It’s finally happened. After 9 years of waiting and hoping that he’ll emerge as the “next” great quarterback in the NFL, Matt Ryan has finally come into his own. Following last night’s near flawless performance against the [division rival] Tampa Bay Buccaneers (344 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT & 144.7 QBR), Ryan has inserted himself as the top choice for league MVP.
Skeptical as many may be due to Ryan’s knack for starting out strong and crumbling down the stretch, this year feels very different. He’s already registered a 500 yard passing performance along with throwing at least 3 touchdowns in 5 out of the 9 games he’s started this season.
The Falcons record doesn’t exactly blow anyone away at 6-3; however, 2 of those 3 losses came at the hands of Atlanta’s defense who have become allergic to holding 4th quarter leads.
There are two other players of note that deserve to be at the top of the MVP discussion along with Ryan; the first being the golden boy himself, Tom Brady and the other is Oakland’s Derek Carr. Brady has arguably put forth the best four game stretch ever by a quarterback; 73.1 completion percentage, 12 TD, 0 INT & a 133.9 QBR. Carr has been very impressive himself; completing 66.3 percent of his passes and throwing 17 TD’s to only 3 INT’s. I’m not trying to take anything away from their exceptional performances so far this season; I just believe Ryan’s body of work has been more impressive.
Now, Ryan doesn’t need to win MVP to make this a successful season; however, he does need to continue to perform at this high level as the season progresses. If his play begins to decline as the season winds down, as it did last year; his reputation is going to take a major hit and one that I don’t believe he’ll be able to recover from. He’ll be put in that “good” but “not great” category which is way beneath his skill/talent level.
Ryan has always been in the conversation as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league, but this could finally be the year that he reaches that elite level. He has talent, hell he’s always had the talent; know it’s just a matter of finishing what he’s started.
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