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Ryan Still in the MVP Hunt

Fact: According to the AirTran flight attendant I met Saturday, Matt Ryan is a very courteous young man.

Al Messerschmidt

ESPN's Pat Yasinskas highlights some "statistical superlatives" from the Tampa Bay game in this article. They aren't all about Matt Ryan, but most of them are - and what does that suggest? Simply stated, Ryan is a rock star, and he's undoubtedly still in the MVP hunt.

Despite his interception-happy week 11, Ryan was still the NFL's 5th most efficient quarterback going into the Tampa Bay game (13 percent more efficient than league-average). He's currently 4 yards shy of leading the league in passing yards, ahead of all but Matthew Stafford.

Meanwhile, Atlanta is 3rd in completions per game (26.7), 2nd in completion percentage (68.53 percent), 5th in passing yards per attempt (5.1), and 4th in passing first downs per game (15.8). Not too shabby, all things considered.

Forgive me if I'm oversimplifying here, but the MVP award ideally goes to the player who is most valuable to his team. Without Ryan, we're a very different team. We certainly haven't run the ball efficiently this year. That hasn't made Ryan's job any easier. If anything, it's made his job far more difficult.

Now don't get me wrong. I'll take a Lombardi over any individual award. Ryan can throw 5 picks every game if we're guaranteed a win. But it'd be nice to see him get some recognition. Still, even if he won the award, the haters would still hate, because the Falcons suck and stuff.