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Football Outsiders: Matt Ryan is the best choice for MVP

The advanced statistics site tells us what we all want to hear: the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is easily the most deserving player for the most valuable player award.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
Matt Ryan for MVP?
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

If you told someone last season that 2016 Matt Ryan would be in the discussion for NFL’s most valuable player award, no one would believe you. Ryan had debatably the worst season of his career. It was so bad, it was almost like one of Joe Flacco’s best seasons. Yeah, it was rough.

With a few changes to the roster, Ryan is suddenly having the best season of his career. He’s been breaking team records and NFL records, and even has a possible (but unlikely) chance to pass for 5,000 yards this year with a strong game on Sunday.

I’m still not sure how it happened, but Ryan is head and shoulders above any other candidate for MVP. Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders wrote exactly that.

Buckle up. Kacsmar pulled up what looks like every single stat out there.

I usually just include my favorite quote, but this writeup is so deep with awesome stats here’s some more.

He continues other impressive stats, such as Ryan’s record-breaking ball distribution, his success despite pressure, and his best in the league deep passing. His yards per attempt? A full yard higher than suspended cheater Tom Brady.

What did Kacsmar have to say about Brady’s candidacy?

Brady is the only clear competition for Ryan, but Ryan has clearly had the better statistical season while not getting suspended for four games. The Patriots have a balanced enough team they went 3-1 during that suspension. I’m not sure the Falcons could win three games all year with Matt Schaub at quarterback.

Regardless, Ryan has shown he can succeed at and above a most valuable player level. His numbers are almost unbelievable and he’s not relying on elite players like Julio Jones. He’s elevating a stable of late round picks, undrafted free agents, and guys pulled off the street and turning them into playmakers. He’s clearly the most deserving player of the MVP award.