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Ryan vs Brees/Manning/Brady: Why Ryan Can be an Elite QB

by The DW on May 23, 2012 5:25 PM EDT

There's been a good bit of debate about whether Matt Ryan is a good, great, or even an elite QB. Many who engage in the debate are quick to point out that guys like Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers both had playoff wins and hoisted the Lombardi trophy within their first four years. Others quickly point out that those guys stepped into organizations that were consistent winners.

But what do the numbers say about Ryan so far? How does he compare against some of the best QBs in the league? Notably, how does his first four years look compared to the first four of some great QBs playing today? I think when you see the hardened numbers, you'll be surprised at what you find.

star-divide.v5e9d7f1.jpgFor my purposes, I'm setting the bar incredibly high. I'm going to compare Ryan to 2 sure-fire first-ballot hall-of-famers and a third QB who is getting there fast. This comparison will be between Ryan, <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/2807/peyton-manning">Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees and their first four (full) seasons in the league. NOTE: for Brees and Brady, they didn't start a full season until their second year in the league.

Here's how the breakdown looks:

Yards/TD/INT

Ryan - 14,238 / 95 / 46

Brees - 12,127 / 79 / 53

Manning - 16,418 / 111 / 81

Brady - 13,919 / 97 / 52

At first glance, you can see that Ryan stacks up decently. He's behind only Manning in total yards, while he's very close to Brady for TDs. But he leads in fewest INTs of any of the QBs here. In fact, Ryan has the best TD-to-INT ratio of any of the quarterbacks listed, as you can see here:

TD-to-INT ratio:

Ryan - 2.065

Brees - 1.490

Manning - 1.370

Brady - 1.865

Ball security is a key stat for QBs, and Ryan has been doing it better than anyone on this list. In fact, Ryan has only 1 game on record where he had 3 or more interceptions in one game. The same cannot be said for Brees, Manning or Brady. And for those who think it's because Ryan was in a run-heavy offense, you'll also note that his yards and total TDs are comparable to the other 3 QBs - dispelling the notion that he didn't pass as much as these potential hall of famers.

Wins / Losses / Playoff wins

Ryan - 43 / 19 / 0

Brees - 31 / 28 / 1

Manning - 32 / 32 / 0

Brady - 48 / 15 / 9 (3 Superbowl wins)

This category is where the pain begins for most Falcons fans, but I think it's important to make the comparison. For starters, you can clearly see that Ryan is not alone in his lack of playoff success. Manning also went without a playoff victory in his first four seasons. And while Brees did have a playoff win on his resume, he and Manning were barely above .500 for the first four years of their careers.

Brady is in a whole other category and his first four years are a clear reason why he's considered a first-ballot hall of famer. Ryan compares favorably in regular season wins, but is obviously winless in the "second season" thus far.

I know that people who question Ryan will not be easily persuaded by these numbers, and I'm certainly frustrated by the lack of playoff success. But, I also believe Ryan is on a great pace as a starting QB in this league. He compares favorably against some very tough competition, and in some cases, is doing better than they did. I'm looking forward to what his fifth year in the league is going to look like.

http://www.thefalcoh...-be-an-elite-qb

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NO! It's instant success or nothing! Nobody needs to develop. They should be championship ready by the time they're drafted!

-The logic of the idiots that are about to troll this thread.

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NO! It's instant success or nothing! Nobody needs to develop. They should be championship ready by the time they're drafted!

-The logic of the idiots that are about to troll this thread.

I think the only idiots here are the ones who stan for a QB who can't make every throw, none of the players respect, and he underachieves v. playoffs teams to a degree where Hasslebeck and Pennington could say their better QB's.

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if peyton brees and brady had enjoyed the pass happy rules that ryan has in their first 4 years this wouldnt be a topic. Its like when people say ryan is god because he broke the franchise record for yards. Guess what? His record doesnt even sniff the top 50 all time for yards in a season. Point being, lets keep things in perspective.

