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Matt Ryan Getting Love - Cold, Hard Football Facts

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Matt Ryan deserves a little love after his Week 1 performance. And a few nods as an MVP candidate.

He'll have plenty of chances to prove himself this year, too. Ryan and his Atlanta Falcons face a ridiculously tough gauntlet of big-name opposing passers -- starting Monday night against a guy named Peyton Manning.

But for now, all is rosy in Atlanta.

Ryan produced the best all-around performance of any quarterback in Week 1, even if he was largely overshadowed by rookie Robert Griffin III's highlight-reel effort in New Orleans, the surprising 48-point explosion by Mark Sanchez and the Jets and Manning's clinical debut in Denver.

But Ryan, not RGIII, Sanchez or Manning, emerges from Week 1 tops in the NFL in Real Quarterback Rating, the measure of all aspects of QB play we use at Cold, Hard Football Facts. It accounts for rushing yards, sacks and fumbles, as well as the passing efficiency numbers associated with traditional passer rating.

Ryan touched the ball 35 times (31 passes, 3 rushes, 1 sack) in Atlanta's 40-24 win over Kansas City Sunday. He totaled 317 yards, a very impressive average of 9.06 yards per touch, with zero turnovers, and posted a Real QB Rating of 139.8, well ahead of RGIII's 124.4. Credit Ryan's four scores.

He was the only quarterback in Week 1 to account for four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing). That's twice as many TDs as RGIII or Manning (two passing), for those of you keeping score at home.

Four quarterbacks in Week 1 produced three touchdowns, but all coughed up the ball at least once as well.

The beauty of Real Quarterback Rating is that it allows us to see the relative value of each field general's all-around performance. More importantly, it's an incredible indicator of team success, proving in no uncertain terms that winning in the NFL is all about the quarterback.

• Teams who were better in Real QB Rating last year went 223-33 (.871).

• They were a near-perfect 15-1 (.938) in Week 1 (Detroit-St. Louis was the lone anomaly).

At the end of the day, passing numbers make up the bulk of Real Quarterback Rating, and Ryan was brilliant even by this measure.

• 23 of 31, 74.2 percent, 299 yards, 9.6 YPA, 3 TD, 0 INT, 136.4

Ryan enters Week 2 No. 2 in passer rating, No. 4 in completion percentage and No. 7 in average per attempt.

He will have plenty of opportunity to prove he's a legit MVP candidate this year. Here's a look at the high-profile QB duels that will define Atlanta's season -- and maybe even the legacy of its quarterback.

Week 2 vs. Denver (Peyton Manning)

Week 3 @ San Diego (Philip Rivers)

Week 4 vs. Carolina (Cam Newton)

Week 5 @ Washington (Robert Griffin III)

Week 8 @ Philadelphia (Michael Vick)

Week 9 vs. Dallas (Tony Romo)

Week 10 @ New Orleans (Drew Brees)

Week 13 vs. New Orleans (Brees)

Week 14 @ Carolina (Newton)

Week 15 vs. NY Giants (Eli Manning)

Week 16 @ Detroit (Matt Stafford)

Wow. That's a tough slate for Ryan, and certainly a tantalizing one for football fans. If he can consistently outgun that gauntlet, fans around the country will be talking "Ryan for MVP" by the time they sit down to their Thanksgiving dinner.

Read more: http://sportsillustr...l#ixzz26Bjh6wRo

Edited by falcon_owns_nfc_south
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Guest Negatorris

I wanna see him give that same effort on Monday, then let's talk about an MVP vote. I believe he will though. Not as if we play any tough defenses this season.

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