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Matt Ryan Will Always Be Slightly Underappreciated

Outside of Atlanta, of course.

Kevin C. Cox

I read a lot about football. This probably doesn't surprise you, but I write it so that you understand that I'm not cherry-picking two articles to make my point, which is that Matt Ryan is always going to be underappreciated.

I see this again and again from national analysts, men and women who are evenly split between mouth-breathing troglodytes with a degree in Arguenomics and intelligent, rational people who understand the sport they're covering. Nearly across the board, there's a perception of Matt Ryan as a very good quarterback, but one who falls short of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers and mysteriously guys like Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger, too.

The problem is this: That's not going to change. Barring four Super Bowl victories in the next decade, Ryan's always going to be a cut below the elite QBs in the eyes of many analysts. This is something worth lamenting, because Ryan is a spectacular quarterback who unfortunately plays in an under-appreciated market. It's also not worth fighting too hard for, because legacies are best examined after the fact.

Right now, Ryan has five straight winning seasons, four playoff appearances and a Conference Championship appearance to his name. He's been one of the most consistent QBs in football, putting up better numbers through his first five seasons than most of the quarterbacks on the "elite" list not named Rodgers. It's a shame that it will take (probably more than one) Super Bowl to cement his legacy, because we're already watching one of the game's best in his prime.

I hate that it's so, but here we are.