Why Matt Ryan has the edge over Matt Stafford

Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) drops back to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) drops back to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /
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There has been a debate among NFL fans about which quarterback is better, Matt Ryan or Matt Stafford?

For some reason, their careers have been linked together for a while. Maybe it is due to them playing on teams that have predominantly been bad, or it’s because they are good friends off the football field.

There should be no debate, Matt Ryan’s career beats out Matt Stafford’s

Matt Ryan joined the Atlanta Falcons in 2008, while Matt Stafford joined his original team, the Detroit Lions, in 2009.

So, despite their careers only being separated by one year, Matt Ryan has 9,740 more passing yards in his career. That is a good two or more seasons worth of passing yards. Ryan is ranked eighth all-time, compared to Stafford being ranked 12th all-time. Matt Ryan is also the league’s active leader in passing yards.

Then when you look at career touchdown passes, Matt Ryan has Stafford beat by 44 touchdowns. That is a fair amount for only being separated by one year.

The argument that comes up a lot is that Matt Stafford had to deal with playing for the Detroit Lions, a franchise that is known for losing. However, you can say the same thing for Matt Ryan, while the Falcons might not be quite as low as the Lions, it is not like the Falcons are looked at as being a perennial contender every year. Both teams have had their fair share of pain.

Then people want to compare the weapons that the two quarterbacks have had. Matt Ryan has played with the likes of Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, and Calvin Ridley, while Matt Stafford has benefitted from the likes of Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, T.J. Hockenson, and now Cooper Kupp.

Most would give the advantage to Matt Ryan, but they are closer than most would expect on the surface.

Then you throw in the other argument that holds no water, Stafford has never had a running game or offensive line. Neither has Matt Ryan, outside of 2016 when he made the Super Bowl and coincidentally won league MVP, something that Stafford has not done.

Then comes the Super Bowl argument, Matt Ryan lost his while Matt Stafford won his. There is more to making a Super Bowl and winning it than just the quarterbacks.

Ryan was lights out in the Super Bowl, while Matt Stafford struggled for much of the game. The difference? The Rams had a defense that could close a game out, without them, the Rams undoubtedly lose. If the teams switched defenses then we would be talking about Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Matt Ryan.

All in all, both quarterbacks are some of the best the game has ever seen, but if you had to pick one career that is Hall of Fame worthy, it should go to Matt Ryan100% of the time.

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