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After 10 years, Matt Ryan has proven to be irreplaceable


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Good luck finding a QB this good.

https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2018/5/5/17318662/after-10-years-matt-ryan-has-proven-to-be-irreplaceable-falcons-mvp

When the Falcons drafted Matt Ryan in 2008, most analysts believed he would be a good starting QB in the NFL. He wasn’t considered a generational talent (a la Peyton Manning) and certainly wasn’t someone people pegged as a potential top QB in the league. In the past ten years, however, Ryan has proven to be not only good, but sometimes great.

His MVP award in 2016 affirmed he had reached one of the highest points for an NFL QB, even as his critics only quieted slightly. That’s not to say that Ryan is one of the best ever and doesn’t have his flaws, but there’s little doubt he’s been one of the top QBs in the league over the last decade.

Even still, some fans question the logic of paying Ryan. His recent blockbuster contract only ignited those criticisms as Ryan reset the QB market - even if only for the time being (we’re looking at you Aaron Rodgers).

The Falcons don’t exist in a vacuum, though, and any decision to not pay Matt Ryan would have to be coupled with a plan to replace him. The reality in the NFL is that you will never consistently be in contention until you find a franchise QB. With that said, we now have 10 years of NFL draft classes we can look at in determining how easy or hard it would be to replace the Falcons quarterback.

For simplicity, I’m leaving out recently drafted QBs like Jared Goff, Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz. Even though all of them look promising, one to two years of production is hardly enough to predict an entire career off of. I think you’ll see that even if we did include them, the list of good QBs that have come out in the years since Ryan was drafted is still incredibly small.

As I see it, excluding the 3 players mentioned above, there’s a small list of QBs who are quality starters that have been drafted since 2008. This list is more or less limited to:

Given that list and the 3 young QBs aforementioned, that brings us to exactly 9 QBs taken over an entire decade who amount to good NFL QBs. The past 10 years is flooded with quarterbacks that have come and gone, some in as little as 2 years or less (hello Johnny).

To take this further, if you’re going to replace Ryan with someone younger who has come after him, it would make sense to get someone who is at least comparable or better than the QB you’re replacing. While some of the names above are quality QBs, I’m not sure that any of them is demonstrably “a leap above” Matt Ryan. In fact, if you look at this chart below, you’ll see that over the past 3 years, Ryan has been consistently better than nearly all of these QBs, with the exception of 2015:

Ryan_QB_Comparisons.jpg

From 2015 to 2017, Ryan has been the top QB in these key metrics/statistics (within this sample group) 8 out of the possible 13 measurements above (PFF scores weren’t available to me before 2017). The next highest QB on the list was Russell Wilson with 3 (all of which happened in 2015).

While statistics aren’t the end of any discussion, the near dominance of all of these stats over a three-year time frame does paint a picture of just how good Ryan has been compared to the guys who could have potentially “replaced” him. Again, this isn’t to say that Ryan has been the best in the NFL or that his game is flawless. This is a simple reality check on how difficult it is to find a quality QB in the NFL.

I also realize many of you will point out the “weapons” Ryan has had at his disposal over the years. First, Ryan has often been given weapons, but at the cost of playing on teams with dismal defenses. While Newton and Wilson may not have had a Julio Jones, both QBs played with top-5 defenses for several years - something Ryan has yet to do. Additionally, the “weapons” argument is impossible to quantify, because we simply have no proof that another QB would do better/worse in the same offense as Ryan. It’s all speculative.

With all of that said, this is not intended to be a knock on the other QBs mentioned. Many of them are high quality starters whose teams are thrilled to have them. What this does highlight, however, is how difficult it is to find a top-tier QB. The fact that this list can be whittled down to just a handful of players over an entire decade is proof enough. The fact that Ryan still stands out amongst them is a testament to how good he truly has been.

He’s not flawless and his place in NFL history is yet to be written, but let’s not pull any punches here either: the Falcons are ****ed fortunate to have Matt Ryan, and he is worth every penny they paid.

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And there was a time when literally every thread on TATF attracted trolls calling for his head, whether the post was about him or not. Got so bad, new admins had to be sworn in and the stalkers had to be banned. Give him his due.

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2 minutes ago, JayOzOne said:

And there was a time when literally every thread on TATF attracted trolls calling for his head, whether the post was about him or not. Got so bad, new admins had to be sworn in and the stalkers had to be banned. Give him his due.

