Matt Ryan Is A Legitimate Candidate For NFL MVP

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 28: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons reacts after watching a replay during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Georgia Dome on November 28 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Matt Ryan MVP chants have been scarce in the Georgia Dome. It's time to change that.

Over the past couple of weeks a few select teams have emerged to lead the National Football League. One of those teams, the Atlanta Falcons, has won their last 5 straight to lead the NFC South and the entire conference. The team has come a long way since the uncertain days of 2007 and there are many to whom we may credit but the main reason is Matthew Ryan, a legitimate candidate for the NFL's Most Valuable Player award.

Around the social beat most fans are unsuspecting to Ryan's eligibility as he's come so far in so little time. After a stellar rookie season the quarterback out of Boston College was asked to take his next steps into developing into an elite professional at his respective position. That second year wasn't all what people were hoping and some would say we collectively set the bar a little high. It was no time for excuses and 2010 was just around the corner.

A character building win in New Orleans signalled his true arrival as most road wins do. But it's been the consistency by which Ryan has grown into a true MVP.

Comparing with other candidates we can see just how legitimate his chances are for winning the award.

 

Completion Percentage

Touchdowns

Interceptions

TD:INT Ratio

QB Rating

Team Wins

Matt Ryan

64.7

19

5

                 3.8

94.4

9

Tom Brady

66.2

23

9

                 2.5

104.9

9

Philip Rivers

66.3

23

4

              5.75

105.8

6

Aaron Rodgers

65

20

9

                 2.2

97.4

7

Peyton Manning

65.2

22

11

2

90.8

6

I think it's safe to say we need to take Ryan's status a little more seriously because he's right there with all of the greats. Sure there have been significant contributions from players like Roddy White that have helped the third year pro but of those players mentioned above, who hasn't received help? Brady has his tight ends, Rivers has Antonio Gates, Rodgers has Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, and Manning has Reggie Wayne

I find it staggering that folks in the ATL aren't taking him a lot more seriously. Sure it may have come a bit quicker than anticipated but I think we all need to acknowledge his abilities and embrace him as a possible MVP. People like Rod Woodson continue to argue against his case, citing a poor road record (his career road record). But their insight is significantly poor as Ryan has amassed a 3-2 record on the road this year throwing for 1170 yards, 7 touchdowns, and only 2 Interceptions (at a 60.6% completion rate). The two losses were against playoff-caliber teams, one being an overtime loss and as the stats would suggest before he's been anything but average. So Rod, check your statistics. 

There is still a fair portion of the season to go. The Falcons have two tough games remaining against the Buccaneers and Saints, one being on national television. Perhaps a national audience will draw in people. 

What I am sure of is that he is in the running for this prestigious individual award. Not many take it as seriously as the NBA Most Valuable Player because most understand this is a team game. I think though it'd be a nice thing if Ryan were to win it. I'm not saying he's elite (he has to win some playoff games) but he does deserve a shot at the regular season award. 

So when you head out to the dome on December the 27th on Monday Night Football, don't forget to bring your MVP chants with you. 

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