ESPN survey says: Matt Ryan is the NFL’s 11th-best QB

Even Matt Ryan was culpable in this one. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Even Matt Ryan was culpable in this one. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Even Matt Ryan was culpable in this one. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

No. 2 is Tier 2, according to ESPN.  (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Conventional wisdom has held that Matt Ryan isn’t quite an upper-crust quarterback. (That crust consists of Rodgers, Brady, P. Manning, Roethlisberger and Brees — though I’d argue that the Saints’ man is slipping — and maybe Luck.) But some of us, maybe most of us, have believed that Ryan ranks near the top of Tier 2, alongside Flacco and Rivers and E. Manning.

In sum: We’ve come to regard he Atlanta Falcons’ centerpiece not as a top five quarterback, but definitely top 10.

Comes now Mike Sando’s latest survey of league executives/coaches for ESPN Insider, and it slots Ryan in 11th place, behind not just the Big Five plus Luck but also behind Flacco, Rivers, Wilson and Romo. That’s a slide from last season, when Ryan was tied for eighth. I guess that’s what happen when your team goes 10-22 over two seasons and fires its coach.

Sando’s second tier includes eight names. Ranked behind Ryan are E. Manning, Stafford and Newton. Twenty-eight of the survey’s 35 participant identified Ryan as a Tier 2 quarterback, which would constitute a consensus, and the anonymous quotes gathered by Sando are intriguing.

From a head coach: “I think he was coddled a little bit. I do not think he needed to be. He is not that kind of guy. I think he is a real guy, a guy’s guy. I think if he had gone to a blue-collar place, it could have been different. I think he’s a 2 who could be a 1.”

From a personnel director: “I say (he’s) a 3 because once pressure gets to him, he struggles and turns the ball over … Put him in the situation where he is the guy and he tends to struggle, even if he puts up big numbers.”

From a defensive coordinator: “He will play lights out and then all of a sudden, where did that (turnover) come from?”

A case can be made that Ryan’s what-the-heck interception at Wembley was the moment when Mike Smith’s final season started to become Mike Smith’s final season. (Smith would be culpable in other ways, as we know.) Last season Ryan was precise except for those moments when he’d make an utterly awful throw, and those awful throws were a reason his team finished 6-10 and not 8-8 or better.

Don’t get me wrong. I still think he’s a really good quarterback. But it will be fascinating to see how he fares under new management.

Reader Comments 0

181 comments
itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

ryan is a good qb. it is his impact of the game that I hate biting on.for example, the upper echelon qb's get you 30 points a game and 2 first downsbefore the defense gets them off the field. with matt his mo tends to be, occasional multiple 3 and outs in a row, he will get you 2 good drives down the field, wheather you will score is another story.we complain about our defense, but we gambled on the offensive side hoping mat would be one of those 30 points a game qb's.we tend to bearly score 14 points against good teams, we might put up 30 against bad teams.

DawgVoiceofReason
DawgVoiceofReason

Ryan is quite good.  Most of the "great" QBs have had great teams around them.  They need receivers to catch their passes, and defenses that get the ball back and keep the other team from scoring.  A productive running game can help take pressure off too. Ryan has not had any of those things in the last two years and in the playoffs, he has not gotten much help from the defense.  That said, he has himself to blame for some of his poor performances in playoff games.  You have to give him credit for the win against Seattle, where he led the game-winning drive.  You also should give him credit for his tremendous first-half performance against San Fran.  The defense gave it away because they could not cover the tight end.  He also did not get the job done in the second half.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

8YEARS FROM NOW YOU GUYS WILL STILL BE SAYING THE SAME THING.


LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guyon
Guyon

Ryan could be the best QB in the league, but we'll never know because the offensive line has been so poor. Dimiroff simply does not know how important the offensive line is. Give Ryan Brady's line, and he would compete with Brady.,

Railroadtracgang
Railroadtracgang

With no Oline and no defense, its amazing what Ryan put up really. He has been crushed for 2 seasons and gets back up. He is probably too nice for some to vote high. No qb wins without a defense or blocking. Nobody. 

