Even though the 2013 regular season is now in the rear view mirror, it's worth looking back - no matter how painful - to determine what went right and what went wrong during the season. At the top of any conversation will be the play of your quarterback, especially when that particular player was the recipient of a large contract before the season began.
So while most fans would argue that Matt was a top 5 QB in the 2012 season, it's doubtful that many would make that same argument about 2013. However, the fine folks at Football Outsiders would like to disagree with you (thanks to rollingstoned for the fan post that pointed out this article). According to their advanced statistics, Matt Ryan was a top 5 QB in the 2013 regular season. In fact, they have him rated as the fourth best QB for the season!
Here's what they had to say about our favorite signal caller:
Matt Ryan's raw numbers were ugly, but he also played a brutal schedule that included 13 games against teams that finished in the top half of the league in pass defense DVOA, and seven games against teams that finished in the top six. He got a boost of 300 DYAR after schedule adjustments; no other quarterback went up by even 200 DYAR. Ryan faced that slate with his top receiver out of the lineup for two-thirds of the season, and still made the top six in DYAR for the fourth straight season. He could be the most underrated quarterback in the league.
I'll be honest - that last line made me smile from ear to ear. In a year where it seemed that everything broke the wrong way for the Falcons, it's good to know that when all things are considered, your QB was the least of your issues. It really speaks volumes about Ryan and how good he was even while his offense seemed to meltdown and fall apart around him. It also provides some hope that with a healthy receiving corps, and an improved offensive line, Ryan could be in for another big year in 2014.
So what do you think? Do you agree with the assessment of Football Outsiders in their consideration of Ryan as a top 5 QB in 2013?