June 6, 2012; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) warms up on the field during organized team activities at the Falcons training facility. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
Our fearless quarterback here in Atlanta doesn't get a lot of credit from the majority of the football world, largely due to his inability to bring home a playoff victory in his first four seasons in the NFL. Despite consistently improving overall each year, people will not praise him like they should (this was the first thing that came to mind) until he delivers in the postseason.
We know how good Matt Ryan is from watching him grow since 2008, and I would venture to say he's a top 10 QB in this league. However, Ron Jaworski at ESPN doesn't feel the same. Jaws is running through his QB countdown right now, and Matty Ice came in at No. 11 overall. Okay, that's pretty close to the top 10, but not quite.
14: Matthew Stafford - Looked like a stud in 2011.
13: Matt Schaub - Eh. He was injured. Not really worried about him.
11. Matt Ryan - Clearly better than Joe.
10. Tony Romo - See above.
Flacco completed 57.6 percent of his passes (26th worst) last season, and averaged just 6.7 yards per pass attempt (24th lowest). Sure, he's won a lot of games during his pro tenure, and several of them have been in the playoffs. But, his team has obviously carried him at times. Their defense/Ray Rice has been outstanding, and I really only credit Flacco for not screwing anything up.
If you look at Football Outsiders numbers, they keep one major statistic called DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average). Basically, this represents a player's value per play over an average QB in the same scenario. Flacco's percentage was 6.0, lower than Matt Hasselbeck, Carson Palmer and of course, Matt Ryan. Seems like he's just an average dude overall.
No. 2 put up terrific numbers last season, throwing for career highs in touchdowns, yards and finishing with his highest passer rating ever. I expect him to continue this trend going forward in 2012 as well.
Again, rankings and lists don't matter in the long run, but when you see certain players being underappreciated it makes you want to argue their case (at least for me it does). I think Ryan is a great QB, and far more deserving of a top 10 ranking than Average Joe. Where do you guys think he ranks among the leagues best?