Columbus68
Columbus68

He was a LOT better when the FALCONS HAD A RUNNING GAME!  Do not forget the ATROCIOUS OL Demitroff left him with when he decided NOT to resign some vets but ride Baker and all the injuries when he made that glorious decisions. Most QB's ARE better with an OL and running game! Considering Ryan ahs had neither the last 2-3 years, Ryan has done remarkably well considering all the receiver injuries too!  He is top 6 or 7. Maybe top 5 when pieces are in place like they were 3-5 years ago! Manning Brady Rogers, Luck, Ben and Ryan. Brees throws too many int's. Romo? Notta. Newton? No way Jose!  Newton wishes he was good as Ryan! Like to see ALL of them with Ryan's OL and running game 2 years ago and heck LAST year! Ryan had to go to short game to stay alive!

mar1049
mar1049

Don't you folks ever get tired of coming up with some many excuses for Matty and the rest of the Falcons.

Nicholas Williamson
Nicholas Williamson

@mar1049 and yet no one talks about rodgers having insane ammounts of time to throw, a great running game and great wrs.... funny how these  "top 5" guys have similar numbers as matt but have better teams around them, how a team who any decent qb couldve taken them as far as rodgers did is mvp is laughable. with matt ryans pace if he lasts to mannings age he would pass manning in yards and completions. he has horrible coaching simply find first half vs second and you'll see for yourself

Zapp
Zapp

First we had Dumbo the coach, who overused Michael Turner.  Matt Ryan has a group of receivers who run up the stats, but miss key receptions, patchwork offensive line, and a porous defense.  Yeah it is Matt Ryan's fault!  The play calling when the Falcons finished 14-2 was Matt Ryan's fault for putting the team in the cooler for most of the second half.  Oh wait a minute, Matt doesn't call the plays.  Yeah it is Matt Ryan's fault!

JSSN
JSSN

@Zapp

They have the play chart from the San Francisco playoff game online. Don't make the assumption, actually pull-up the chart, watch the game replay without commercial broadcast foolishness, and then come back and tell everyone what the pass-to-run breakdown was? Also, note when Michael Turner became unavailable in the flow of the game and what happens to the play calls. 

Like mar1049 said: "Don't you folks ever get tired?"

Railroadtracgang
Railroadtracgang

@Zapp SF game was lucky for SF to win. Douglas trips on rug or its a TD. Roddy While falls, interception. Or game over for Falcons. Ryan's first half was one of or the best halfs in NFL playoff history vs what people called a great defense. That should have been enough, no defense. 

Nicholas Williamson
Nicholas Williamson

@JSSN @Zapp so thats why in that game mr2 recorded the highest qbr of any qb since 2006 in a superbowl or championship game? yes we passed more but the play calling was the same, same pass plays, same attempts to do the same things. its also smiths fault abraham got the injury, you dont play key guys in week 17 when youve clinched home field 

JSSN
JSSN

Wow, I see the selective memories of AJC Bloggers are in full effect again! "Michael Turner fumble" (in the 2009 Playoff game in Arizona) was anything but a fumble! That play was blown up in the backfield and he never got the ball!

Video clip 2:02 mark, see for yourselves, Arizona had Ryan's snap cadence down and he missed pre-snap reads the entire 2nd half! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwaMOZ9K8v4

RangeRover
RangeRover

@JSSN

Vick isn't coming back as you haven't since he left.  LOL!

JSSN
JSSN

@RangeRover

LOL, and you haven't had an original line since Draft day 2008! Bwaaaaahaaaaaaa!

TNScott
TNScott

Matt Ryan makes the key mistake that costs you the win in the playoffs. Even in his lone playoff win vs. Seattle he heaved a long pass into double coverage that led to his typical 'are you kidding me" interception which sparked the Seattle comeback and their eventual lead in the last minute. Everyone can gripe at the defense but when the one player, who handles the ball the most, notoriously makes the mistake that puts the opponent back in the game then he is as responsible for the score as the defense thus the 1-4 playoff record. He has 7 ints and 3 lost fumbles in 5 playoff games. That is two turnovers on average for every playoff game. I know of no QB that has a winning record averaging two turnovers every playoff game.  If it weren't for Tony Romo everyone would be talking about Matt Ryan's inability in the playoffs or trying to get to the playoffs.

