Matt Ryan bears a lot of similarities to the “old” Eli Manning, the one everyone doubted before he won a Super Bowl; the QB some still do not consider to be an elite quarterback even though he has a couple of Super Bowl rings.
Make no mistake about Peyton Manning’s little brother is a great quarterback but when it is time to discuss elite quarterbacks he is often overlooked for guys like Phillip Rivers and Tony Romo; guys who have not won anything at all. Ryan falls into this category with Eli because he has not won a playoff game. The reality is though, even if he wins a playoff game, makes it to the Super Bowl or wins a ring this season, most analysts’ perception of him will not change.
The fact of the matter is Eli does not come off as interesting as QBs like Peyton, Tom Brady, Drew Brees or even Ben Rothelisberger for that matter and Matt Ryan is the same way. Eli and Matty Ice are great guys but they are not married to hot super models, have not been involved in scandals like Brees in New Orleans and they have clean records. They also are not coming off of season-ending neck injuries either. They are just nice guys who play good football.
Eli Manning has to be included in the discussion of elite QBs though because he is a winner. Matt Ryan on the other hand is in the same place Eli was in before he became a champion. Ryan ranks as one of the better QBs in the game and leads one of the more exciting teams in the NFL but he does so in a manner that more practical than it is flashy.
Matt is just a talented, just as skilled, just not as exciting and he has not won a playoff game. The latter could change this year, as Ryan and the Falcons are poised to make a run at the Super Bowl. If Atlanta can get their and win then Matt Ryan can finally be included with Eli Manning when it comes to great QBs who are left out of the elite quarterback discussions.