If you’re confused or conflicted about who the best quarterback in Atlanta Falcons history is, you ‘re not paying attention.
NFL..com analyst Gil Brandt said that is was “too close to call” between current Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and former quarterback Michael Vick. One is the all-time leader in wins, yards, and touchdowns and the other was never an MVP, All-Pro selection.
Vick was a joy to watch. He was the most exciting man in the NFL and brought a lot of happiness to not only Atlanta and the state of Georgia, but fans around the world. He shattered rushing records for a quarterback, helped lead the Atlanta Falcons to an upset victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs, and continued to make highlight play after highlight play.
There is no question Vick is an all-time Falcons great, but he is not on the same level as Ryan when it comes to being a quarterback.
Now, yes, you could argue Ryan has had better talent and coaching around him his whole career and you would be correct. A huge difference, however, is that Ryan takes this game seriously and is very passionate about it. Vick said it himself that if he had studied more and put in more work at practices that he could’ve had a ring, and it is hard to refute that. When Vick was on, he was a stud, but when he was off, he was OFF.
If he took the NFL more seriously, he would have been an even bigger star, which as a Vick fan growing up, it is a bit aggravating to think about how much better he could have been as a passer.
With Ryan, he has always given it his all. He pours his heart and soul into the game and it shows, win, or lose. This is a man that has been consistently great for the majority of his career and has dealt with a constantly changing rotation of offensive coordinators and offensive lineman. Ryan has helped to bring respect and recognition to the Atlanta Falcons, as well as consecutive winning seasons, playoff appearances, playoff wins, and a Super Bowl appearance.
Has every season been great? No, unfortunately not. There have been some rough seasons, but that is not all on Ryan. In fact, when the team finished with a 7-9 record in 2018, Ryan statistically had his second-best season ever after his MVP season in 2016.
To compare the passing statistics from Vick’s best seasons with the Atlanta Falcons to Ryan’s best seasons, it is not even close. Ryan has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league for the last eight years and is a key reason why the Atlanta Falcons have had any sort of success at all over the last decade.
Vick only threw for 20 touchdowns in a season once with the Falcons, Ryan has done that in every season with the exception of his rookie year in 2008. Ryan’s completion percentage is also substantially higher than Vick’s.
Yes, both guys have very different styles of play, but at the end of the day, Ryan has proven that as a quarterback, he is better in every facet of the game. Vick was a great deep ball thrower and an absolute freak of an athlete, but he didn’t have the work ethic to get better as a passer. Ryan has put in that work to get better over the years and it shows.
I don’t want anyone to think I am a Vick hater, because I am not. He was my favorite player growing up and will always remain one of my all-time favorites, but he was inconsistent and didn’t take his job seriously enough, whereas Ryan has put everything he has into bringing a championship to Atlanta and has put up numbers that most quarterbacks can only dream of.
Vick vs Ryan is not a debate, so stop disrespecting Ryan and start appreciating him for the last few years that we Falcons fans have him for.