Is Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan Still an MVP Candidate?

By Ken Grace
John David Mercer–US Presswire

When the season started, Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was one of the leading candidates for the NFL’s MVP award. However, Ryan has fallen into what appears to be a slump of sorts. The past few games in particular, Ryan has been prone to throwing interceptions. So the question is if Matt Ryan still in the running for one of the league’s top individual award.

If it were just a matter of records, then yes, Ryan has the MVP award on lock–nothing against Houston TexansQB Matt Schaub, just a matter of preference. Ryan and Schaub actually have identical passer ratings at 94.9. Ryan has thrown one more touchdown but four more interceptions than Schaub. Either way, both of these guys would be hard-pressed to wrestle that MVP award from Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, who is having one of the best seasons of his career. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is a top candidate as well. Brady has the Patriots rolling on offense and poised to make a Super Bowl run.

What could separate Ryan from the other quarterbacks is his ability to lead his team to victories no matter what the situation is. Prime example: the Falcons are on a three-game winning streak in which they have won by a combined 17 points. Thanks to Ryan’s steady play, the Falcons are never out of a game. Ryan may not have Manning or Brady’s stats, but he is certainly the most valuable player on his team and they would not be 11-1 without him. Brady and Manning have experience, but Ryan is a relatively young QB who has been able to take his team to the playoffs the last few years, something many young quarterbacks struggle to do. The fact that he has come along so well at such a rapid pace certainly keeps him in the conversation to be the NFL’s MVP.

Be that as it may, he needs to come out of this mini-slump he is in and have some great games down the stretch, particularly when Atlanta plays the New York Giants, but mostly so he can go into the playoffs into a good rhythm. Atlanta will be one of the top seeds when the playoffs start, but they will only go as far as he is able to take them.

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