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Forget 'Ice,' it's Matty 'Elite' Ryan


FalconPio
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Anytime someone calls Atlanta’s Matt Ryan an elite quarterback, it seems to spark debate. So feel free to hit the comments section below or the mailbag.

I’m not sure what the exact definition of an elite quarterback is. But if you simply look at the following numbers (from ESPN Stats & Information and Elias Sports Bureau), I think you have to come to the conclusion that Ryan is elite. At very least he’s walking in elite company.

As we first pointed out last week, Ryan has been winning at an incredible pace in his first three seasons in the league. After Sunday’s victory in Seattle, Ryan’s career record as a starter is 32-12. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, only one quarterback has won more games in his first three seasons. The guy’s name is Dan Marino.

For the record, Marino went 33-10 in his first three seasons. That means Ryan can tie Marino’s victory total with a win against New Orleans on Dec. 27. If he does that, Ryan can break the record with a victory against Carolina in the regular-season finale.

Speaking of Ryan and elite names, he threw three touchdown passes Sunday to bring his career total to 63. That ties him for fourth place in NFL history (going back even before the merger), for touchdown passes in the first three years of a career. The guy he's now tied with? Joe Namath. The only quarterbacks with more touchdown passes in their first three seasons are Marino (98), Peyton Manning (85) and Jeff Garcia (74). All right, Garcia might not quite fit with the other names. But remember, he was taking over for Steve Young and a San Francisco offensive machine that still was mostly in place.

One other stat on Ryan: He now has won nine consecutive starts in December and January, and the Falcons are 9-1 overall in games Ryan has started in December and January during his career.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_/id/16687/forget-ice-its-matty-elite-ryan

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Ryan's getting up there. In terms of intangibles, Ryan is already one of the best in the league, they're so good it allows him to look like he's got an arm better than the guys with the best arms like Cutler, Rodgers, etc. No knocks on Ryan's skillset, I just don't think he has an arm like those guys, but in terms of intangibles, Ryan is already elite. Show me a quarterback as young as Ryan who's led his team down the field over and over again in the last few minutes of a game and tell me that they're not elite already.

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yeah, some serious hate.

most feel he is nothing more than a game manager still.

you can tell they dont watch the games.

When you consider it's the NFL South blog - I'd say there is more blind hatred and envy than anything.

To me - the more you see that - the better you know your guy is.

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Guest James H.

"...he plays in a bad division"

WTF???

Just shows you don't have to have a brain to make a comment

He's right. Who do we have in our division that's any good?

Oh, wait...

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Guest James H.

Other than ints Brees has way better stats than Ryan so that doesn't help say that Ryan is elite.

Sorry -- should have clarified my point.

In a debate, you need facts.

If you're going to argue that Ryan is elite, you start by comparing him to an elite QB.

Want more contrast? Compare him to a QB that is not considered elite. Then you'll see that Ryan's stats are closer to the elite ranks than not.

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Sorry -- should have clarified my point.

In a debate, you need facts.

If you're going to argue that Ryan is elite, you start by comparing him to an elite QB.

Want more contrast? Compare him to a QB that is not considered elite. Then you'll see that Ryan's stats are closer to the elite ranks than not.

Ok I understand

Let's compare him to Flacco, someone I don't think anyone here would say is elite

http://www.nfl.com/stats/headtohead?player1=RYA238179&player2=FLA009602&player3=null&player4=null&position=quarterback&playerOne=Matt+Ryan&playerTwo=Joe+Flacco&playerThree=Select+a+Player...&playerFour=Select+a+Player...

and for giggles how about Rivers and his team thats almost knocked out of the playoffs.

http://www.nfl.com/stats/headtohead?player1=RYA238179&player2=RIV651634&player3=null&player4=null&position=quarterback&playerOne=Matt+Ryan&playerTwo=Philip+Rivers&playerThree=Select+a+Player...&playerFour=Select+a+Player...

And one extra comparison

http://www.nfl.com/stats/headtohead?player1=RYA238179&player2=VIC311467&player3=null&player4=null&position=quarterback&playerOne=Matt+Ryan&playerTwo=Michael+Vick&playerThree=Select+a+Player...&playerFour=Select+a+Player...

Ryan is good and is helping us win but he's not there yet.

Edited by Atl/0
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yeah, some serious hate.

most feel he is nothing more than a game manager still.

you can tell they dont watch the games.

He does what he needs to do to win. I guess to most outsiders a QB is not considered elite unless he slings it all over the field. Our offense doesn't take too many shots down the field. Ryan takes what the defense gives. Sure, there are some offenses in the league that can do that but what are their records? I think the priority is winning over stats and highlight reels.

Also we are a balanced attack. We often run the ball on 1st and 2nd downs. Ryan is one of the best when it comes to 3rd down conversions.

Last but not least, I am tired of Rodgers entering in the conversation about the "best young QBs". He's been in the league 6 years, which is closer to mid-career. He didn't get thrown in the fire as a rookie like a lot of the young QBs he's always compared to.

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Guest James H.

Ryan is good and is helping us win but he's not there yet.

Flacco, Rivers and Vick -- all Probowl QBs who have post-season wins and conference championship appearances under their belts.

Hardly mediocre comparisons.

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Ryan's getting up there. In terms of intangibles, Ryan is already one of the best in the league, they're so good it allows him to look like he's got an arm better than the guys with the best arms like Cutler, Rodgers, etc. No knocks on Ryan's skillset, I just don't think he has an arm like those guys, but in terms of intangibles, Ryan is already elite. Show me a quarterback as young as Ryan who's led his team down the field over and over again in the last few minutes of a game and tell me that they're not elite already.

:blink:

I really get tired of the weak arm thing.

Bill Walsh and Joe Montana laid that issue to rest a long time ago.

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:blink:

I really get tired of the weak arm thing.

Bill Walsh and Joe Montana laid that issue to rest a long time ago.

He can get the ball where it needs to be but the problem is the zip and he floats his deep balls. It sucks but once a rumor spreads it spreads like fire and its now known as fact that he has no arm across the nation even when it's not true.

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He can get the ball where it needs to be but the problem is the zip and he floats his deep balls. It sucks but once a rumor spreads it spreads like fire and its now known as fact that he has no arm across the nation even when it's not true.

In short Ryan works for the Falcons but is not a Combine freak that will leave scouts, pundits, and bloggers awestruck. Jerry Rice was considered to have average speed but i don't recall him getting run down to often. Ryan does not have the strongest arm but he delivers when he has to. It's a shame that sometimes raw talent overshadows win/losses and clutch play.

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Guest James H.

I'm biased anyway -- I see the guy every day; how hard he works, how much he studies, his pre-game routine, the relationship with Coach Musgrave, etc. He's as cool as a guy can be, but also has a viciously intense craving to be the best there's ever been. This guy wants more than just win.

He's elite in my book. Can't persuade me otherwise.

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