Atlanta Falcons franchise quarterback Matt Ryan is arguably the greatest player this franchise has ever had. He continues to be underappreciated and disrespected by some fans.
It is time to accept and deal with the fact that Matt Ryan’s contract expires in 2023, which means he is here to stay for another few seasons. This is unless of course, they trade him and his massive contract, which will be difficult to do.
Since being drafted third overall in the 2008 draft, Matt Ryan has been nothing short of a Hall of Fame quarterback. He has displayed many qualities required to have what it takes to be successful. He is a leader, is durable, is intelligent, is accurate and most of all is a winner.
The 2016 NFL MVP has the most passing yards in NFL history for the first 10 years of his career. He has missed only three career starts. He is currently tied with 27 fourth-quarter comebacks and his decade long streak of 154 consecutive games started was snapped this season due to injury.
Matty Ice has a career playoff record of 4-6, including a Super Bowl loss. Every playoff loss but one has come at the ends of the eventual Super Bowl champion and in a couple of those he gave the Falcons defense a three-score lead. At this point in his career, only a Super Bowl win is what he doesn’t have. As all Falcons fans know, he came oh so close.
With all the accolades, stats and wins (104 regular season and four playoff games), he still does not get nearly the amount of respect he deserves. Perhaps this is because he does not have the all-elusive Super Bowl victory.
If the Falcons had won the Super Bowl in 2016, would anything have really changed? There aren’t many other starting quarterbacks who replicate what he has in a career. Although he is currently 34 years old, he still has a few more good years left.
His arm strength and mobility are not what they used to be, although these were never his strongest tools anyway. He has never really had much of an offensive line to protect him except for the 2016 season. He has taken a pounding and a beating over the years, yet he continues to play, win games and be very productive.
For his career, Matt Ryan has been sacked and hit more than 800 times on his passing attempts.
It is not so simple to just draft a starting quarterback in the first few rounds and expect them to start from day one and produce immediately. It can take years for some players. There are many different factors that contribute to their success, including intangibles. This is not something that can be taught. Ryan has had the intangibles from day one.
Falcons fans should be grateful and appreciative of what Ryan has accomplished in his career so far. It is inevitable that father time catches up with all professional athletes. At some point, the Falcons will have to draft the heir apparent to him.
Whoever that is and if he has a quarter of the successful career that Ryan has had, remains to be seen. Nobody has a crystal ball as to what the future holds.
The fact of the matter is that Matt Ryan is not going anywhere for another few seasons, hopefully. Nor does he deserve to go anywhere. He has done so much for this franchise in his career. He is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, even if he does not win a Super Bowl in his career.
Sadly, until he does, he may continue to be one of the most under-appreciated and disrespected players in franchise history.