Matt Ryan improving on long ball

To the untrained eye, it’s been pretty obvious Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has played better in recent weeks.

But let’s turn to the trained eye — and the numbers for some very strong evidence to support the observation. And keep in mind, the Falcons talked a lot about wanting to improve their downfield passing in the offseason. That wasn’t working out early on, but things are changing.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Ryan has improved dramatically on pass thrown 11 or more yards downfield in the past four games. In those contests, only 29.5 percent of Ryan’s throws of 11 or more yards have been overthrown or underthrown — and he hasn’t throw an interception on passes of that distance.

In the first seven games, 39.5 percent of his throws of 11 or more yards were off target and he threw five interceptions.

In the past four games, Ryan has completed 50 percent of his passes of that length, averaging 12.2 yards per attempt and throwing for three touchdowns.

In the first seven games, Ryan’s completion percentage on throws of that distance was only 40.1 and he averaged 8.8 yards per attempt. He also threw two touchdowns to go with those five interceptions.