Nicholas Williamson
Nicholas Williamson

@TNScott why dont you look at how bad the coaching is between the first half and second has been. with shotty play calling in the second half. youre blamming one int for a what 20 point comeback? not only does it happen once (which i would give you the balme is on matt if it was one) but it happens twice. mike smith never knew how to adjust. look at matt ryan right now. hes quickened his release, is stronger, much better at the los. he takes hit, no one right now does what matt ryan does and is as accurate and puts up the yards that matt does with what he has. give matt ryan rodgers team he wins against seattle. he would put up more numbers than rodgers while being more accurate. even give him lucks situation, he would win games. but everyone acts like playoffs are what define a qb. what about dan marino. or is trent dilfer a great qb

Maggot_Man
Maggot_Man

Ryan will put up 4000 yards again, win nothing of significance and then fans will argue about his ranking during the offseason….Blank will buy more Rolex's and more blonde Bimbo's……repeat yearly

RodfromCollegePark
RodfromCollegePark

" No QB could play with the O lines Ryan has had in the past 2-3 years. Brady, Rodgers, et. al would play poorly on the Falcons."

You can't really believe this.  LOL

Nicholas Williamson
Nicholas Williamson

@JSSN @RodfromCollegePark because its true XD remember the giants sbs. line doesnt hold up brady cant do much. yet mr2 is more accurate than rodgers and threw for more yards with a significantly worse O-line, no running game, and no defensive help to ease the offense. but i forget rodgers has done so well in matt ryans situation

AtlJack
AtlJack

No QB could play with the O lines Ryan has had in the past 2-3 years. Brady, Rodgers, et. al would play poorly on the Falcons. 


Ryan had the best QB stats his rookie year of any QB in history. His first pass was a 60 yard TD. Ryan can play if provided with a line and some running backs. 



Mechanicsville
Mechanicsville

Give Matt Ryan an offensive line and pro bowl receivers and a stud running game and a top defense... Oh wait, you can't afford it because he's getting paid too much. He also had many of those things when the Packers rolled him up. Great guy but not a great player. Go Pack Go.

Nicholas Williamson
Nicholas Williamson

@Mechanicsville oh  yeah i forget aaron rodgers  has terrible recievers... oh wait. a terrible o-line... oh wait. and a terrible running game... oh wait. oh but rodgers was more accurate and had more yards... oh wait.. so tell me again while rodgers is getting  paid similar yet mr2 has a lot less whose fault that is. but i forget matt ryan didnt complete 69% of his passes. but i forget matt ryan is responsible for those 41 points our defense gave up right, shame how those arguments fit you when its convinient

prarrd
prarrd

Ryan is a GREAT quarterback. However, he does not understand the EBONICS that the black players speak, so there are a lot of disconnects. We need to ban RACIST ebonics from the workplace, INCLUDING the NFL. 

The Dude Abides
The Dude Abides

@prarrd


"Ryan is a GREAT quarterback."


Uh....no he's not and you have nothing to prove he is great.


Want a great quarterback? See; AARON ROGERS!!!!!!! 

mar1049
mar1049

@prarrd Must really upset you to watch all those ebonic speaking players living a dream life of a professional athlete. Nothing better than watching those black rich guys doing something you could never do. I am quite sure when they go to the bank the tellers have no problem understanding their ebonics. BTW great quarterbacks win Superbowls. Maybe he should play a local high school team. His chances of winning might be better.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

You are a great BIGOT who has to interject race into EVERY conversation. Is it not old already?

