Matt Ryan’s numbers don’t exactly jump off the page at you thus far in 2017. With Monday Night Football still to go, he’s 7th in yardage, 2nd in yards per attempt, and tied for 14th with two touchdown passes. He’s been capable, efficient, and generally terrific, but he hasn’t been making his fantasy owners jump up and down or anything.
Nuts to that, of course, because the Falcons are 2-0 and Ryan’s care with the football is a big part of the reason why. It’s worth noting today that Ryan has not one, not two, but three impressive streaks going simultaneously. Here they are, in no particular order.
59 straight games with at least 200 yards passing
This is counting playoffs, but Ryan has been so remarkably steady that he’s never even dipped down to 199 yards on his worst days. Having great weapons helps, but #2 has been so reliable that the longest streak in NFL history just seems fitting.
21 straight games with a touchdown pass
Matt Ryan has thrown a TD pass in 21 straight games, longest active streak in NFL— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 18, 2017
Again, even though Ryan hasn’t put up prolific touchdown numbers over the first two games of the season, he’s displayed a nose for the end zone that has been undiminished since late in the 2015 season. Having a longer streak than the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees, which you should probably brag about.
8 games without an interception
matt ryan hasn't thrown an INT since the KC game last season. he's thrown 23 touchdowns in the 7.5 games since then. (playoffs included)— charles mcdonald (@FourVerts) September 18, 2017
You’ll recall that it wasn’t all that long ago that Ryan was getting beat up for throwing way too many picks, but now he’s gone since the Chiefs game in early December without tossing one. Ryan has unquestionably gotten lucky a handful of times—like most quarterbacks—but he’s done an excellent job of avoiding the costly interceptions that defined his worst seasons, and it’s no coincidence that the Falcons are 8-1 in those games, including the playoffs.
There’s little question that Matt Ryan will finish the year as a top ten quarterback in nearly every statistical measure you can dream up. If he can keep these streaks going and add some of those gaudy stats the MVP voters love, he might make a run at the award for a second straight season.