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This NOT just in: Matt Ryan is a top-shelf quarterback


Goober Pyle
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https://www.ajc.com/blog/mark-bradley/this-not-just-matt-ryan-top-shelf-quarterback/ZsYTDXVP6f7vrtGfiE7jGK/

This NOT just in: Matt Ryan is a top-shelf quarterback

Nov 16, 2018 

By 
Nov 16, 2018

The odds are against the Falcons making the playoffs, but let’s say they do. (They’ll need to beat Dallas here Sunday; let’s say they do that, too.) Should they qualify, it would mark their third consecutive postseason appearance. Know how many times in their history they’ve done that? Once – from 2010 through 2012. The quarterback then was Matt Ryan, who’s also the quarterback now. 

Wait. I’m not done. Know how many times the Falcons had reached the playoffs in consecutive years before Ryan showed up? Never. Over the 42 seasons predating the Matty Ice Age, this franchise reached the postseason eight times. Since he got here in 2008, they’ve done it six times. If we add the playoff runs of the second-, third- and fourth-best quarterbacks in Falcons annals – Steve Bartkowski, Michael Vick and Chris Chandler – we get six. 

The point being: We around here have gotten to know Matthew Thomas Ryan very well – of the Falcons’ past 179 games (counting playoffs), he has started 177, which is flat-out ridiculous – but rarely do we say out loud what’s indisputably the truth. Namely, that he’s the best player (not just the best quarterback) in franchise history. 

We were conditioned early to regard Ryan as what he was not. He was drafted to replace the franchise quarterback who’d gone to prison, and there were those who insisted he would never be better than Vick. (Wrong.) Then we doubted if he could lead this team to the Super Bowl. (He did.) Even now, in Year 11, we tune in ESPN and get caught up in the E-word debate – I will not type the silly word itself, but it rhymes with “petite” – and we take as gospel that Ryan, as grand as he has been, is somehow not grand enough. 

Meaning: He’s not Brady/Rodgers/Brees/Roethlisberger. I won’t argue that any of those four is anything less than an all-timer. Tom Brady: best ever. Aaron Rodgers: most talented QB ever. Drew Brees: apt to win his first MVP trophy at 39. Ben Roethlisberger: consummate winner. But at this moment, what is there about Ryan that relegates him, just below the favored four? 

You don’t need to shout. All together now: “He hasn’t won a Super Bowl.” And he hasn’t. That’s the fact, Jack. But here, not to get all Kellyanne on you, is where we offer alternative facts. 

 

In Ryan’s one Super Bowl, he was better than Brady/Rodgers/Brees/Roethlisberger were in any of theirs, and they’ve been in 13. Ryan’s passer rating Feb. 5, 2017, was 144.1, fourth-best in Super annals, trailing only Phil Simms, Joe Montana and Jim Plunkett. Those three quarterbacks saw their teams win big. Ryan’s team should have. If they played that game again, the Falcons would be more likely to prevail 42-10 than lose in overtime. That losing was some fault of Ryan’s is a big fat lie. (He didn’t touch the ball in OT, you’ll recall.) 

Ryan in that Super Bowl – 284 yards on 23 passes. His yards-per-attempt average was 12.3, also fourth-best in Super history. His completion percentage was 73.9, sixth-best. Brady threw for 466 yards that day, but – this remains incredible – had nearly as many incompletions (21) as Ryan did passes. Brady eventually dinked and dunked the Falcons into submission, but his passer rating (95.5) was the second-lowest of his five Super wins, and Robert Alford’s pick-6 was a big reason the Patriots trailed 28-3. Put it this way: In the biggest game of his life, Mr. Tier 2 was statistically superior to the greatest ever. And we hold that AGAINST him? 

This year, Ryan leads the NFL in passing yards per game. (He’s 46 YPG ahead of Brees, FYI.) Ryan is fourth in passer rating and completion percentage, tied for fourth in touchdowns. He’s not the reason the Falcons are 4-5; he’s the reason they aren’t 1-8. We once regarded his MVP season as a career year, but this one is of a piece: Yards per game and completion percentage are better; touchdowns per game are roughly the same; yards per attempt, while down from that peak, is still the second-best of his career. 

Career passing numbers are problematic, given how skewed the modern game is toward slinging the pig. (Fran Tarkenton retired as the career leader in passing yards; he’s not in the top 10 today.) But here, for comparative purposes, we go: Ryan is fifth in yards per game, ahead of Brady, Rodgers and Roethlisberger; he’s fifth in completion percentage, ahead of Rodgers and Brady; he’s 10th in passer rating, ahead of Roethlisberger; he’s ninth in interception percentage, ahead of Brees. 

Again, this isn’t to say that the Tier 1 guys don’t belong. This is only to suggest that Ryan does, too – and has for a while. This is his 11th NFL season. (That’s another thing: At 33, he’s younger than Brady/Rodgers/et al.) Ryan has worked under four offensive coordinators; should he make the Pro Bowl this season, he’ll have done it under all four. 

