Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Definitely NEXT: Matt "Matty Ice" Ryan

My favorite NFL story of this year has been the rise of the Atlanta Falcons and rookie Quarterback Matt Ryan. Recently named ESPN's NEXT of the year, Ryan has helped lead the thought-to-be hapless Falcons to an 8-5 recond and the inside track to a playoff berth! This is the Atlanta Falcons we're talking about. This is the team everybody thought might win 2 games with their first year QB, first year Coach, and first time feature back Michael Turner. Little did we all know, Coach Mike Smith is a competant football coach, who keeps him team in every game and gives them a great chance to win. Also, Turner Burner has been tearing up defenses every week since his week one explosion onto the scene at Detroit (220 yards/2 TDs). Add that to Matt Ryan and a solid defense and it is no surprise that this team is where it is (okay, it's still a little of a surprise).

Matt Ryan is top ten in the NFL in Passer Rating (9th: 92.0), Yards (10th: 2940), and Fewest Int's (6th: 7). Every week, Ryan makes good decisions, doesn't turn the ball over, and occasionally makes the spectacular play. A good example of that was at home versus Chicago in week six. Ryan delivered a perfect pass over Roddy White's shoulder down the sideline to set up the game winning field goal. There aren't many QB's who deliver that ball on the money in the closing seconds like that, it was a thing of beauty.

In addition to statistics, Ryan seems completely calm and composed at all times on the field. He doesn't have happy feet (eh em .. Matt Lienart) and you never see him yelling at his teammates unjustly (Carson Palmer -- well, maybe that one is justified). Refreshingly, Matt Ryan seems to enjoy the game. His joy and emotion all seem genuine and it only makes me like him more. Sometimes, when you watch football it seems like guys are relieved that it's over (Eli Manning), but that's not the case with Ryan who seems to be having fun.

On top of his game and personality, Ryan rocks the coolest nickname in football right now with "Matty Ice". You better believe that I'm going to be getting one of these sweet t-shirts.


  1. The pass that set up the game-winning field goal was completed to Michael Jenkins...


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