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MATTY ICE VS JOE COOL....


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Matt Ryan vs. Joe Flacco: The Great 2008 Debate

By Sean O'Brien (Correspondent) on July 14, 2010 1

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Who do you think is the better QB?

Matt Ryan

Joe Flacco

Submit Vote vote to see results The careers of Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco will forever be compared because of their first round pedigrees. Matthew Thomas Ryan was drafted third overall by the Atlanta Falcons while Joseph Vincent Flacco was drafted 18th overall by the Baltimore Ravens.

Both went on to take their respective teams to the playoffs in their first season.

Their paths to stardom, however, were far different.

Ryan was drafted to be the day one starter. He was thought to be the quarterback who would bring the Falcons back from the dead to become contenders, in a few years. Instead, his first NFL pass was a touchdown and he would help instantly transform the Falcons into winners during a season in which many thought they would win only one game.

Flacco was drafted to sit on the bench for a year or so and learn so he could one day step up as the starter. Instead, injuries and a tonsil infection led to "Bazooka" Joe being thrust into the starting role from day one. He went on to have a solid first season even though most experts viewed him as a bit raw coming out of Delaware.

Let's take a look at some of the basic stats first:

In 30 games started, Matt Ryan has compiled a 20-10 record, leading Atlanta to its first back-to-back winning seasons. He has thrown 38 touchdowns and 25 interceptions in his two-year career. Ryan has completed 528 of his 885 passes, good for a career completion rating of 59.7 percent.

Ryan is 0-1 in the playoffs, his only game a 30-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Ryan completed 65.0 percent of his passes and threw two touchdowns and two interceptions in that game.

Joe Flacco has won 20 of his 32 starts. He has thrown 35 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in his career, completing 572 of his 927 passes, good for a 61.7 completion percentage.

Flacco is 3-2 in the postseason, with wins over Miami, Tennessee, and New England and losses to Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.

Flacco has thrown one touchdown and six interceptions during those five games.

Now let's look past some of the basic bread and butter stats and try to dive deeper.

In the Clutch

Matty Ice has had seven game-winning drives in his 30-game career.

In 2008, he led his team on game-winning drives in four games: a 27-24 win over Green Bay, a 22-20 win over Chicago (which included a fourth quarter comeback), a 13-10 win over Tampa Bay, and a 31-27 win over St. Louis (also a fourth quarter comeback).

In 2009, Ryan led his team on game-winning drives in three games: a 21-14 win over Chicago, a 10-7 win over the New York Jets (including a fourth quarter comeback), and a 20-10 win over the Tampa Bay Bucs.

When the game was within seven points in the fourth quarter, Ryan has completed 88 of 149 passes with seven touchdowns and six interceptions.

Bazooka Joe has had four game-winning drives and two fourth quarter comebacks in his 32-game career.

In 2008, Flacco had two game-winning drives: a 37-27 win over Cleveland (which included a fourth quarter comeback) and a 13-10 win over the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs (the only playoff game Flacco has thrown a touchdown in).

In 2009, Flacco had game winning drives in a 38-24 win over Kansas City and a 20-17 win over Pittsburgh (fourth quarter comeback).

When the game was within seven points in the fourth quarter, Flacco has completed 97 of 154 passes with five touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Prognosis: Who do you want when you're behind? Cool Matty Ice.

Against the 3-4

Matt Ryan is 4-2 against teams that run a base 3-4 defense, throwing for nine touchdowns and three interceptions.

Joe Flacco is 10-5 against 3-4 defenses, throwing for 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Both have 2:1 win-loss ratios against this defense but Ryan's TD-INT ratio against it is 3:1 as opposed to just under 2:1 for Flacco.

Against the 4-3

Matty Ice is 10-7 against teams that run a base 4-3 defense, throwing for 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Bazooka Joe is 9-5 against the 4-3, throwing 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

Matt Ryan has played in more games against the 4-3 and has a +7 turnover differential vs. Flacco's +4.

Against the Tampa 2

Ryan is 6-2 against the Tampa 2 defense, throwing eight touchdowns and eight picks.

Flacco is 1-2 against the Tampa 2 defense, throwing four touchdowns and four picks.

A toss up here, Matt Ryan has played in more games but their turnover differential is the same.

