Who is Matt Ryan?
Heading into the first Super Bowl of his exemplary career, unlike Tom Brady on the Patriots, not that many people know about Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan.
He began his NFL career after spending four years at Boston College where he was named the ACC Player of the Year in his Senior season in 2007. This article will take a look at the Falcon’s star quarterback career so far and how he is primed to cement his legacy with a win this Super Bowl.
At 6 feet and 4 inches tall matching the height of one of his idols in Tom Brady, Matt Ryan’s large build has helped him see over opponents, and aid his position as a quarterback. And just like his height, Ryan’s success in the NFL has been vast. In his first season in 2008, Ryan became the first rookie quarterback to start a season for the Falcons since 2001. Starting for the team allowed Ryan to grow his talent quickly and he recorded 17 TDs with a 61.1 percent passing completion rate with an 87.7 quarterback rating. His excellent performances earned him the 2008 NFL Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year honor, along with his Falcons making the playoffs. They eventually lost to the Arizona Cardinals in the first round despite Ryan recorded two TDs at the cost of 2 interceptions. In just his first season in the league, Matt Ryan had made his presence known becoming the first rookie to record 26 completions in a post season game.
After being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, Ryan signed a six-year $72 million-dollar contract with $34.75 million dollars in guaranteed the money. The extravagant contract meant that Ryan spent his first six seasons with the team, until he signed a five-year contract extension worth $103.75 million in 2013. Ryan spent much of his time before the extension leading the Falcons to great regular season records. However, much of his and the Falcons improvement were not visible in the postseason. Ryan led a marquee appearance in the NFC Championship Game in 2012 where they lost 28-24 to the San Francisco 49ers, mainly due to Ryan making a bad pass on a potential
game-winning drive in the final minutes.
Following his contract extension in the 2013 season, both Ryan’s and the Falcons success dwindled due to a combination of injuries and poor performances. It wasn’t until the 2016 season the Falcons vastly improved their play largely on behalf of Ryan. He recorded career bests in completed Yds at 309, TDs at 38, quarterback rating at 117.1 along with a career low in Interceptions. The 2016 season has been a breakout year for Ryan and has made him one of the most likely candidates for the NFL MVP award. Overall, Matt Ryan exceptional performance this season will be best tested by how well he does when his Atlanta Hawks face the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots.
By: Adam Hayes