Why the Atlanta Falcons should look for their next quarterback
By Curtis Hobbs
As an Atlanta Falcons fan, it is safe to say that until recently, one of the greatest positions on this roster has been the gun-slinger from Boston College, Matt Ryan.
But last year, there was a rude awakening for Falcons Nation as the signal caller struggled to complete passes that are completed with ease around the league, leaving us all to wonder if he is the best option for Atlanta? When you take a look inside the numbers, the career comparisons are some to make you wonder.
It’s hard to imagine that Ryan would ever be on the same level as a Tom Brady or Peyton Manning who have all but legitimized their places in the NFL Hall of Fame with their continued successes, but surprisingly, Matt Ryan’s numbers are eerily similar to another quarterback who may cause some of the Atlanta faithful to worry, and that player is Alex Smith.
Yes. That’s right. Alex Smith.
The same guy who was once considered a laughing stock in the league for the San Francisco 49ers, but who has begun to resurrect his career in Kansas City, but struggled to be the man who could navigate a team down the field in the playoffs.
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And though there are some differences in the yards per game category, Matt Ryan has thrown the ball nearly a thousand more times in his career than Smith. And, to this point, the ability to win a game is at a very small difference with Matt Ryan having a 57 percent winning percentage and Smith possessing a 56 percent.
Statisticians could argue these numbers all day and say that Ryan has better deep pass efficiency or Smith has more yards rushing per game. But when you look at these two players in a vacuum, they resemble each other greatly in the fact that they both struggle to take care of the ball as they share, yet again, an eerily close statistic in their interception percentages: Ryan 2.4 percent and Smith 2.3 percent.
It has been this category alone that defined these players last years as they turned the ball over at costly times that led to heart-shattering defeats. If only these two had done a little more in protecting the ball, there could have been different fates for both.
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Again, as a Falcons fan, the term “Matty Ice” has been engrained into our brains that we believe that Ryan is the best option at quarterback for this team moving forward. And though that may have been the case for this year and next, it is clear that it is time for a new captain under center. If you wouldn’t be satisfied with Alex Smith moving forward, nor should you be with Matt Ryan.