Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan says team can be inspired by Atlanta Braves' run to World Series title

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Braves won their first World Series title since 1995 on Tuesday night, and another team in town is using that as both inspiration and motivation.

The Atlanta Falcons.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said his team has been talking about the Braves' run to the title since the playoffs began and saw similarities in the positions the two teams were in at midseason.

"Everybody kind of recognizes how they've played and what they've gone through this year and how it parallels similar to how we started this season," Ryan said. "So hopefully we can use that as motivation and it gets us going."

The Braves were 56-56 on Aug. 7 and ended up 88-73, winning the National League East. Then they beat the Milwaukee Brewers in their National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series and the Houston Astros in the World Series. They were underdogs in all three series.

The 3-4 Falcons have not been over-.500 since the end of the 2017 season -- the second-longest active streak in the NFL -- and are trying to get back to .500 again Sunday against the rival New Orleans Saints. But Ryan looks at other sports for parallels with his own and other situations his team can potentially get something from.

The Falcons see that in the Braves.

Ryan said among the things that caught his eye was a first-person piece Braves outfielder Joc Pederson wrote for The Players' Tribune. Pederson won a title with the Dodgers, then signed with the Chicago Cubs in the offseason before being traded to the Braves. In the piece, he described Atlanta, getting traded and then what helped bring his team to the World Series.

"The little things. The mindset, the culture, the attitude," Ryan said. "I do think you need to learn from others and how other teams have come together, and I think they did a great job of it... I certainly think guys use that as motivation or inspiration for us to maybe pull ourselves together and get into a spot where we can be in the mix late in the year."

Ryan, a big baseball fan, had watched most of Atlanta's run to the title -- including catching the final innings of the clincher from bed Tuesday night. His twin sons have also gotten into the Braves, although they didn't get to see it end live. As a parent, Ryan knew waking his kids up would be "a costly mistake."

But the Ryan boys will definitely hear about it because their dad is pumped, too.

"How cool. They've had an unbelievable year," Ryan said, "and to finish it off the way they did in Houston and to play such a great game [Tuesday] night -- have so many guys they picked up halfway through contribute and then have guys that have been there for a while contribute -- is really cool to see.

"I'm happy for them, and I'm fired up for the city. And it's always fun when you're around championship teams, so it's great for Atlanta."