You can turn on any national sports talk show in the United States, and they will most likely treat Matt Ryan like a doormat. The Falcons aren’t on national TV a bunch, so few get to see what he does week-in and week-out, and the only argument these talking heads will use is Super Bowls.
Matt Ryan is elite, and he has been for quite some time — both in the regular season and in the playoffs — which is why Pro Football Focus has him as the fourth-best quarterback of the decade behind three future first-ballot Hall-of-Famers.
Tom Brady is the highest-graded QB of the decade (regular and postseason) pic.twitter.com/79M3RrbyLA
— PFF (@PFF) July 23, 2020
Over these last ten seasons, Ryan’s done nothing but improve. He’s thrown for nearly 45,000 yards and has 283 touchdowns compared to just 122 interceptions — good for a passer rating of 96.1 — in the regular season, but those numbers are even better in the playoffs.
2010 and 2011 (when Ryan was still a youngster) were a little rough around the edges, as far as postseason performances go. He played in two games and had less than 400 yards passing with just one touchdown and two interceptions. However, as Ryan has grown, the pressure of the postseason has stopped fazing him. In his last three playoff appearances (2012, 2016, and 2017), he has 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions in seven games, four of which were wins. Even with those two lackadaisical performances to begin the decade, Ryan still has a postseason passer rating well over 100, better than Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
Sure, the playoff appearances and Super Bowl rings aren’t there for Ryan like they are for Brady, Rodgers, and Brees, but neither are the defenses and the offensive lines — two things every GM will say are crucial to team success. Ryan’s received the short-end of the stick for most of his NFL career, and because of that, he’s become the punch line for talking heads everywhere. But the truth is — he’s one Super Bowl run away from being mentioned alongside the All-Time greats at the position. And even if Ryan never takes home the Lombardi Trophy, he should still be a lock to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.