The Giants will have to beat yet another Ryan to keep their season alive.
After dispatching Rex Ryan and his twin brother Rob Ryan the past two weeks just to get into the playoffs, Big Blue now is tasked with sending Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan — no relation — home for good in the wild-card round Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
History says toppling this Ryan won’t be nearly as difficult as the previous two.
Despite his gaudy regular-season statistics, No. 3 overall pick pedigree and catchy “Matty Ice” nickname, Atlanta’s celebrated passer has yet to win a playoff game in four NFL seasons.
GOING FOR WON: Fourth-year quarterback Matt Ryan will be looking for his first playoff victory when he faces the Giants on Sunday.
Not only that, but Ryan is less than a full season removed from his personal low point — a 48-21 rout at home last January at the hands of the wild-card Packers after leading the Falcons to home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
“You can definitely rattle him and cause him to give up on plays early,” a veteran NFC scout told The Post yesterday. “He does not react well to a hand in his face or pressure up the middle, which is [the Giants’] strength with all those pass rushers they have.”
Ryan doesn’t get sacked very often, at least not in the regular season, enduring just 85 of them in four years combined despite making 62 starts in that span.
Ryan isn’t very mobile and doesn’t have the quickest release, but is able to avoid pressure because the Falcons’ power running game is so dangerous, thereby making play-action a very effective weapon for Atlanta.
The Falcons also have given Ryan several terrific weapons, including future Hall-of-Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, wideout Roddy White and first-round rookie receiver Julio Jones. No wonder Ryan is a career 43-19 as a starter in the regular season with a 61 percent completion rate, 95 touchdowns and 46 interceptions.
But in Ryan’s two career playoff appearances, both of them losses, he was sacked a combined eight times (three by the Cardinals in 2010 and five by Green Bay last season), pressure that resulted in him throwing more interceptions (four) than touchdowns (three).
Ryan also could have the benefit of unfamiliarity, considering many of the Giants have never faced him. He lost his only game against Tom Coughlin’s team, completing 26 of 46 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-31 defeat at the Meadowlands in November 2009.
“The good thing is that I know a little bit about them having faced [Ryan] a couple of times when I was in Arizona,” Giants safety Antrel Rolle said. “What I remember about them, and what you see on film, is you have to take away their playmakers and be patient, [and] do the things you do best.”
Coughlin sounded concerned about the Giants’ lack of face time with Ryan and the Falcons, indicating the video projector is going to be his best friend over the next few days.
“We really need to do a good job of studying them because we have not played them in a while and we need to do a really good job in a short amount of time of being informed about this outstanding Atlanta Falcon team,” Coughlin said.
What Coughlin will see, at least from the most recent film, is a quarterback and a team that underachieved the first half of the season and made the playoffs despite beating just two teams (the Lions and Titans) that finished with a winning record.
Rex Ryan, The Giants, Rob Ryan, Matt Ryan, the Falcons, the Falcons, Falcons, Tom Coughlin, quarterback, Falcons