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Matt Ryan: Recent success creates belief that can carry over to next year

NFL: DEC 22 Jaguars at Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 22: Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the NFL game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Atlanta Falcons on December 22, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Falcons closed the first half of the season with a 1-7 record that seemed destined to lead to big changes in the offseason, but a funny thing happened on the way to the finish line.

They started winning games and come into Sunday’s finale with five wins in their last seven games, including victories over the Saints and 49ers. That’s not enough to erase the painful start to the season and it remains to be seen if it will keep heads from rolling next week, but quarterback Matt Ryan still finds value in what they’ve been able to do.

“The biggest thing is, especially with a young football team, is that it creates belief,” Ryan said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Knowing that you can go into these tough places against really good teams and get the job done. . . . I think that belief is very powerful. Having the mindset that you know you are capable of getting the job done is big. I think that more so than anything, that is what carries over.”

The Falcons won their final three games of the 2018 season and it didn’t help them all that much in 2019, so Ryan may not sell everyone on the idea that a good ending to one year has anything to do with the next one.