Atlanta Falcon fans are in uproar over comments made by the NFL Today’s Tony Gonzalez. Tony a former TE with the Falcons and Chiefs said that Matt Ryan wasn’t elite and that he could be but he still had some learning to do. Atlanta seems to be divided on the issue it seems half the fans think that Matt Ryan is already elite. The other half seem to think that Tony Gonzalez is correct that Matt Ryan is on the cusp of being elite but isn’t there yet.
I will admit I don’t follow the Falcons that closely but a cursory glance at Matt Ryan’s stats bring to mind Matthew Stafford. There is only a year difference in experience between Ryan and Stafford, Ryan came into the league in 2008 and has thrown 153 TDs and 77 INTs. Stafford came into the league in 2009 and has thrown 109 TDs and 73 INTs. What this tells me is that Ryan has slightly better judgment in the pocket then Matthew Stafford but not by much since they have fairly similar stats. The complaint that Ryan doesn’t have weapons is silly, Julio Jones and Roddy White are great receivers and many teams would kill to get a hold of them. Granted the running game has been anemic for the last couple of years, but outside of this past year the same could be said in Detroit, to continue the comparison.
Ryan has been averaging 25.5 TDs and 12.8 INTs whereas Stafford is averaging 21.8 TDs and 14.6 INTs, so like I said Ryan has developed better than Stafford but not by much. With that said I think we can now all agree that Matt Ryan is not the same caliber QB that Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are, and I think we call agree that they are indeed elite QBs.
On the other side of the argument that Matt Ryan is indeed an elite QB, any serious NFL fan who wasn’t waving his fan colours would agree that argument really doesn’t hold any water.
So to all the Falcon fans who are waving their Red and Black towels and thumping their chests over how good Matt Ryan is, I say to you stop drinking the Kool-Aid it isn’t pretty. Tony Gonzalez was not bashing Matt Ryan, he was being accurate in his assessment of Matt Ryan which you would agree with too if you stopped drinking the Kool-Aid.