I've already said repeatedly that I do a weekly football column on TJRSports.com with a buddy of mine, who's a Packers fan. We did a back and forth on Matt Ryan to start it up if you want to check it out along with Patriots offense, Steelers struggle, possible pretenders, and season awards after 4 weeks.http://tjrsports.com/articles/nfl-q-a-w ... -week-5--2
Where does Ryan stand with you and is he elite yet?
Ace: When I hear the term ‘Elite Quarterback’ I think of two things: What have they done in the playoffs and are they the leader of their team? When I think ‘elite’ I think of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. Those six guys could have their backs against the wall, down by 6 with two minutes left and no timeouts and they could be cool, calm and collected, lead their team down the field for a win and smile when they’re being interviewed after the game. In my opinion, the next crop of quarterbacks goes Ryan, Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers and Tony Romo. Ryan is a Top 10 quarterback in the league and he’s moving up quickly. It’s not his fault that he’s ranked where he is; it’s his coaching and team philosophy. They were a run first team the last four years with Michael Turner. Matty Ice hasn’t thrown for more than 30 touchdowns in a season in his career and just last year he eclipsed 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career. To put things into perspective in how much Atlanta has changed their game plan, Ryan has 1,162 yards passing and 11 touchdowns. (He’s on pace for 4,648 yards and 44 touchdowns) The Falcons clearly know they have a quarterback who is on the verge of becoming elite and joining the company of those quarterbacks listed above. The Falcons are 4-0 and Ryan is a huge reason why. If he can take the Falcons deep into the playoffs, even a Super Bowl run, people will mention him in the same sentence as those other guys, but for now Matt Ryan is one of those guys on the bubble to becoming an elite quarterback in the NFL, he just needs a playoff win or two under his belt before we can start to call him ‘elite’.
Allen: You couldn’t have said it better. I’ve been telling people that Matt Ryan is the best quarterback in the 2012 season. That doesn’t mean he’s the best, I’m aware that players like Brady, Rodgers, Brady, Roethlisberger, and the Manning’s are still better. Matt Ryan is right after them based on his play so far. Matthew Stafford has been lackluster, Cam Newton has been inconsistent, Phillip Rivers was dominated by the Falcons defense, and Tony Romo is an absolute mess if you want to even bring him up. You can’t deny that Ryan has been the most consistent quarterback this year with 11 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions with a rating of 112. Those are scary numbers and it goes to show you what changes can be made with a new offensive coordinator. After the debacle in New York last year when they scored 2 points (I paid a nice $269 to attend the game like a true Falcons fan), it was clear that Mike Mularkey was going to be fired. He is too predictable as a coordinator and wants to still run a run first offense. Julio Jones has openly said that last year it was just deep route every play for him and he was sick of it. Roddy White said at one point that the deep ball isn’t even relevant in the game plan. Mularkey was a cancer and I couldn’t be happier seeing him lose in Jacksonville. Dirk Koetter comes on as offensive coordinator and makes sure that the Falcons are going to air it out. It has been a huge success so far with the Falcons averaging 31 points a game like they should be. This offense is too talented not to succeed and Ryan is finally getting the reigns to let loose. Despite all the praise, Ryan plays quarterback and you need to win playoff games to be elite in that position. Roddy White is an elite player along with Tony Gonzalez, who doesn’t seem to age. Skill players aren’t judged by playoff success, it’s on the quarterback. We shall see in January to see if Ryan cements his status in elite category. I’m liking his odds right now especially after his performance against Carolina, which was really special.