Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan doesn’t have much left to prove. I mean, honestly, he could literally gain 75 pounds and become a degenerate, nose-picking alcoholic who sends out angry, non-sensical tweets several times a day, and it probably wouldn’t tarnish his legacy ... much. The four-time pro bowler, former offensive rookie of the year, former MVP, and NFC Champion’s body of work simply speaks for itself. Sure, a Lombardi Trophy would certainly help as he looks to firm up his Canton resume down the road. But with nearly 47,000 passing yards and 295 passing touchdowns under his belt, there’s no doubting Ryan’s pedigree as an elite NFL quarterback.
Pro Football Focus recently put out their list of the NFL’s top 50 players. Regrettably they didn’t include Ryan, instead slotting him at number 55, just outside the top 50. Here’s what they had to say about The Iced One:
“Ryan’s season was a dip down from what we’ve seen over the last couple years ... [m]ost of Ryan’s poor games came on the road this season, as the ball didn’t quite have the same pop and accuracy as he saw in his friendly confines of the dome, leading to some questions about his arm that weren’t apparent in previous seasons. After having some bad interception lock a season ago, the pendulum swung back in his favor this year, where he was not penalized as often on poor throws and decisions”
Oh my. Before you freak out, let’s take a second look and think carefully about what they’re saying. Because on the surface, Ryan’s 2018 looked a lot like his MVP campaign in 2016. (4924 passing yards/35 touchdowns/7 interceptions versus 4944 passing yards/38 touchdowns/7 receptions.) But on a micro level, PFF claims Ryan took a step back (however slight) in 2018. It may be hard to wrap your mind around their assertion. I know it is for me. Ryan has played lights out football since 2015, and trying to place him within a somewhat arbitrary ranking system is a recipe for disaster.
Your thoughts, Falcoholics?