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Matt Ryan looks to build on longest active 4,000-yard streak in 2019 (update: he did)

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Matt Ryan is a prolific passer.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan is a prolific passer. He racks up yards in bunches, so much so that he has more yards than any player in the NFL history through his first 11 years in the league.

Ryan’s numbers go under the radar because he’s not respected by large chunks of the media (or his peers) as much as he should be. But here’s the thing about numbers — they aren’t subjective in nature, they don’t care about player popularity.

Here’s a strong number showcasing value — the Boston College man once went 64 straight games with at least 200 passing yards, shattering the NFL record once held by Dan Fouts.

Quietly, Ryan has racked up an impressive streak of 4,000-yard seasons that many people outside of Atlanta don’t know too much about:

Ryan attained his first ever 4,000-yard season in 2011 — his fourth year in the league — and has reached that mark every single year since. 2017 is the only year where that streak was in legitimate danger of snapping, but number 2 pushed himself just over the threshold in a Week 17 victory where he racked up 317 yards, and finished the regular season with 4,095 total passing yards.

Ryan took over the top spot in longest active 4,000-yard seasons this past year, when he racked up 4,924 total passing yards. He reached the 4,000-yard mark in Week 14.

Drew Brees saw his record 12 consecutive 4,000-yard seasons snap in 2018. He had attained the mark in every single one his seasons in New Orleans — since 2006. Brees finished the year with 3,992 passing yards, while intentionally being held out of a meaningless Week 17 game to rest.

Matthew Stafford, who was tied with Ryan for second on the list behind Brees, also saw his streak of 4,000-yard seasons snap in 2018, when he only threw for 3,777 total passing yards.

If not for a suspension-shortened 2016 season where he threw for 3,554 total passing yards, Tom Brady would currently be tied with Ryan for consecutive 4,000-yard seasons. However, that’s the tough luck nature of this kind of statistic — it doesn’t matter if you were injured, suspended, or held out due to rest; all that matters is whether or not you hit the mark.

With his biggest challengers falling by the wayside, Ryan now owns the second-longest streak of 4,000-yard seasons in NFL history (behind Brees), and is in position to break the record with five more years of prolific passing and good health.


With a 4,466 passing yard season, Ryan has extended his streak to nine straight seasons. Phillip Rivers extended his streak to seven consecutive seasons while Kirk Cousins failed to reach 4,000 passing yards.

Ryan is three more consecutive years of 4,000 passing yards away from matching Drew Brees’ record of 12. Ryan doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon, either.