Over the years people have laughed at the thought of saying Matt Ryan will be a top 5 qb in this league for many years. The 0-3 playoff record sometimes does not help the argument. But what really drives me crazy is how people try to argue that hes not even close to being a Peyton Manning or a Tom Brady etc... when in fact simple fact finding and stat checking will tell you all you need to know. Am I saying he is on the level that those guys are at right now? No I am not. But there is a maturation process for every great player in the nfl, and a lot of elite qbs have had similar ones. Most of the people that laugh at the first statement are normally fans of other teams and or people who still wish Micheal Vick was still wiht the Falcons. Its an emotional conclusion for them rather than factual.
The 0-3 playoff record is not good and it is for some a way to judge a player, especially a qb. But it really does not tell you the whole story and while people talk about it now, once Matt Ryan wins 1 playoff game it will not matter what his record was before. The reason for writing this post is that after looking at several different qbs in the nfl, I believe Matt Ryan is on pace, if not ahead of the pace than some of the elite qbs in the league now.
In this post I will break down 2 elite qbs. Now saying these qbs are elite is opinionated, but at the end of the day I think most football fans would agree wiht the qbs that have been selected. Both of these qbs are still playing in the NFL and have won Superbowl's.
Peyton Manning- Here is a QB that no one can argue is a future Hall of Fame qb. Hes appeared in 2 Superbowl's and has won 1 of them. A funny thing is that his first few playoff experiences were not to different than Matt Ryans. Peyton came into the league in 1998. His first playoff game was in 1999 season and it was a lost to Tennessee. The second time he went to the playoffs was in 2000. The Colts also lost the first game to Miami. The third time he was in the playoffs was in 2002 and the Colts also lost the first game to the Jets 41-0. It wasn't until the 2004 season that Peyton won his first playoff game against the Chiefs. It took Peyton Manning 6 seasons and 3 straight playoff losses until he finally won a playoff game. Now lets look at his stats for the first 5 seasons he played. I took some extra time to write more about Peyton than I will the other qbs because I feel Matt is more similar to him than all the others.
Comp % TD's Int's Passer Rating
1998- 56% 26 28 71.2
1999- 62% 26 15 90.7
2000- 62% 33 15 94.7
2001- 62% 26 22 84.7
2002- 63% 27 19 88.8
Tom Brady- Not going to get into to much detail with Toms history because of how he came to be and his playoff stats are a bit( "bit" is a little stretch) different than Ryans or Mannings. I will still put the stats up for his first 5 seasons as a starter.
Comp % TD's Int's Passer Rating
2001- 64% 18 12 86.5
2002- 62% 28 14 85.7
2003- 60% 23 12 85.9
2004- 61% 28 14 92.6
2005- 63% 26 14 92.3
Matt Ryan- He came into the NFL in 2008. He was dealt a tough card in coming to Atlanta after all the drama that had taken place. The Falcons had a new GM, a new Head Coach, and a Rookie qb in Matt. I remember the pundits saying a 4-12 season will likely follow. Instead the Falcons went 11-5. Now here is a look at Matts first 5 seasons.
Comp% TD's Ints's Passer Rating
2008- 61% 16 11 87.7
2009- 58% 22 14 80.9
2010- 62% 28 9 91.0
2011- 61% 29 12 92.2
2012- (so far) 70% 5 0 117.6
I know the 2012 season is still young but when you watch the qb play of the Falcons you cannot help but to think, yeah this dude has it. A big reason for this article is at the beginning of this season I would read alot of comments on Falcons articles by fans. Some of them said this qb is junk and he is not the one that will Win us playoff games or superbowls. I would look at some of these comments and would think to myself am I missing something or are people sometimes impatient and too emotional/overreact. The truth is before Matt Ryan the Falcons never had back to back winning seasons. The Falcons never had a franchise qb of this caliber. Before we try to write people off so quick, lets go back to the days all of us fans really remember. The days when our football team was a joke and we knew it. The days when back to back winning seasons were not even possible. Just some food for thought and my own opinions. Let me know what you guys think.