ATLANTA — Super Bowl LI is three seasons behind us now.

It's time for the Falcons to shed the malaise of the epic collapse, and stop regressing.

One important box to check along the way of that metamorphosis: WIN THE NFC SOUTH.

The NFL Network's Kyle Brandt not only thinks it will happen this year, he told Good Morning Football that Matt Ryan is the reason why.

I agree with Brandt. The NFL does think Matt Ryan is "milquetoast," and it is absolutely held against him.

Ryan didn't lose the Super Bowl.

Ryan didn't collapse when the Falcons suffered injuries at every position group on defense.

Instead, he won the MVP in 2016, and quietly played just as well in a disappointing 2018 that led to coordinator changes on both sides of the ball.

You know who doesn't think Matt Ryan is milquetoast?

The players that benefit from all of those completions, yards, touchdowns, and check-downs.

The coordinator (Dirk Koetter) and tight ends coach (Mike Mularkey) that each previously guided Ryan through his formative years as his offensive coordinators.

I absolutely LOVE their respective returns to work with Ryan again. 

Factor in the return of a healthy Devonta Freeman at tailback, a receiving tree made up of Julio Jones (contract negotiation pending), Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley, and tight end Austin Hooper, and Matt Ryan is sitting pretty.

He also potentially has the benefit of standing up longer, after free agent additions Jamon Brown and James Carpenter at guard, as well as first-round draft picks Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary.

So, yeah. Matt Ryan has every reason to be the quarterback of the best team in the NFC South this season.

Some of his wideouts just need more work than others.

If the Falcons don't win the division in 2019, it won't be because of Matty "Milquetoast" Ice.