Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter of the final regular season game at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan omitted from NFL Network top 100 list for 2014


It has become almost accepted that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will remain perennially underrated, at least until he can lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance, but recently, that realization was cemented. As they do every season, the NFL Network released their list of the top 100 players in the NFL for the upcoming 2014 campaign, and in a bizarre twist, Ryan was omitted from the rankings.

After a rough 2013 season, it may not seem particularly crazy to see Ryan left off of a list that includes, on average, only approximately three players per NFL team, but when examining the list of quarterbacks who were slotted in the top 100, the issue arises. Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, San Diego’s Philip Rivers, Baltimore’s Joe Flacco, Philadelphia’s Nick Foles, the infamous Tony Romo and former UGA quarterback Matthew Stafford were all ranked in the top 100, and frankly, there are issues with each of those selections over Ryan.

Without diving too deep into the minutia, the 29-year-old Ryan topped 4,500 yards passing with 26 touchdowns last season, and he did so without the benefit of his top target in Julio Jones and with a banged-up Roddy White. In addition, Atlanta’s offensive line was, by all accounts, one of the worst in the entire NFL last season, and a quick examination on a player-for-player basis would indicate that Ryan should receive the benefit of the doubt.

While players like Roethlisberger and Flacco possess Super Bowl rings, there is no reasonable statistical measure that would place either player ahead of Ryan, and the inclusion of Nick Foles (!) raises a pile of questions about small sample and recency bias. Still, Matt Ryan is the type of quarterback who will almost certainly thrive and use this information as a motivation as the season opens, and even if you don’t believe in that type of karma, Falcons fans can take solace in having an extremely focused signal caller.

The NFL season is still weeks away, but the Atlanta faithful can already begin to push back against the establishment.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan

  • Pth

    The problem with Ryan is let a lineman get close to him and he falls. The other QB’s you named will fight you, Ryan won’t. Hence the slight. It really makes a difference.

    • liquidvizions

      Still no excuse whatsoever. No way does he not make that list. They smoking something.

    • Carlos Collazo

      Going down shouldn’t have anything to do with where a QB ranks. Russell Wilson is pretty well-known for being smart about avoiding hits. And he’s fantastic.

      • Pth

        Carlos , my point being Big Ben R, and the other great one will fight to stay up and pass the ball. Ryan does not. For a man his size to fall from nothing is chicken. That does not denote an elite QB. That’s what he has so many interceptions. Fear gets to him and really messes with his head.

        • Guru

          Again I disagree. In 2012, Ryan was sacked a career high in 1 game, 7 times and hit 12 by the carolina panthers. He threw 3 TDs that game and 1 int. But the biggest play was the hail mary (you may have seen it on ESPN a few times) while standing 9 yards deep in his own endzone. Now i dont know about you but wouldnt being sacked 7 times while being pushed down and hit all game bring some sort of fear of being sacked in your own endzone into your head? But that was in 2012 and hes a dif player now right? Well the best thing i can say is go watch the niners game where he had the smith brothers and Brooks on him for most of the game. I think we all know how well he played in that one. Good day sir

    • Guru

      There’s really no stat that shows a qb avoiding pressure so i cant really show you how much Ryan actually avoids sacks. The only thing i can say is go watch some of the games from last year (The 9ers and redskins games in particular) and you will see how much Ryan avoids pressure. He got ALOT better as the year went on. But like i said theres no stat for it only thing you can do is watch the film. If you still feel the same way, then your mind was already made up

      • Pth

        You’re right. There is no statistical chart that shows that. It’s just what you see. Two things I see that stop Ryan from being a super QB. One is his falling down when he’s hit in the shoulder. Two is his inability to lead a receiver over the middle. Go back and check on his interception and you will find too many was over the middle when he hit a receiver in the shoulder instead of leading him for his hands. Ever since he’s been a pro it’s been the same. He hasn’t gotten any better at it now as compared to his first year.

    • Rick Day

      What it makes a difference is Ryan plays healthy 100% of the time, while the ‘fighters’ loke Romo and Rodgers go down with injuries and early retirements. It’s not his job to fight off defenders poorly blocked. It’s his job to get yardage, or protect the ball from turnover. I’d say Matty does both jobs quite well, season after season.

  • Teheran Height

    I’m a Falcons fan but i think only our fans sre blind by the fact that Ryan isn’t that great. He really lacks leadership. That’s the biggest seperation between the two. Our fans have the most excuses for Ryan with the biggest always being the O-Line. The Nick Foles may be shocker but not the others.

    • Big D

      Is there any stats where a QB passed for that many yards with that many sacks, hits and hurries? He never complains, puts in the work, gives credit, doesn’t blame, manages the game, keeps out of the mefia, speaks positively, can orchestrate come back wins. I spent 25 years in the military. I’ll take that kind of leader any day.

  • No keithma

    No statistical measure that would place Ben or Joe ahead of Matt? Other than both total wins and win percentages, right? He should be on the list but c’mon. The road to canton isn’t via fantasy points.