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ESPN's New QB Rating System: Matt Ryan Gets Some Love

Have you ever dreamed of a world in which Matty Ice would get the credit he deserves for being such a fantastically clutch QB? Well it just so happens that ESPN, in honor of their "Year of the Quarterback" theme (as if the media doesn't talk about QBs enough), has actually devised a pretty impressive statistic called Total Quarterback Rating.

It's fairly complex, but in essence Total QBR takes more into account than simply the traditional passing stats. It factors in how much the QB contributed to the win/loss, including non-passing plays, and takes into account the "clutchness" of a quarterback on a scale of 1-100 (EX: A TD in the fourth quarter of a tie game counts much more than a 90-yard one in a blowout).

What surprised me was how high Matty Ice was on this list; his Total QBR of 68.6 ranked third in the entire league for the 2010 season, right behind Manning and Brady. No, that's not a typo. Ryan's was rated higher than the likes of Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and well ahead of Joe Flacco (and yes, Jimmy Clausen was the worst).

You would think that a speedy quarterback like Vick would be somehow favored in the new system, but the top three QBs are strictly pocket passers. Another surprise was how high some turnover prone guys like Eli Manning were on the list.

Obviously, it's far from a perfect performance analysis. A QB on a bad team, take Kyle Orton for instance, would be put in far fewer clutch situations than someone like Brady because the defense was incapable of keeping the game close. Opposing defenses are also not taken into account.

However, it's still a neat system in that it gives credit to the QB anytime he contributes to the win, even something as simple as throwing the ball away instead of forcing a throw. It's pretty obvious Matty's a winner, and maybe this will actually give Ryan the exposure he likely deserves. Ravens fans are likely furious.

For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.