Arm Strength

Watching game tape on these guys, its clear that Joe Flacco has the bigger arm and better down-the-field accuracy.

Edge - Flacco

Accuracy

As shown previously, Flacco is 2 percent more accurate than Ryan.

Edge - Flacco

Durability

Ryan has missed two games because of injury, Flacco hasn't missed any.

Edge - Flacco

Leadership

Ray Lewis leads the Baltimore Ravens, and even though Joe Flacco has become more vocal he still isn't the heart and soul of the Ravens like Matt Ryan is to the Atlanta Falcons.

Edge - Ryan

Intangibles

As evidenced by his fourth quarter play and the ability to bring his team back and lead them to their first ever back-to-back winning seasons, Ryan has superior intangibles.

Edge - Ryan

Overall analysis:

You know, I was actually hoping to write this article to prove that Joe Flacco was the better quarterback. Now that I've done the research, though, I have to give the slight edge to Matt Ryan.

The quarterbacks are extremely close in most statistical categories. Flacco has the size, arm strength, and durability. Ryan has the intangibles and leadership.

Just ask Tom Brady what intangibles and leadership can do for you.

I'll take Matt Ryan any day of the week.

sorry if posted, but had to do it man :P

Edited by madman88
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i hate it when people call flacco "joe cool". that was montana's nickname.

also, just because flacco has the higher comp % doesn't mean he's more accurate. flacco throws a WHOLE lot of checkdowns (ray rice had 78 catches last year). actually watching both of them i think ryan is more accurate and throws a more catchable ball, but joe is accurate as well.

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i hate it when people call flacco "joe cool". that was montana's nickname.

also, just because flacco has the higher comp % doesn't mean he's more accurate. flacco throws a WHOLE lot of checkdowns (ray rice had 78 catches last year). actually watching both of them i think ryan is more accurate and throws a more catchable ball, but joe is accurate as well.

yea i kno that was montanas nickname, but i really dnt like how his numbers are skrewd like that, like u said rice had alot of thoes catches that went for a good amount of yards.... but over all MATTY ICE is the better guy, even the writer couldn't deny it

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with their aging and banged up defense, I don't believe that will be the case again for a while.

exactly, he's goin to see how it feels to not have a defense keep him in the game when he make a mistake... matt knew if he threw a costly pick that his chance of getting the ball right back was slim

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Flacco is 3-2 in the postseason, with wins over Miami, Tennessee, and New England and losses to Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.

Flacco has thrown one touchdown and six interceptions during those five games.

That is the only stat I need to look at when asked who is the better QB. Ryan has thrown more TD's in one playoff game than Flacco has in five. And I doubt the one game he threw 1 TD ended in a 7-0 score. Flacco isn't winning games. His job is to not lose them and hand the ball off to Rice/McGahee and let the defense handle things. Like previously mentioned posts, he is benefitting from having a tremendous receiving back in Rice. Ryan has 44 less completions but more TDs. Sorry but when both players break out, Flacco will turn into a current Matt Ryan and Matty Ice will turn into a Brady/Manning/Brees type.

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exactly, he's goin to see how it feels to not have a defense keep him in the game when he make a mistake... matt knew if he threw a costly pick that his chance of getting the ball right back was slim

This is the argument that I have been trying to make in this Ryan/Flacco debate. Ravens have had a better defense over the past two years...a better overall team really. When Flacco throws a pick, that defense can usually hold up. If Ryan threw a pick...ummm forget it..that was gonna be automatic points for the opposition. I'd like to see how Flacco could operate under those conditions. To me I think Ryan is much better, but Flacco does a very good job too.

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That's a really good article. I really like Joe, and I hate that we can't enjoy the success of our young QB without this stupid debate. Joe has had the luxury of actually being able to pass to his running backs, and a defense that keeps him from having to constantly catch up. Those **** rollouts that became throwaways Mularkey kept calling is probably the a percentage point or so off Matt's completion rate.

That said, I hate to dismiss Flacco, but I'll take Matty Ice any day.

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I think Matt was put into the more impossible situation. How many people could have come into the situation we had here and turned it into a playoff season? He should get the nod for just having the fortitude to make it through that trial of fire that was post 2007...

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