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A Tdwii Observation: Ryan's Best Is Now Good Enough


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Earlier this year, I wrote a piece that I thought to a certain extent was misinterpreted when I compared Ryan’s last 9 games of 2011, to his first 9 of 2012.

http://boards.atlantafalcons.com/topic/3961806-a-tdwii-observation-comparing-ryans-last-9-games-2011-first-9-games-2012/

My determination at that time, and still is, was that the Ryan we had seen at the end of last season was quite similar to the QB we were seeing this season. It wasn’t supposed to be a derogatory statement about the Falcons or Ryan for that matter. It was simply meant to show that we had seen this QB and this team before.

Sometimes ‘aura’ takes some time to establish. Take J.J. Watt for example. Is he so much better this year than last year because he’s just made such an improvement in his game from 2011 to 2012? To go from 5.5 sacks to 20.5 sacks (through 15 games)? From 4 batted down balls to 15? From 9 TFL’s to 19? He hasn’t gotten 4 times as good from a talent perspective, it’s simply that the light came on for him this year where his understanding of the pro game and his talent came together. But also…teams now absolutely have to figure out what to do with JJ Watt when they game plan and play him. Was that the case in 2011? They knew he was good…but not how good. And yet…even with that attention. Even with the knowledge that Watt is among the 5 best players in the NFL…he still is dominant.

For Ryan, the light started to come on for him last year…in those final 9 games. There was a clear delineation in terms of his level of play from the Indianapolis game on (the game where Julio made the incredible diving TD catch) to prior to that. The Giant playoff game was an obvious speed bump, but aside from that, Ryan’s last 25 games can be put up against any QB in the NFL, both in terms of efficiency and just how prolific he’s been. Last year – he could simply have been perceived to have had a good stretch.

Consider Philip Rivers. At the outset of the 2011 season, you would have been hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t fill out his list of Top 5 NFL QB’s without Rivers on it, probably falling behind only Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Peyton. Two years later – people are wondering how to fix him.

Consider Josh Freeman. Though 10 games this season, Freeman had seemingly plucked his career out from the mediocre heap, leading a surprising Bucs team to a 6-4 mark behind a 7.85 YPA and 21/7 TD:INT ratio. 5 games later, he’s seen the YPA plummet to 6.56 and the TD:INT ratio…5/9. Oh, and the Bucs are 0-5 in that timeframe. So much for progress.

But Ryan is now a guy who over those 25 games that cover 2 seasons, has put up lofty 100.9 QB rating. His completion rate? 66.3%. His YPA? 7.88. If it’s a stretch, it’s a sizable stretch. It’s not in Brady/Manning territory. It’s perhaps not even approaching the 3 year Rivers stretch of 2008-2010. But it’s now enough of a sample size for Ryan to truly go up against the games greats and feel good that he sits at the big boy table, but that he in fact is worthy of being there.

Is this to say that the Falcons are Super Bowl bound? Nope…they may still not win a playoff game. Those things need to be determined come January. But for the first time under Dimitroff/Smith, this team is truly Championship caliber. It’s not without warts to be sure. But our best is as good as anyone elses best. And that’s in large part because Matt Ryan’s best is now as good as anyone elses best.

He’ll need to be at his best soon enough, but now when he is, it’s good enough.

Merry Christmas.

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Merry Christmas to you to TdwII. I agree this year Ryan has validated his status as a top-tier QB in the NFL. Among the top five? If not, he's very, very close. But the bigger question is, has he lifted his game up enough to perform at the same high level in the play-offs that has characterized his regular season this year? I think the answer to that question is going to be a resounding yes. Ryan is not the world's greatest athlete. He doesn't have the world's strongest arm. He isn't the most mobile QB. But the guy has leadership skills, he has character and he is probably the hardest worker on the team. He also makes sure he is as prepared as he can be for every game. I said this in a couple other threads and I'll repeat it here because I sincerely believe this to be true: If the Falcons don't win some play-off games, if they don't get to the Super Bowl this year, it will not be because Matt Ryan let his team down. It will be because the team let Matt Ryan down.

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Ryan best is not good enough to beat Rodgers or Brady...

it would have to be Nolan master piece followed by Ryan game managing a way to chip....How we beat the Saints is how we would hope to beat GB OR NE

Ryan will not be able to out gun Brady or Rodgers

If their defense sucks ****, then he can. There's always two sides to the ball. The QBs don't play against eachother on the field at the same time, so I always find this kind of logic moronic. Contrary to your belief, defenses do play a big part of the game, about 40%.

