Matt Ryan was supposed to be the answer to Michael Vick, you know, when Michael Vick was still good. Younger fans may not realize this, but Michael Vick was a top 5 quarterback in the league for a short period of time and a huge ticket seller. That is until the dog incident, which tanked the team and got several coaches fired. After losing one of the most exciting players in NFL history and a surefire HOF (at the time) the Atlanta Falcons struck gold again by drafting QB Matt Ryan with the #3 pick overall, in the same draft that had Joe Flacco going 18th to the Ravens. The tale of the tape so far? Matt Ryan 0 Super Bowl appearances against Joe Flacco’s 1 where he also earned his first ring.
It would be unfair to place the blame of the failures of the Atlanta Falcons all on Matt Ryan, but this is rather a different take. There are 3 tiers of QB’s in the NFL, with the highest being Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and currently Cam Newton. These are the guys that can singlehandedly put your stagnant offense into motion and turn the tide of a game. Then there is the second tier of Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Tony Romo and a currently slipping Drew Brees. These guys don’t always play big but still have the ability to turn it on when it is needed. If Eli Manning played the same way in the regular season like he did in his 2 Super Bowl wins he’d probably be the greatest QB of all time. So once again, great QB’s, but not the kind of guys that can do it all on their own on a consistent basis. Then there is the 3rd tier that consists of Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson, and Andrew Luck.
Though many may call it heresy to put any of those QB’s in the third tier, Matt Ryan is never going to be on the same level as Brady or Roethlisberer, and would you honestly take a Ryan over a healthy Drew Brees or Joe Flacco? The Falcons have a QB that is just good enough, but will never be great like they expected him to be. To get a better understanding of why, compare his interception numbers to the tier 1 players and you’ll see a stark difference. Matt Ryan isn’t there yet for the Falcons, and probably never will be.
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