Matt Ryan is NOT the Problem

Thomas Mott
October 22, 2019 - 1:18 am

© Dale Zanine

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I’m upset. I’m angry. I’m mad. I should not have to even be talking about this yet here we are.

Yesterday, I watched in horror as the Falcons lost their 5th straight game of the year. Yet again, they gave up 24+ points on defense, allowed 24 points in the 2nd half and looked all together dysfunctional on all phases of the field.

The problem is that instead of getting to talk about the 27th ranked defense getting spanked again, or the offensive line giving up 5 more sacks, or the fact that Devanta Freeman had 19 yards on 7 carries, some of you guys are making me talk about Matt Ryan.

Apparently, according to a very large number of Falcon fans. Matt Ryan is the real problem with the Falcons.

Yes, yes, I know to some of you level-headed and reasonable fans out there, this sounds like blasphemy. However, I had dozens of people call in to “The Falcon Flyover” on Sunday, that still think this is all Matt’s fault.

Guys, Matt Ryan is not the problem with the Falcons.

 

 

Now, I could start defending Matt Ryan by saying that he is the 13 best QB statistically in the NFL with better numbers than Brady, Minshew, Lamar Jackson, Phillip Rivers and Jimmy Garoppolo but I fear that might not be enough.

All I’ll keep hearing is that “We are paying Matt Ryan $30 million a year and he has 1 win. That money could have been spent better elsewhere”.

Oh yeah? Where? On Who?

 

Let’s for a moment go down the “Matt Ryan Takes Less” path and see where it leads us. Looking at other NFL QB salaries this year tells us that “Middle of the pack” money is about $20 million a year.

So let’s just assume that Ryan took $10 million less and was playing at a lower QB salary of $20 million (the same that Jimmy G, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are making this year). That means we’d have $10 million extra to spend this offseason to “Pay other players” right?

Wrong.

 

Looking back at this year’s Free Agent class, for $10 million you would not have been able to fix the D-Line. All of the top pass rushers. Frank Clark, Preston Smith,  Cameron Wake would have cost too much.

Now, for $10 million you could have gotten another O-linemen or Corner for about $6-8 million each, depending on how good of a player you wanted. But that’s just one player.

So $10 million less to Matt Ryan gets you 1-2 decent players in free agency.

 

Now after watching yesterday’s game do you think the Falcons are one good player away? Two good players away?

I’ll answer that for you. NO!

Let’s forget about money for a second. Put Jadeveon Clowney or Frank Clark or Jalen Ramsey on this team and are they really that much better? No.

The Falcons need 2 new Pass Rushers, 2 new Corners, 1 new Offensive Linemen, 1 new Linebacker, and a Running Back. Let alone, a completely new coaching staff and GM.

 

Here’s the point. I can’t even begin to think about Matt Ryan being a problem when there are at least 4 position groups that need dramatic roster changes to be able to compete in this league.

Likewise, how can we even fairly evaluate Matt Ryan when he’s constantly under pressure and the 3rd most sacked QB in the NFC?

Now sure, I will listen to the argument that maybe drafting a QB later in the 2020 NFL draft might be a wise idea.  Matt Ryan isn’t getting any younger and you don’t want an Eli Manning situation to start to brew.

 

But to suggest that this year’s 1-6 start rests first on Matt Ryan’s shoulders is ridiculous.

Here’s a news flash. Not everyone can escape the pocket and throw under pressure like Russell Wilson.

When you have a good QB in this league you have to pay them. Just like how the Lions had to pay Matt Staford, Vikings had to pay Kirk Cousins and the Chargers had to pay Philip Rivers.

Plus, when Matt Ryan is putting up anywhere from good to great numbers with all these hits, and with all these sacks, that tells me he’s as far from the problem as it gets.

 

In the end, there are too many issues with the Falcons for me to even begin to be concerned about Matt Ryan.

Fix the Defense, hire a new coaching staff, promote a new General Manager, draft a Running Back, patch the Offensive Line, and then let’s talk about Matt Ryan’s on the field performance.