Ask almost any Falcons fan about one of their biggest concerns heading into this season, and you’ll inevitably hear the name “Matt Ryan.” The ninth year pro has his fair share of detractors and the 2015 season did him no favors. However, it helps to take a step back and remember just how good Ryan has been since he entered the league in 2008. The folks at Pro Football Focus have stepped up to give us some perspective on that, listing Ryan as the 8th best QB over the past decade.
PFF does note that Ryan’s best years were between 2011 and 2014 and that 2015 was a down year for him, but they also point out that he’s still improving as a QB, even after nearly 10 years in the league.
Over the past two years, he has risen to first and fourth in deep-passing accuracy (targets 20-plus yards downfield), along with ranking among the top-five QBs in two of the past three years in adjusted completion percentage when under pressure.
For those who would dismiss this ranking, Ryan is also seen as a top 10 QB by other advanced metrics like ESPN QBR and Football Outsiders rankings (2015 season not withstanding).
When you consider some of the names ahead of Ryan on this list - Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees - you realize he’s keeping some fine company here.
Ultimately, these rankings will carry little weight with fans if he can’t turn the offense around in 2016, with some fans already clamoring for the team to “move on” from the franchise QB. At the very least, these rankings should give some hope that Ryan is fully capable of righting the ship this year.
What are your thoughts on Ryan’s ranking on this list?