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Matt Ryan could be on the cusp of the best season ever by a QB who misses the playoffs

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Remember, 2018 was supposed to be a fun year.

Atlanta Falcons v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

To be a Falcons fan, more than almost any franchise, is to endure the absurd. The Falcons haven’t been the worst team in the NFL over the last half-century and they haven’t been anywhere close to the best, but they find their way into history in ways I genuinely wish they would not.

Case in point: Matt Ryan could very well finish with the best, or at least one of the very best, seasons ever completed by an NFL quarterback who didn’t make the playoffs. That’s the argument from Optimum Scouting’s Justis Mosqueda, who writes that Ryan is having an MVP-caliber season in the midst of a injury-marred clown show that has the Falcons at 4-5 heading into Week 11.

We know just about how good Ryan has been, with exactly one dud (Week 1) and a couple of more mixed performances (Week 5, Week 10) surrounded by brilliance on par with his 2016 MVP campaign. He’s so far out in front of everyone else Mosqueda has on this list:

Within the context of a 12-team playoff, the only quarterbacks within the range of Ryan’s season-long projections to miss the playoffs are 2009 Matt Schaub, 2010 Philip Rvers, 2009 Ben Roethlisberger and 2006 Carson Palmer. ‘09 Schaub, the most valuable quarterback since 1990 to not make the playoffs, was less than 80% as valuable (+974 yards) as Ryan’s season-long extrapolation.

This is just one way to determine value, of course, but as Mosqueda notes it’s one of the better indicators of how good a passer has been. The Falcons are still clinging to playoff hopes because the NFC is so jumbled at the moment, so there’s some hope that they can get out of this on Ryan’s arm, a generally talented offense, and the return of Deion Jones. Some.

Read the whole piece and hope that this doesn’t become yet another depressing Falcons footnote.