He has spent 10 years and nine games trying to outscore his own defense, which over the past decade never finished among the league’s top 10 in yards against and is third-worst now. Brady and Roethlisberger have won seven Super Bowls between them. How many would they won have won with Falcons-like defenses? And really, isn’t the issue of Super Bowl “wins” for a quarterback something a faux stat, like wins for a pitcher have become? (Jacob deGrom just took the Cy Young with 10.) 

The only reason Ryan isn’t a Tier 1 fixture is the lack of a Super Bowl “win” – and had his team held on that day, he’d have been the game’s MVP. (And he didn’t call the overtime coin toss wrong; the Pats called it right.)

Ryan was the reason the Falcons made the Super Bowl. He’s the reason they’ve been a very good team for the better part of the past 10 years, and he’s the reason they still could make something of this one. He’s not just the best quarterback this team has had; he’s among the best there has ever been. There, I’ve said it.

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Great observation, Goob. 

Matt’s the most underrated player in the NFL. Which is weird, because for a second or two he was the highest paid player in league (history). But it’s still true. 

Even TAFT underrates him. ****, especially TAFT underrates him. 

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4 minutes ago, Vandy said:

Matt’s the most underrated player in the NFL. Which is weird, because for a second or two he was the highest paid player in league (history). But it’s still true. 

Even TAFT underrates him. ****, especially TAFT underrates him. 

 

I know what you're saying but that last statement is exaggeration.  Yes there are some posters who for whatever reasons (most of them idiotic) dislike him, but I would wager at least 90% of this board absolutely realizes this team would be the same old laughing stock without Matt Ryan.

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3 minutes ago, octoslash said:

 

I know what you're saying but that last statement is exaggeration.  Yes there are some posters who for whatever reasons (most of them idiotic) dislike him, but I would wager at least 90% of this board absolutely realizes this team would be the same old laughing stock without Matt Ryan.

Not sure I agree with that one, my friend. In my time here I’ve seen more anti-Matt threads than pro. And yes, I realize there’s a huge troll factor there. 

But Even if true Octo, 10% is too much!

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I can't believe they're still writing articles about this.  We know who he is by now.  In his career, the only QBs that have been better will all be Hall of Famers... and I'm quite certain he will be also.  He should have a ring right now and everyone knows it.  Give him a better offensive line and he will eat you alive.  Is he Rodgers, Brady, or Brees.... NO.. but he's still **** good.  IMO, he's better than Eli, Warner and Flacco but they all have rings.  

  

Edited by Road Warrior
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1 minute ago, Vandy said:

Not sure I agree with that one, my friend. In my time here I’ve seen more anti-Matt threads than pro. And yes, I realize there’s a huge troll factor there. 

But Even if true Octo, 10% is too much!

Going by the number of anti- threads isn't a real barometer though of the overall Ryan approval rating. 

And yes, even 10% is too much, but you have to expect a certain percentage of fools in every crowd.

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1 hour ago, octoslash said:

Going by the number of anti- threads isn't a real barometer though of the overall Ryan approval rating. 

And yes, even 10% is too much, but you have to expect a certain percentage of fools in every crowd.

Meh, I’ve seen through the years some very knowledgeable posters in here subtlety suggest Ryan as not being a top tier QB. So I believe he’s not fully appreciated in here a little more than you think.

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Many have never doubted how good Matt really is. He might not have a Rodgers type arm, but you don't have to have that to be great. 

Personally I just laugh and dismiss it when people don't see the shortcomings of the team around him and blame so much on Ryan. 

He's the best we've ever had at the position and put us in a closer position to win it all than anyone else we've ever had. Once in that position, he played better than almost anyone else ever has in that same position. 

Nothing much else really needs to be said.

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1 hour ago, Vandy said:

Great observation, Goob. 

Matt’s the most underrated player in the NFL. Which is weird, because for a second or two he was the highest paid player in league (history). But it’s still true. 

Even TAFT underrates him. ****, especially TAFT underrates him. 

So true. I have so many Falcons fans who blame everything on Ryan. They talk about what Julio’s stats would look like with a “real QB”. 

Falcons fans will not appreciate what they have in Ryan until he is gone.

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Dude is a fkg beast.  Any clowns who try to dispute it, just reread the FACTS above.

The truth stands alone.  It doesn’t waiver & can never be changed.  

Whether or not some drooling, mouth breathers choose to accept it is irrelevant.

MR carried our team since he’s been drafted.  He transformed this franchise almost single-handedly.  When we finally surround him with a defense & smart coaching decisions, we’ll have another shot at a SB title.  

What a horrific shame it is that his SB performance was wasted because those around him faltered.  He & Julio even pulled off one of the most phenomenal connections in NFL history to seal it and our staff managed to blow that too.

