Archive for Matt Ryan

Ryan vs. Schaub

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2010 by nathanelwell

I was driving to work yesterday and was listening to Atlanta sports radio.  The question at hand was if the Falcons would’ve been in a better position if they kept Matt Schaub instead of trading him away for a 2nd round pick back in 2007, thus leading the way for Matt Ryan to be drafted in 2008.  There are so many different alter-realities that would’ve been caused if Schaub stayed with the Falcons, but for the sake of simplicity, lets take each QB head to head based on statistics:

Matt Ryan

08            09          08-09

Matt Schaub

08            09           08-09

CMP/ATT

PCT

265/434

61.1

263/434

58.3

528/885

59.7

251/380

66.1

396/583

67.9

647/963

67.1

YDS

3440

2916

6356

3043

4770

7813

AVG

7.9

6.5

7.2

8.0

8.2

8.1

TD

16

22

38

15

29

44

INT

11

14

25

10

15

25

FUM

2

5

7

6

1

7

RAT

87.7

80.9

84.3

92.7

98.6

95.6

RUSH YDS/TD

104/1

49/1

113/2

68/2

57/0

125/2

Matt Ryan 08 Matt Ryan 09 Matt Ryan 08-9 Matt Schaub 08 Matt Schaub 09 Matt Schaub 08-9
CMP/ATT

PCT

265/434

61.1

263/434

58.3

528/885

59.7

251/380

66.1

396/583

67.9

647/963

67.1

YDS 3440 2916 6356 3043 4770 7813
AVG 7.9 6.5 7.2 8.0 8.2 8.1
TD 16 22 38 15 29 44
INT 11 14 25 10 15 25
FUM 2 5 7 6 1 7
RAT 87.7 80.9 84.3 92.7 98.6 95.6
RUSH YDS/TD 104/1 49/1 153/2 68/2 57/0 125/2

I’m starting to think choosing Schaub or Ryan is like choosing a Big Mac or a Whopper.  You could choose either and still be happy.  But what else does each bring to the table?  (not the sandwiches, the QBs).

Matt Schaub came into the NFL with a successful college career at UVA.  He broke 22 school records including yards passing (7502), touchdown passes (56), completions (716), attempts (1069), completion percentage (.670), 300 yard games (8), and 200 yard games (20).  Schaub had two top notch campaigns in the ’08 and ’09 NFL seasons for the Houston Texans.  He set the franchise record for passing yards at 379 yards.  In 2009, Schaub led the league in passing yards (4,770), completions (396), yards per game (298), and passing attempts (583).  Matt Schaub is part of arguably the best QB/WR tandem in the NFL, the other half being Andre Johnson.  In the 2008 season, Johnson led the league in receptions and receiving yards, only to duplicate the feat in 2009 with 1569 yards.  Only one other WR in the history of the NFL went two consecutive seasons leading receiving yards – none other than the great Jerry Rice.  On top of receiving yards, Johnson went 7 games with 10 receptions, only further solidifying one of the most successful QB/WR tandems in the NFL.

Matt Ryan shined at Boston College, where he led his team to 3 bowl victories, and an overall record of 25-7.  He threw for 200 yards 15 times and is 5th all time in school history for both passing yards and completions.  Matt Ryan was picked 3rd overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2008 NFL draft.  Ryan beat out Chris Redman for the starting QB position, becoming the first QB in Atlanta since 1975 to start the season opener.  He threw a touchdown on his very first past completion.  Ryan became the first rookie QB in Falcon history to throw over 3,000 passing yards in one season.  Along with Joe Flacco, Ryan was the first rookie QB to start all 16 regular season games and lead his team to the playoffs.  He was also named AP Rookie of the Year.  In 2009, Ryan fought turf toe for a significant part of the season, but still led the Falcons to a 9-7 record, which was the first time in franchise history that the team had consecutive winning seasons.    Matt Ryan fired many of his shots to WR Roddy White.  White was 4th in the league for receiving yards in 2008, finished the season with career and franchise highs in receiving yards.  This is receiving from a rookie QB.  In 2009, White was able to break the franchise record for most receiving yards in a game, with 210.  Under Matt Ryan, Roddy White gained the 2nd and 3rd years where he had more than 1,000 receiving yards for the season.

What do I conclude from all of these statistics and accomplishments? (1) Matt Schaub is a seasoned veteran who has reached the pinnacle of his career.  The Falcons may have gotten one more season out of him, but he probably is over the hill.  (2) In Ryan, you have a young QB that played like a veteran in his first NFL season.  (3) If I wanted a franchise QB who I knew would take the Falcons to the Superbowl, then I choose Matt Ryan.  If I want a QB to help with my fantasy league, then I’d probably pick Matt Schaub.  (4)  If I’m choosing between the Big Mac and the Whopper, I would choose neither.  I always go with Taco Bell!

The Flight of the Falcons

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2008 by nathanjzacharias

The Falcons are back.

No, I’m not saying they’re going to the Super Bowl.  I’m not even saying they’re going to go to the playoffs, though they certainly haven’t hurt their chances by going 4-2 in their first 6 games.

What I am saying, is that we’re looking at a real football team again.  They may not have a team of superstars, but they’ve got talent and just as importantly, they’ve got confidence.

Last year was bad.  Awful, actually.  But to say they’ve overcome that year is selling them short, because they’ve actually had to overcome several years of frustration.  In 2004, they made it to the NFC Championship, but after that they had two years of mediocrity, followed by a year of atrocity.  They may only be 4 years removed from that playoff appearance, but it’s felt a heck of a lot longer.

The last few years with a lot of mediocre play from some of the players that were supposed to be the stars, clubhouse controversy, off-field distractions, and poor coaching.  All that would make it difficult for any team to be successful, and it took it’s toll on the franchise. 

But then Arthur Blank made some changes.  He gave Thomas Dimitroff his first shot at being an NFL GM, and then they gave Mike Smith his first shot at being an NFL head coach.  While many people questioned if the Falcons would be able to compete this year, Dimitroff and Smith instantly brought a sense of stability and direction.  They knew the team had a long way to go, but they brought confidence and chemistry to a team that had been lacking both.  Anything they did after that would seem like icing on the cake this year.

Well, so far the cake is tasting pretty good. 

They raised a few eyebrows when they took Matt Ryan, but very few are questioning the move now.  He’s only 6 games into his career but he’s already one of the leaders on the field, he’s got the respect and confidence of his teammates, and the new face of the franchise is the ultimate professional.  He’s still a rookie and there will still be some bumps in the road, but I don’t hear much talk about Dorsey in Atlanta anymore. 

The doubters got even more vocal when the team picked Sam Baker in the first round.  Scouts said he had short arms, much to his surprise.  Well he and his arms have done very well, as has the rest of the offensive line.

In fact, most of the Falcons draft picks have done well.  Dimitroff came in with a reputation of being an expert on college talent, and he’s proven to be exactly that. But he didn’t rest on the draft alone.  Among others, he brought in Michael Turner and Jason Elam, both of whom have been crucial to this year’s success. 

So are the Falcons a surprise this year?  Yes, but not to themselves anymore.  They take the field with a belief that they’re going to have a chance to win the game.  And that’s why they’re back.