Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is every defensive back’s worst nightmare. He’s strong, he’s accurate, and if you need new parent tips, he’s the human equivalent of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” He’s just not the guy you want running plays on the other side of the ball. He’s been consistently “good” for a decade, and over the last several years, he’s undoubtedly solidified his status as an NFL “great.” As Ryan enters his 11th year in the league, there’s not much that fazes him anymore. He’s a seasoned, dependable quarterback that knows how to win football games.
Pro Football Focus just released their latest QB rankings. I believe this is their last preseason QB ranking. And good news! They ranked Ryan 3rd among NFL QBs. He’s just one step behind Aaron Rodgers (2nd) and two steps behind Tom Brady (1st). He’s ahead of Drew Brees (4th) and Russell Wilson (5th).
Last season was not as bad as the stats would indicate while 2016 may not have been as good as the MVP stats showed, but Ryan is a consistent, top-tier quarterback. He ranked third last year with an 88.3 grade and second in 2016 with a 92.2 grade, and the story of last year was his ranking first at avoiding turnover-worthy plays while finishing 14th in interception percentage (poor interception luck).
Wondering where the other NFC South QBs landed? Cam Newton is [spoiler alert!] below average (17th) and Jameis Winston is a couple spots behind him (19th). Math was never my strong suit, but it looks like we have the NFC South’s best quarterback under center. Ultimately these rankings won’t mean much if the Falcons can’t get it done on the field this season, but it’s always good to see Matty getting the respect he’s earned.