WinstonPeabody
WinstonPeabody

Matt Ryan is worse than his stats indicate. The Atlanta Falcons have never had a franchise QB, and, Matty melt is a long way from being a FQB.  Love the Falcons, Matty melltdown, not so much. After Ice melt choked away that football game over in London against Detroit last season, I mentally dumped him. This dude is going in the 11th round in fantasy drafts, that's how sorry he is. SMDH

Nicholas Williamson
Nicholas Williamson

@BigKat75 matt ryan choked it away. so julio DROPPING A SCREEN PASS  is matts fault too i guess. so completing 65 percent of his passes is choking right. steven jackson being unable to run is matts fault too. defense giving up leads is also on him right, psh. you people and your pathetic attempts at arguements. youll say luck is clutch when hes choking against the pats but everything but matt ryan is working and its matt fault. how pathetic

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

Give Matt Ryan a decent OL and a decent defense and let's just see how good he can be. He has been VERY impressive considering the OL players and pitiful defensive squads he has been on the field with.


Just imagine how many additional wins he and the Falcons would have amassed IF he had the OL & defensive players that Brady, Rodgers, Wilson, P. Manning and Brees have had to provide protection/time, ensure the team has a solid running attack, offer additional offensive possessions and bail them out after turn-overs???????


Brady would whine and pout and throw tantrums if he had to play on the Falcons past 4 teams; Matt Ryan has been nothing but a complete professional and high character team player. ALL honest fans know these statements are absolute truth.

RodfromCollegePark
RodfromCollegePark

"In his first playoff loss versus Arizona, Michael Turners fumble in the second half did not help. Michael Boleys dropped INT could have won the game. But its Ryans fault


In his playoff loss to Green Bay, Ryans pick six before half was a dagger and yes he did play awful in that game.


In the playoff loss versus the Giants we had three possibly four fourth and one opportunities and could not get a yard. We had no defense and the O-Line was man handled. Not sure if Ryan is to blame there.


In the playoff loss the the 49ers, his deep ball in the first half seemed on point. His fumble in the second half definitely hurt but the defense lost that game. No pressure and Mike Nolan awful playcalling." 


My post was pathetic, but then you commence to make excuses.  LOL. 1-6 in the playoffs and 24 points in 10 second half playoff quarters, with more weapons than any other quarterback.  Those are the facts sir.  No debating that.  He also is one of the worst deep ball passers in the game.  Another fact.

Nicholas Williamson
Nicholas Williamson

@RodfromCollegePark so thats why matt ryan this season had the most accurate deep ball IN THE NFL. I forget matt has had offensive lines that top the nfl. oh wait. and defenses better than mid pack... oh wait. 

The Dude Abides
The Dude Abides

Matt Ryan - 1-6 in the playoffs. Yeah, that's not good.

WinstonPeabody
WinstonPeabody

@The Dude Abides @BigKat75 @HonestInformed  I saw Matty-melt slide at the 2 yard line in the Georgia Dome when he clearly could have walked in for a TD in an effort to avoid a hit by a DB. Lost a ton of respect for him then, he proved that he is NOT a leader.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@The Dude Abides  I think you meant to type that the Atlanta Falcons are 1-6 in the playoffs when Matt Ryan played the QB position...............BIG difference buddy.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@BigKat75 @The Dude Abides @HonestInformed  WOW........so ignorant. You will be absolutely shocked IF you are man enough to conduct some actual research regarding the NFL quarterbacks with the most 4th quarter comebacks and/or highest percentage of 4th quarter comebacks based on opportunities in the past 7-10 seasons. Matt Ryan was #3 and #2 for all QB in these two categories going into the 2014 season. Read the articles and you MIGHT just realize how he EARNED the nickname Matty-Ice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Dude Abides
The Dude Abides

Matt Ryan had one good year and yes, he is a middle-of-the-road QB. He is third in the NFC South behind Cam and Brees.

Nicholas Williamson
Nicholas Williamson

@The Dude Abides BEHIND CAM HAHAHAHAAHAHAH are you serious? matt ryan has been top 10 is all three major stats for the past 5 years.. top 5 in accuracy and yards for the last 3 and top 10 in tds for those 3. but i forget middle of the road qbs do that with horrible O-lines and no running game.