When it comes to preparing for the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is looking for all the help he can get on how to beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. It should come as no surprise then, that during Monday’s Super Bowl media night at Minute Maid Park, Ryan revealed that he had been texting none other than Eli Manning for advice on how to do so.
The likely league MVP may not need any pointers from a skill set perspective, but Manning serves as a valuable asset in letting Ryan know what to expect throughout the week and telling him how to handle a stage of this magnitude. The now legendary plays that Manning made in both the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowls—the pass which resulted in the David Tyree helmet catch and a sideline dime to Mario Manningham—serve as a reminder to Ryan that he needs to cash in on all of his opportunities and play great football down the stretch in order to upend New England. That’s something Manning can’t necessarily teach, but Ryan’s play this season has shown that he’s more than capable of making big throws in big spots throughout a game. Matty Ice will need some help from guys like Vic Beasley and Dwight Freeney on the defensive side of the ball, much like Manning had with Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, in order to slow the seemingly ageless Tom Brady down in what has undoubtedly been a deflate gate-motivated season.
Although the Falcons aren’t as much of an underdog as the Giants were in 2007 and 2011, they’re not a popular pick to win on Sunday. If Ryan wants to use this Super Bowl to become an elite name in the NFL, he certainly came to the right guy with the experience of doing so himself.