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27 minutes ago, HASHBROWN3 said:

 

What a horrific shame it is that his SB performance was wasted because those around him faltered.  He & Julio even pulled off one of the most phenomenal connections in NFL history to seal it and our staff managed to blow that too.

And I’m still pizzed about it Hash. Sounds like you are too! :)

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1 hour ago, Vandy said:

Great observation, Goob. 

Matt’s the most underrated player in the NFL. Which is weird, because for a second or two he was the highest paid player in league (history). But it’s still true. 

Even TAFT underrates him. ****, especially TAFT underrates him. 

So true....as I’ve seen you wisely state before, TATF will only truly appreciate Ryan once he  retires and IMO puts on his gold jacket 5 years later

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23 minutes ago, HASHBROWN3 said:

Dude is a fkg beast.  Any clowns who try to dispute it, just reread the FACTS above.

The truth stands alone.  It doesn’t waiver & can never be changed.  

Whether or not some drooling, mouth breathers choose to accept it is irrelevant.

MR carried our team since he’s been drafted.  He transformed this franchise almost single-handedly.  When we finally surround him with a defense & smart coaching decisions, we’ll have another shot at a SB title.  

What a horrific shame it is that his SB performance was wasted because those around him faltered.  He & Julio even pulled off one of the most phenomenal connections in NFL history to seal it and our staff managed to blow that too.

Run the ball 3 times or kneel three times kick the FG win /smh

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33 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

So true....as I’ve seen you wisely state before, TATF will only truly appreciate Ryan once he  retires and IMO puts on his gold jacket 5 years later

Sad but true 2012. Only when we go back to having mediocrity at QB with a Tannehill/Winston/Prescott/Carr et al will Matt be fully appreciated by a larger segment of atlanta’s fan base. 

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25 minutes ago, Vandy said:

I’m still pizzed about it too Hash. Sounds like you are too! :)

To this day I can’t dwell on it more than even a few seconds.  Watching that methodical comeback go unchecked by our staff for that many plays just cut deeply to the bone.  The pain, anger & resentment I feel will never leave.  

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2 hours ago, Vandy said:

Great observation, Goob. 

Matt’s the most underrated player in the NFL. Which is weird, because for a second or two he was the highest paid player in league (history). But it’s still true. 

Even TAFT underrates him. ****, especially TAFT underrates him. 

But I have it from experts on here he's over rated over payed not elite can't win close or big games has a weak arm and yet this whole article debunks that.

Him maybe those experts who don't want to pay anyone who we develop need to watch all the games not just concentrate on the last one we lost to come up with such opinions.

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57 minutes ago, HASHBROWN3 said:

Dude is a fkg beast.  Any clowns who try to dispute it, just reread the FACTS above.

The truth stands alone.  It doesn’t waiver & can never be changed.  

Whether or not some drooling, mouth breathers choose to accept it is irrelevant.

MR carried our team since he’s been drafted.  He transformed this franchise almost single-handedly.  When we finally surround him with a defense & smart coaching decisions, we’ll have another shot at a SB title.  

What a horrific shame it is that his SB performance was wasted because those around him faltered.  He & Julio even pulled off one of the most phenomenal connections in NFL history to seal it and our staff managed to blow that too.

Preach Hash.

Just to think some of these people that complain about how much Matt and Julio want and are going to get paid.

You talk about foundations when you build a house well I give you Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.

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1 hour ago, TheUsualStuff said:

Personally I just laugh and dismiss it when people don't see the shortcomings of the team around him and blame so much on Ryan. 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ and I think it goes much farther up the chain than players.

Imagine if Matt stood in the pocket Drew gets.

 

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1 hour ago, Vandy said:

Meh, I’ve seen through the years some very knowledgeable posters in here subtlety suggest Ryan as not being a top tier QB. So I believe he’s not fully appreciated in here a little more than you think.

The measure of Ryan's pick goes back to the 2008 draft.

Have a look how well the teams around us in that draft have done.

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=2008+nfl+draft+picks&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-nz&client=safari#imgrc=RDGSf7mJ5qCIZM:

Thank you Miami and St.Louis.

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2 hours ago, Vandy said:

Not sure I agree with that one, my friend. In my time here I’ve seen more anti-Matt threads than pro. And yes, I realize there’s a huge troll factor there. 

But Even if true Octo, 10% is too much!

I’ve had my moments of being critical of Ryan. But I also recognize that he’s a great player and the franchise is literally nothing without him. 

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In my time as a football fan, I’ve never seen any quarterback or even athlete for that matter more under appreciated than Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers. Those guys are as good as anyone I’ve ever seen. Tom Brady has nothing in his game that Matt and Phillip CAN’T do. He’s simply been luckier and WAY better set up for success

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24 minutes ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

I’ve had my moments of being critical of Ryan. But I also recognize that he’s a great player and the franchise is literally nothing without him. 

Yeah, I’m not talking about being critical JD. I’ve been that about Matt in the past plenty.

I’m talking about the folks who don’t believe he’s been an upper echelon QB overall during his career here. 

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