Falcons' Matt Ryan 'hell-bent' on getting out of slump this week

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was honest when asked during his weekly radio show Tuesday how those close to him have handled his recent slump.

"My wife and my family, they're really good about understanding my personality and knowing, frankly, when you need a kick in the ass and when you need kind of a little bit of encouragement,'' Ryan told 680 The Fan. "And [my wife] Sarah is always right on it. I'm lucky to have the right support system at home.''

So what type of reception did Ryan get from his wife following last Sunday's 20-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings?

"Sarah gave me a hug on Sunday,'' he said.

Fans may have wanted to give Ryan a kick in the rear after he threw two more interceptions. One pick came one an ill-advised throw across his body on the run that was picked off in the end zone and changed the momentum of the game. He reiterated how it was a poor decision and an example of trying to make a play that wasn't there.

The boos were loud and symbolic of how disappointed fans are in Ryan, who has thrown a league-high four red-zone interceptions this season and has 13 turnovers (10 interceptions, three fumbles lost) over the last 10 games.

"I understand, obviously from a fan's perspective, we need to give them something to cheer about, and that comes from playing well,'' Ryan said. "It comes from the fact that we haven't been scoring points the way that we're capable of. [We're] trying to manufacture something to make us score points, to get the spark going.

"I've said it a number of times: I think that playing quarterback, it's not always what you do, sometimes it's what you don't do. ... You don't take a forced shot that you shouldn't take. Those kinds of things have hurt us. I've got to eliminate that and give us a better chance.''

Ryan's words have come across as repetitive and tiresome during this four-game losing streak. He knows it's time for the actions to outweigh the words. Such won't be easy against a 5-6 Buccaneers team Sunday that already defeated the 6-5 Falcons earlier this season. Both the Falcons and Bucs are currently outside of the six-team playoff picture looking in as the NFC's seventh and eighth seeds, respectively.

The problems have to be corrected immediately, starting with Ryan.

"There's tough stretches that happen to everyone, there's no getting around it,'' Ryan said. "That's part of playing sports, and that's part of playing in the NFL. You're going to be humbled week in and week out because there's so many great players. That's just part of the deal.

"I know that I'm capable of doing it, and I believe that I'm going to do it every time we step onto the field. ... You have to believe in your ability. You have to believe in the guys around you. And I do. And I expect every time I go onto the field to play at a really high level and give us a winning performance. I haven't done that the last couple weeks, but it's in there. I'm hell-bent on doing everything that I can to ensure that happens this week.''