Not all people are out to throw hate at Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Former NFC South quarterback turned NBC Sports co-host, Chris Simms isn’t a Matt Ryan hater at all.
Former NFL quarterback and Pro Football Talk co-host Chris Simms have spent the last several weeks counting down his Top 40 quarterbacks in 2020 and Matt Ryan comes in at number seven. Matt Ryan sits one spot higher than Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys and one spot behind Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.
With the current trend of hyping up young quarterbacks that make flash plays and have eye-popping tangibles, it is easy to look past Matt Ryan as he doesn’t have the sex appeal on the field as a lot of young talent.
Matt Ryan is a field general that has intelligence and a strong ability to dissect defenses with accurate throws. Ryan has also shown that he has the ability to make plays outside of the pocket or run when he has to.
Out of the top eight quarterbacks that Simms listed — Prescott, Ryan, Wentz, Jackson, Watson, Rodgers, Wilson, Mahomes — Matt Ryan (4,4466) had the second-most yards, only trailing Dak Prescott (4,902). Ryan (66.2) also had the second-highest completion percentage of the top eight quarterbacks listed. The only guy of the top eight that had a higher percentage was Deshaun Watson (67.3). Since 2018, Matt Ryan (18) leads the entire league in 300+ yard games.
Ranking Matt Ryan seventh of the top 40 quarterbacks in the NFL is a great accomplishment being that 5 of the top eight quarterbacks listed were drafted between the year’s 2016-2018 while Matt Ryan was drafted in 2008.
Simms also echoes the struggles that have ravished this team since 2018. By not having an actual running game and a defense that would have trouble stopping your local high school varsity team, everything is thrown onto Matt Ryan’s shoulders to win games.
Matt Ryan has shined despite the ineptitude of the franchise
Far too long has the Atlanta Falcons running game has placed Ryan in a bind. Not being able to run the ball makes you a one-dimensional team and when you throw in the defense’s inability to stop opponents, that strains the passing game even more because teams can easily gameplan for it.
Matt Ryan has shown praise towards offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and his ability to adapt to the style of offense that caters to Matt Ryan’s abilities. It seems as if we will see an increase in play-action passes and see a rise in its effectiveness if Todd Gurley can elevate this ground game. Having a critical play-action scheme is how Matt Ryan saw his career elevate in 2016 with a league MVP award and 2020 could see Matt Ryan return to the MVP conversation.
Making a list ranking the top quarterbacks, no matter the season is tough because once you get to a certain point, it’s tough to decide who’s better than who amongst the elite. While it’s easy to say that Mahomes is the unanimous number, one quarterback, from two to eight is a crapshoot and open to objectivity that leads to quarterback lists being clowned on the internet.
Matt Ryan was also featured on Barstool Sports podcast “Pardon my Take” where he labeled himself as the top NFC South quarterback. Yea, he may have said it in a joking manner, but in actuality, he’s not wrong.
A notable point about Chris Simms top 40 quarterbacks is he has dropped both Tom Brady and Drew Brees to 15th and 16th. It’s commonplace that experts brown nose these two players due to their past accolades and placing them in the top five or seven because it’s just so easy to do so. However, the truth of the matter is that they’re not elite quarterbacks in 2020.
Both are over 40 years old and have an enormously weak arm. We are well aware of how weak an arm Brees has because the entire offensive system is built on short, quick passes. Tom Brady may see trouble, especially deeper into the season, due to the vertical nature of the offense in Tampa.