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Ryan best is not good enough to beat Rodgers or Brady...

it would have to be Nolan master piece followed by Ryan game managing a way to chip....How we beat the Saints is how we would hope to beat GB OR NE

Ryan will not be able to out gun Brady or Rodgers

I'm not sure if I want Ryan to lead us to a Superbowl victory more because I've been his fan for quite some time and think he's a hard-working, very talented player who I would love to see hoist that Lombardi (along with all the other Falcons I have come to know and love just as stridently) ...

or simply because it would shut ya up. wink.png

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Ryan best is not good enough to beat Rodgers or Brady...

it would have to be Nolan master piece followed by Ryan game managing a way to chip....How we beat the Saints is how we would hope to beat GB OR NE

Ryan will not be able to out gun Brady or Rodgers

See this is where I'll disagree I think with the way this team has been built I personally think we can sit with these guys in a shootout and the defense will make enough plays to get us over the top.If you take a sample size of the these guys best games offensively I feel our best can go with either of these guys mentioned.

Nice work as usual TDW & Mery Xmas to you and yours.

Edited by kiwifalcon
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Ryan best is not good enough to beat Rodgers or Brady...

it would have to be Nolan master piece followed by Ryan game managing a way to chip....How we beat the Saints is how we would hope to beat GB OR NE

Ryan will not be able to out gun Brady or Rodgers

This team is capable of beating GB and the Patriots. Koetter and Ryan just need to make full effective use of their WR corps, and the receivers need to step up as well.

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Brady looked like a real "gunslinger" yesterday in Jacksonville.

Dayhumper = ignorant d0uchrbag that has had to change his username several times due to ignorant trolling.

It never seems to stop with the guy.

I have seen very little positive feed-back in any of his posts and I guess like alot on the board it just becomes tiresome.

But at the end of the day each to there own.

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Guest Negatorris

Ryan best is not good enough to beat Rodgers or Brady...

it would have to be Nolan master piece followed by Ryan game managing a way to chip....How we beat the Saints is how we would hope to beat GB OR NE

Ryan will not be able to out gun Brady or Rodgers

Good to see you'll have your excuse when he wins it all.

"If not for Nolan's scheme, Ryan wouldn't have...."

I'm sure Swift's blind hate for Ryan has led him to believe Rodgers and Brady won a bunch of playoff games when their defenses didn't play well at all. He must have missed the post where someone gave us the record of 'elite' QBs in the playoffs when their defense gives up 21+ points.

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Ryan best is not good enough to beat Rodgers or Brady...

it would have to be Nolan master piece followed by Ryan game managing a way to chip....How we beat the Saints is how we would hope to beat GB OR NE

Ryan will not be able to out gun Brady or Rodgers

disagree. On any day any QB can out duel any QB. They are all NFL players. Flacco out duel Brady last year in the AFCCG.
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Ryan best is not good enough to beat Rodgers or Brady...

it would have to be Nolan master piece followed by Ryan game managing a way to chip....How we beat the Saints is how we would hope to beat GB OR NE

Ryan will not be able to out gun Brady or Rodgers

Ryan's best is in fact good enough to beat Rodgers and the Packers. I am 100% certain of this. Care to know how I know this? Because he and the Falcons have already done so.

Edited by Falconsin2012
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Ryan's best is in fact good enough to beat Rodgers and the Packers. I am 100% confident of that statement. Care to know how I know this? Because he and the Falcons have already done so.

lol ... owned!

Yea , pretty sure ol'Swift is just tugging on some junks in this thread. The man is smart enough to realize Matt Ryan could beat anyone in the league. Sucks he did it here because TDW2s piece was a great one and all this back and forth with Swift is kind of over shadowing the good read.

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I'm not sure if I want Ryan to lead us to a Superbowl victory more because I've been his fan for quite some time and think he's a hard-working, very talented player who I would love to see hoist that Lombardi (along with all the other Falcons I have come to know and love just as stridently) ...

or simply because it would shut ya up. wink.png

Oh, I'm sure for me that's it rooting for Ryan to succeed, the swift thing is just very pleasant bonus.

I don't expect him to leave when the Falcons win a couple of playoff games, but I'm going to constantly remind him of this promise"

Hey swift, if the Falcons have a deep playoff run, will you STFU about Ryan and TD?

100% if Falcons get to NFC champ game .. and it's a well contested game even in loss

They will be free of my criticism ( for next 3 years)

is that fair

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