Giants (1-6) — with better fans.

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OVERREACTION: Matt Moore is better than Jay Cutler.

REALISTIC REACTION: Cutler may have more talent, but Moore might be a better fit.

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_RobMaaddi

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