The case for ... Matt Ryan as NFL MVP
My case for Matt Ryan as the NFL’s MVP? Let me direct you to the Atlanta 25 yard line, 3:52 left on the clock, down six points to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last Sunday. Eleven plays, 75 yards and one game-winning touchdown pass later, Matt Ryan made his own case for the award. To boot: it was Ryan’s 32nd career game-winning drive since he entered the league in 2008, four more than any other quarterback over that same span. I know we like to make fun of Ryan and his Matty Ice nickname (sometimes rightfully so, with the Falcons’ penchant for late-season collapses), but the quarterback has been lights out this year, especially when throwing deep—his 9.45 yards per attempt would be the best season total since Kurt Warner and the Greatest Show on Turf in 2000.
Sure, Tom Brady has put up slightly better numbers in his four starts, but part of being valuable is being on the field and Ryan hasn’t missed a game in seven seasons. Not to mention that Brady’s team went 3–1 in his stead. With the Falcons young and struggling defense, Atlanta would be lucky to win a game without Ryan under center this year. – Ben Baskin