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Football Savages On Nfc South Qbs

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Link to whole article:


The part about Matt:

Matt Ryan (by Derrik Klassen)

Some quarterbacks are underrated, others are under appreciated. Matt Ryan, on the other hand, is entirely misconceived. The general consensus on Ryan is that he is a conservative, limited-armed passer with zero functionality vs any sort of pressure. Oddly enough, he is almost entirely opposite of ‘that’ player. ‘That’ player is Andy Dalton, not Matt Ryan. Of the traits listed, the only one with any sort of truth to it is the knock on his arm strength, but even that stretches the truth. Most everything about him is misunderstood, especially with the Falcons finishing bottom 10 in the league for two seasons in a row. Team record be damned, Ryan is one of the best passers in the league.


(@MIN, DET, @TB, CAR) (79/107; 73.83%)


(TB, CHI, GB, PIT) (85/107; 79.44%)

Total: (164/214; 76.64%)

The most interesting claim about Ryan’s game is that he can not handle pressure, whether it be pressure on a given play by pass rushers or situational pressure, such as a critical 3rd/4th down or a close game in the 4th quarter. He’s been labeled as scared, a choker, jittery… you name it. He is not any of those things. Ryan handles pressure on a down-to-down basis very well. His maneuvering of the pocket is fantastic and he doesn’t drop his eyes or waste steps when doing so. In the case that he is flushed out of the pocket, Ryan keeps his cool, finds the quickest way out, keeps his eyes down field and works up toward the line of scrimmage to make the throw easier. Textbook.

Though, more of the misconception on Ryan comes from how well people seem to think he handles big games. Most recently, this is rooted in the outcome of the San Francisco game in 2012. 1) [This is my obnoxious opinion, don’t mind me.] That was pass interference. 2) Ryan played quite well in that game. 3) People forget that Ryan constructed a game-winning drive vs Seattle just one week prior.

Ryan has done quite a bit in critical games such as these, but his defense has seldom been there to back him. “Excuses, excuses”, right? If you want to call it that way, be my guest, but the tape has shown time and time again that Ryan shows up far more often than not in any sort of pressure situation.

Next up on the list of poor claims about Ryan’s game is that he is conservative. That is not true. Where it seems that roots from is that he is incredibly smart and safe with the ball, leading many to think he is scared. He is not hyper aggressive like a Matt Stafford or Andrew Luck, but Ryan knows when to test windows and take shots. His brilliance coupled with a strong sense of what he is capable of has been misconstrued as him being scared and ultraconservative, like an Alex Smith. Ryan is not Stafford or Smith, he is Matt Ryan, and his aggression level is at a near perfect medium. Ryan will seldom force a throw into a poor situation, nor will he play too safe to not take advantage of defenses and create offense.

Now, Ryan’s arm is where there is legit reason to knock him. Then again, many go too far with that as well. Ryan’s arm is not spectacular. He is not going to fire bullets all around the field and split defenders with velocity. Without saying anymore, that certainly does sound limiting, doesn’t it? For Ryan, it is not. Fellow Savages writer Ben Natan just went over how weak-middling armed quarterbacks make up for their physical deficiencies. In short, he said that weak-middling armed quarterbacks have to have elite instincts and intelligence in order to be top level players. Ryan fits that mold. His understanding of how to beat the defense before the snap, move through his reads once the ball is snapped and anticipate the perfect opening for a throw is top notch. The cherry on top is that Ryan has impeccable accuracy to complete these throws.

Speaking in terms of pure accuracy and ball placement, Ryan is among the top five in the league. Only Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning stand equal or better than him in that regard. Despite an average arm, Ryan throws the deep ball incredibly well, which is rare under any circumstance. In the short and intermediate areas, where quarterbacks really make their money, Ryan thrives as well. The touch on some of his passes is breathtaking, most notably when having to throw over defenders. What makes Ryan so valuable is that he maximizes his receiving corps by throwing passes to receivers in stride and allowing them to gain yards after the catch. Few quarterbacks allow for extra yards like Ryan does.

To sum up a lengthy rant, Matt Ryan is quite literally the opposite of what many perceive him to be. They take his brains for being soft, over scrutinize his arm and speak irrationally of his ability when under duress. Much of this has to do with the team’s success. It is unfair, but it is the truth and that won’t change until the team improves as a whole. General perception be damned, Ryan is a top 10 quarterback.

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