Screen game clicked for Falcons

As Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter interviews for jobs as a head coach, it’s time to take a look at one of the most significant wrinkles he brought to the Falcons.

That’s the screen-passing game. Predecessor Mike Mularkey rarely used the screen in his four seasons with the Falcons, but Koetter made it a staple this season.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Matt Ryan attempted 67 screen passes. Only Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick (78) had more screen attempts. Ryan completed 60 of those screens for 483 yards, which ranked behind only Fitzpatrick (534) and New England's Tom Brady (491).

But the most significant stat is that Ryan had a league-high six touchdown passes of screens. Ryan did not have a screen pass go for a touchdown in either of the previous two seasons.

Carolina’s Cam Newton was second with four and Fitzpatrick was third with three. No other quarterback had more than two touchdowns on screens.

Newton had reasonable success with the screen. He completed 37 of 51 attempts for 410 yards, which ranked fourth in the NFL.

The other two NFC South teams didn’t have a lot of success with screen passing.

New Orleans’ Drew Brees completed 40 of 53 attempts for 351 yards with just one touchdown. Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman completed 28 of 39 attempts for 281 yards and one touchdown.