Does Matt Ryan Really Have the Monkey off His Back?

By Andrew Fisher
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

You have to give credit where credit is due, and Matt Ryan did finally win a playoff game last season. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback was under intense pressure to finally deliver a postseason win, and he did just that. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win.

The following week on Championship Sunday though, Ryan failed to lead his team to the Super Bowl, and committed two costly turnovers along the way. Sure, his turnovers didn’t directly lead to points, but facts are facts – Ryan and the Falcons blew a 17-point lead in the NFC Championship game. If he could have found a way to avoid at least one of his turnovers, maybe the Falcons would have gone to New Orleans?

So has Ryan really lifted the proverbial monkey from his back? No way.

Yes, he does have a playoff victory under his belt, but who really cares? There are tons of NFL quarterbacks with postseason wins. It’s good that Ryan finally got one, but fans need to see much more before he can be considered elite. Right now, Ryan is on the outside of the elite circle of quarterbacks. He’s very good, but not great.

While some could care less about the ‘elite’ tag, it still all boils down to winning. The Falcons had the best record in the NFC a year ago, and a lot of credit must go to Ryan. He proved that he can lead his team into great postseason position, and that he can win on almost any Sunday, but he has still yet to do it on the big stage.

Playoff wins are nice, but I want to see Matt Ryan on top of his game when it matters the most, before I will consider him one of the game’s best.


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