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That guy wearing No. 2 for the Falcons is pretty darn good.
Matt Ryan's fifth year in the NFL is exceeding everyone's expectations through five weeks, and when I say everyone, I mean all unforgiving, critical analysts around the league. Even at 5-0, the Falcons still haven't won over a fair amount of "experts" out there.
Be that as it may, there's one thing critics can't deny: Ryan's uncanny ability to construct game-winning drives. He's brought Atlanta back from the clutches of defeat twice this year, conducting back-to-back deciding drives in the past two weeks.
With the wins over Carolina and Washington, Ryan now sits on a total of 18 game-winning drives for his career. As Daniel Cox notes, that mark is the most out of any quarterback since 2008, and the most by a passer in his first five seasons since 1966. That's an impressive mark for a guy who was left off the NFL Top 100 list this year.
I don't believe anyone is doubting his qualifications for compiling regular season victories at this point. It's all about those postseason wins, something Ryan and his team haven't been able to attain in recent years. Does that make him a subpar QB? Absolutely not. Does it mean he probably won't get the respect he deserves until he wins one? Absolutely.
Say whatever you want about No. 2, just don't claim he is incapable of clutch moments. He can present you with 18 cases to dispute that argument. It doesn't seem likely the Falcons will have to rely on another miraculous comeback against the Raiders this weekend, because that team looks terrible. But, it's good to know that the QB with the most game-winning drives since he entered the league plays under center in Atlanta.