Matt Ryan is in year fourteen with the Atlanta Falcons, a team that consistently has let their franchise quarterback down. A player who the one year he was well supported won an MVP and led the Falcons to the edge of winning a Super Bowl.
Let’s get one thing out of the way, if you blame Ryan for Atlanta’s continued irrelevance this isn’t the article for you. Ryan is an all-time quarterback on pace to end his career with his name in the record books as one of the most productive quarterbacks ever to play.
Ryan is an old-school athlete, which is neither a compliment nor a diss rather pointing out any new school quarterback would have left Atlanta. An organization that has been unable to support a quarterback who has never had an elite defense and rarely a capable one.
Matt Ryan doesn’t bear responsibility for the Atlanta Falcons shortcomings
Watching the Falcons for the last decade one thing is always obvious, any and all success is based on their offensive talent. When Atlanta has made the playoffs or had playoff success it was because of Matt Ryan and the offense.
The same Ryan who always seems to receive a portion of the blame from some fans when he is unable to beat a far superior defense. If Ryan were an NBA franchise player he would have long demanded his way out of a laughable franchise and found playoff success elsewhere.
Let’s imagine for a moment if Atlanta parted ways with Matt Ryan and he was to join a team that has a solid base. Ryan would make the Miami Dolphins or the Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl contenders and a threat to the Kansas City Chiefs.
We are seeing this exact story play out with Matthew Stafford a quarterback who has had the comparable talent to Ryan over the last decade and never found the level of success that Ryan has. Stafford left the Lions and now is an MVP favorite and has made his team the Rams a trendy Super Bowl pick.
Stafford is a player Ryan should take note of this season. A player Ryan should opt to follow suit with if Atlanta doesn’t protect him better in his final seasons.
Any other franchise with a veteran quarterback would prioritize two things weapons and protection. Instead, Atlanta has built a ragtag offensive line that is going to make Matt Ryan absorb punishment yet again.
Still, throughout his career, Ryan has been one of the toughest and most durable quarterbacks in the league. Yet another underappreciated quality Atlanta has decided to test rather than reward. Much like Ryan’s ability to distribute to utilize any and all targets on his roster.
Atlanta decided to test this theory as well providing Lee Smith, Christian Blake, and Tajae Sharpe and Atlanta’s depth pass catchers.
Ryan is a player whose career will be remembered not for what it has been but for what Atlanta has made it. An underappreciated quarterback who has forced a sad franchise into consistent relevance throughout his career.
If you’re Ryan one cannot blame him if he chooses in the next two years to change the narrative and join a team that can support him in his final seasons. Perhaps if Trey Lance or Carson Wentz don’t work out Ryan can take one last run with the Colts or 49er’s teams that can support their quarterback.
A quarterback Atlanta fans are seemingly unwilling to realize just how much he has done for their franchise. A realization that will become all too real when Ryan finally decides he has had enough from a sad Atlanta Falcons franchise.