The Falcons are entering a new era without former MVP quarterback Matt Ryan after trading the 14-year veteran to the Colts this offseason. Atlanta has completely torn down the roster of almost all the bloated contracts inherited from the former regime — Deion Jones being the lone remainder.
It’ll be the best chance Ryan has at a championship since the 2016 season with the Falcons. The Colts are loaded on defense and have quite the offensive firepower to support the aging signal caller. Coming off one of the worst statistical seasons of his career, Ryan is looking for a bounce-back year with a much more talented roster than he had in Atlanta.
Moreover, Bill Barnwell of ESPN thinks Ryan is a legit candidate for MVP with the Colts.
“Since winning MVP during the 2016 season, Ryan’s Total QBR has either declined or stayed stagnant in each of the subsequent five seasons,” writes Barnwell. “The “stagnant” season saw him improve narrowly from 59.6 to 59.8 between 2019 and 2020. Ryan was all the way down at 46.1 a year ago, good enough for 21st in the league. He ranked 21st in DVOA and 18th in yards per attempt, passer rating, net yards per attempt and adjusted net yards per attempt. He wasn’t the problem with the Falcons, but Ryan wasn’t able to keep them afloat, either.”
“Now, of course, things are different,” continues Barnwell. “Ryan was traded to Indianapolis, where the Colts can protect him on the interior and rely on heavy doses of running back Jonathan Taylor. Ryan moves from what had been one of the toughest divisions (NFC South) to arguably its weakest (AFC South), and he still gets the benefit of playing in a dome.”
I wouldn’t expect Matt Ryan to put up MVP numbers in an offense built around Jonathan Taylor, but it’s much more likely that he’s in the conversation with the Colts offense compared to the Falcons. The offensive line alone should benefit Ryan enough for him to put up Pro Bowl-esque numbers. Falcons fans should be happy to see the greatest quarterback in franchise history have success in his twilight years.