Nobody would deny the “elite” QBs in the NFL are Brady, Rivers, Brees, Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning. Aaron Rodgers joined that group with a tremendous postseason and Super Bowl MVP. A name you were force-fed last year who some deemed ready to make the leap: Matt Ryan (aka Matty Ice). He doesn’t lose at home! He bounced back from a mediocre sophomore season! Reality check: He’s overrated, say the stats.
Keep in mind that his “mediocre” passing numbers also came while playing 10 of his 16 games in domes and going up against a weak schedule. If anything, with some weather and schedule adjustments, Ryan might come out looking quite a bit farther outside of the top ten. He was a winner in 2010; for him to be a winner in 2011, he’s likely going to have to play a whole lot better.
I’ll give you some time to digest the large amount of statistical data and add one non-stats note that counters the “winning” part of this argument: Ryan has led the Falcons to the playoffs in two of his first three years, but he’s 0-2 in two playoff games (loss on the road to the Cardinals; loss at home to the Packers). And yes, Atlanta’s opponents scored 78 points in those two games. Ryan also threw four picks and has a sub 6.0 YPA.
Obviously nobody is saying the Falcons should get rid of Ryan, or that he’s garbage, because he’s still in the top half of QBs in this league. And remember the tale of Paddy Ice!
It might be a wise move to get Ryan another receiver in the draft, assuming a cornerback can’t be had.
Winning vs. Stats: Matt Ryan [Pro Football Reference]