FanPost

How Matt Ryan stacks up against the best QBs in the league

We’ve already discussed how Matt Ryan stacks up against recent Hall of Famers, but those guys started in a different era from him. There have been several rule changes benefiting the passing game from when a guy like Joe Montana started his career in 1980;

QBs got radios in their helmets in 1995, in 1996 more emphasis was placed on the 5-yard contact rule and hits to the helmet drew 15-yard personal fouls to protect QBs. It was decided that protecting the passer would be emphasised even more in 2001. The only ones that have gone against QBs and the passing game were in 2008 when force out was eliminated and 1 defensive player got the same radio that QBs had been using for the previous 13 years.

Considering that the last major rule change to help the passing game came in 2001, I decided to compare Ryan’s stats through 3 years to the best QBs to enter the league since then. The list is quite exhaustive; the best guys not on it are probably Alex Smith and Carson Palmer. I decided to do away with the comparison of the first 3 years starting as the original ESPN article did, because it wasn’t really fair to compare a 30 year old Steve Young who had already thrown 1,385 professional passes to a 23 year old Joe Montana coming out of Notre Dame as a 3rd round pick. Especially when Young took over a team that won 4 Superbowls in 9 years and Montana took over one that finished 2-14 the previous year. Similarly it wouldn’t be fair to compare Aaron Rodgers entering his 4th season after learning from a legend for 3 years to Joe Flacco entering the NFL after only 2 years starting at Delaware. 

So this article will just compare the stats put up in a the 3 years since a QB was drafted. They’re ranked by QB rating:

 

Years

Starts

Comp

Att

%

Yards

YPA

TD

INT

Rat

W/L

Post W/L

Philip Rivers

04-06

16

301

490

61.4

3,536

7.2

23

10

90.4

14-2

0-1

Roethlisberger

04-06

40

644

1,032

62.4

8,519

8.3

52

43

87.9

29-11

5-1

Joe Flacco

08-10

48

878

1,416

62.0

10,206

7.2

60

34

87.9

32-16

4-3

Matt Ryan

08-10

46

885

1,456

60.8

10,061

6.9

66

34

86.9

33-13

0-2

Jay Cutler

06-08

37

762

1,220

62.5

9,024

7.4

54

38

86.7

17-20

0-0

Michael Vick

01-03

21

331

634

52.2

4,306

6.8

22

14

76.3

11-8-1

1-1

Drew Brees

01-03

27

540

909

59.4

5,613

6.2

29

31

73.7

10-17

0-0

Aaron Rodgers

05-07

0

35

59

59.3

329

5.6

1

1

73.3

0-0

0-0

Eli Manning

04-06

39

690

1,276

54.1

8,049

6.3

54

44

73.1

20-19

0-2

Matt Cassel

05-07

0

22

39

56.4

253

6.5

2

2

71.8

0-0

0-0

Matt Schaub

04-06

2

84

161

52.2

1,033

6.4

6

6

69.2

0-2

0-0

Vince Young

06-08

29

444

775

57.3

4,964

6.4

22

32

68.7

18-11

0-1

Kyle Orton

05-07

18

233

448

52.0

2,347

5.2

12

15

62.2

12-6

0-0

Tony Romo

03-05

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

0-0

0-0

Ben Roethlisberger was the only QB of the ones listed above to win a Superbowl in his first 3 years.

The main thing that sticks out is that most of these guys had done very little by the point in their careers that Matt Ryan is now.  10 players had QB ratings lower than 80 at the end of their 3rd year. 9 of the 14 players started less than two thirds of their team’s games in this period. So basically most guys weren’t good enough to play, and most of the ones that got playing time were below average in it.

 Ryan has also been asked to do more than any other QB entering the league in the last 10 years. He ranks 2nd in starts, but first in completions and attempts. He is a whole 6 touchdown ahead of his next competitor (Flacco) in TD passes, but with the same number of interceptions.  Additionally Ryan just ranks 2nd in yards, despite having played 2 less games. Ryan is also the only player on the list to have attempted 50 passes in a single game in their first 3 years.

 In spite of having more on his plate, no QB won more games than Ryan in their first 3 years. His winning percentage ranks 2nd, behind only Philip Rivers who only played 1 season. Ryan again finishes behind only Rivers in TD/Int ratio. They are tied for first in TDs per game. 

His completion percentage and Yards per attempt rank 5th out of 15. Ryan’s YPA is a topic of much discussion, but relatively low numbers in this category are posted by everyone but Roethlisberger. Young quarterbacks just struggle to complete passes down the field, and it’s not really a function of arm strength as Matt ranks ahead of huge arm guys like Vick, Rodgers and Young.

Obviously the main criticism is his playoff record, but of the best QBs drafted in the last 10 years only 3 had won a playoff game by this point in their career.

Finally, considering all the consternation about Ryan’s arm strength and the irrelevant proselytizing that he can’t throw the ball 60 yards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrhwC2Xy6tI

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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