I remember one poster (He wanted Dorsey.) guaranteeing that MR2 would never throw for over 200 yds in a game.

BOOM!

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A SB ring is probably the only thing that's in Ryan's way of stamping his ticket to Canton.

 

Even though there is a possibility he could get in without one, but Ryan would have to be top 5 or top 10 in just about ever QB  stat category by the time he retires and maybe another SB appearance or NFL MVP.

 

Hope he gets that SB ring. Maybe he gets lucky like Elway and retires as a back to back SB champion.

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Get Matt Ryan Kyle shanahan back and he will be mvp every year .  Find a real coordinator for Matt Ryan or don't show up. Sark while he is a nice man, depending on what hour of the day it is, has a long long way to go to ever play call in the NFL.  Was he even good calling plays in college?

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4 minutes ago, R_The_Great said:

Get Matt Ryan Kyle shanahan back and he will be mvp every year .  Find a real coordinator for Matt Ryan or don't show up. Sark while he is a nice man, depending on what hour of the day it is, has a long long way to go to ever play call in the NFL.  Was he even good calling plays in college?

Maybe I like Bill is working.

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Us Falcon fans have never been so furtunate. We have another several year run of a shot at that Lombardi and have come very close twice already with him. 

He IS the key to getting there for us. And he is finally getting a defense like Brady has had most of his career to increase the odds.

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13 minutes ago, gazoo said:

Us Falcon fans have never been so furtunate. We have another several year run of a shot at that Lombardi and have come very close twice already with him. 

He IS the key to getting there for us. And he is finally getting a defense like Brady has had most of his career to increase the odds.

Defense makes the QB position much better.

 

3 hours ago, Tim Mazetti said:

but at the cost of playing on teams with dismal defenses. While Newton and Wilson may not have had a Julio Jones, both QBs played with top-5 defenses for several years - something Ryan has yet to do. Additionally, the “weapons” argument is impossible to quantify, because we simply have no proof that another QB would do better/worse in the same offense as Ryan. It’s all speculative.

 

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This article is actually quite good in terms of comparing him to what has come since.  He's been at least as good, and generally better than anyone since he came out.

Read an article after the Super Bowl showing that if the Falcons had won (if Shanny had run it twice more at the end) that Ryan had a 99% chance of going to the Hall of Fame, but with the loss only about a 10% chance (if his career finished now).  We gotta get back there and win one for everybody.

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I always laugh at the haters. "See we got him a defense now." True, the offense left more on the field in Philly than the D did but both had their mistakes. Also, our interior OL and Freeman injured knee/inability to run in red zone put it all on Matt and Julio literally. Yeah, they failed. But ya know in the SB they had the throw and catch to set up a Super Bowl winning FG shot. Our OC; that everyone wished was back so badly, screwed us out of our first championship but Ryan carries the blame of ignorant people.

Gets a defense to perform and immediately if the expectation isn't reached Ryan is attacked. Um...try it being an elite defense in national media perception. Ya know for more than a stretch of games in a season and then you know you've arrived defensively.

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1 hour ago, R_The_Great said:

Get Matt Ryan Kyle shanahan back and he will be mvp every year .  Find a real coordinator for Matt Ryan or don't show up. Sark while he is a nice man, depending on what hour of the day it is, has a long long way to go to ever play call in the NFL.  Was he even good calling plays in college?

Kyle lost the playbook and was too stupid to just run the ball and allow Bryant to kick a field that would have given us 31 points preventing OT. Kyle did some great things but he did a lot of BS right before going to SanFran and becoming a HC.

I was down on Shanny in 2015 but held out hope he could do better the next year. I think we should give Sark the same courtesy and also see if our receivers can stop dropping passes as well.

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Enjoy the ride fellas! Very few franchises have enjoyed pure consistency from the QB position. It has been a solid decade of not having to worry and fret at the QB position. 

Getting old veterans, promising rookies that peter out after film comes out (watch Wentz). Not a problem in ATL!

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28 minutes ago, Flying Falcon said:

Still awaiting on that ring tho.

 

Even if Ryan gets a ring, many NFL fans outside of the Falcons fanbase(even by many inside the Falcons fanbase) would still have no clue of what all Ryan has accomplished in his career and would be taken by surprise if he were to make the Hall of Fame.

 

Ryan could very well go down as the most under appreciated NFL QB/player of all time.

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