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Why are you spending so much time trying to convince us Ryan is really good when we watch him every Sunday during the season and the playoffs and we know he's a fraud who can't get the most of out his personnel because he has a weak arm, no mobility, and no will to win at all cost.

Edited by Brett Favre
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Why are you spending so much time trying to convince us Ryan is really good when we watch him every Sunday during the season and the playoffs and we know he's a fraud who can't get the most of out his personnel because he has a weak arm, no mobility, and no will to win at all cost.

blah blah.gif

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Why are you spending so much time trying to convince us Ryan is really good when we watch him every Sunday during the season and the playoffs and we know he's a fraud who can't get the most of out his personnel because he has a weak arm, no mobility, and no will to win at all cost.

LAME

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LAME

More like truth. Point and case:

No 2012 Pro Bowl

No points in the playoffs

No top 100 players in the NFL and John Kuhn made the list.

I really can't tell the difference between Matt Hasslebeck and Matt Ryan overall. They have different skill-set but the results and impact is the same.

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Why are you spending so much time trying to convince us Ryan is really good when we watch him every Sunday during the season and the playoffs and we know he's a fraud who can't get the most of out his personnel because he has a weak arm, no mobility, and no will to win at all cost.

Are you directing that at me? I saw an article nobody posted and thought I'd post it. I know better than trying to convince anyone Ryan already is a great QB. It's Falcons related, obviously. And it offers discussion points. Nothing more.

It does put the entire "hasn't won a Playoff game" argument into a different perspective though. Brees had 1 win and Peyton had 0.

You cannot find one post where I have said Ryan is or will be on any of those guys level. I have posted that we don't know if he will (fact). But at no point have I claimed that he is yet. I've debated topics and compared him at equivalent points in their careers, but don't twist that into me saying he's great or will be because I can't predict the future.

As a matter of fact, in a thread about what Ryan needs to do to get better, I offered up several areas where he could improve.

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Are you directing that at me? I saw an article nobody posted and thought I'd post it. I know better than trying to convince anyone Ryan already is a great QB. It's Falcons related, obviously. And it offers discussion points. Nothing more.

It does put the entire "hasn't won a Playoff game" argument into a different perspective though. Brees had 1 win and Peyton had 0.

You cannot find one post where I have said Ryan is or will be on any of those guys level. I have posted that we don't know if he will (fact). But at no point have I claimed that he is yet. I've debated topics and compared him at equivalent points in their careers, but don't twist that into me saying he's great or will be because I can't predict the future.

As a matter of fact, in a thread about what Ryan needs to do to get better, I offered up several areas where he could improve.

You made this thread and your point was why he's in the same league with those guys. I disagree and explained why. You came back making excuses. Until he does it, nothing will change. He needs to make a change or else he can go. Nothing you can post can hide the fact they he has all that talent and can't break records with it.

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Can we talk about the "Talent around them" ratio?

As a result of watching the video, I am very satisfied with Ryan. In a lot of that footage, he was "Under Pressure" a lot. Give him the protection that Brady, Manning, and Brees gets, he will show why he is great and on his way to elite status. PHUCK THE HATERS!!!!

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You made this thread and your point was why he's in the same league with those guys. I disagree and explained why. You came back making excuses. Until he does it, nothing will change. He needs to make a change or else he can go. Nothing you can post can hide the fact they he has all that talent and can't break records with it.

I didn't even make a post, so I had no point. It could've been a negative thread and I would've posted it for the sake of it being Falcons related. So no, you're wrong. And no, I didn't make any excuses for anybody. Guess again.

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Tony Romo, Matt Hasselbeck, Trent Green, Marc Bulger, Donovan McNabb. All good QBs who posted 4 or more seasons with significant level of performance, yet didn't evolve beyond that level. What evidence, beyond wishful thinking is there to suggest Matt Ryan is not akin to these names? He's done nothing to warrant a comparison to Brees, Brady or Manning.

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