For 13 years, Matt Ryan has been manning the helm at quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. During that time, Ryan put up some unbelievable passing numbers and secured his name as one of the top QBs in the NFL. But at the age of 36, is it possible that his best games are behind him? Is it time for a fresh start for both Ryan and the Falcons?
Ryan has reached the point in his career where he most likely only has a few good years left. He has unquestionable toughness and a desire to win, but he’s playing for the wrong team if he wants to win now. Atlanta simply isn’t in a position to contend for the top spot in the NFC South, let alone the Super Bowl. By the time they’re ready to win, it could be too late for Ryan.
Atlanta is stuck in a division that features two of the top teams in the NFL, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints. The Saints could see a down year as they lost future Hall of Famer Drew Brees to retirement, but they still have a good team. The Buccaneers have at least one or two years left with Tom Brady at the helm, so don’t expect leaps of improvement from anyone in that division until he’s gone.
Ryan and the Falcons haven’t reached the levels of greatness that they achieved in 2016 when Matt won MVP honors and took the Falcons to the Super Bowl. They ended up blowing a 28-3 lead against the New England Patriots, and they haven’t been the same since. Although they made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs in 2017, the season as a whole was less impressive than in 2016.
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons haven’t made the playoffs for the last three years, and Ryan has taken more of a beating than ever. He’s in the golden years of his career, and Atlanta will not be a contender for at least three seasons. The best option for both parties is for the Falcons to trade him away while he still has value.
Ryan has shown that he can lead a well-equipped team to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. He has the unquestioned skills and leadership to win. He’s an MVP, a five-time pro-bowler, and has carried the Falcons to 6 playoff appearances in his 13 years at quarterback. Even for the last few years, Ryan has put up some incredible passing numbers, but it has primarily been in a losing effort as the Falcons have gone 18-29 in those three years.
In the right situation, playing for the right team, I do not doubt that Matt Ryan could make a return to the playoffs and even the Super Bowl. He’s a proven winner who can put up big numbers and carry the offensive load when he needs to. If Ryan were to be traded to a ready contender like the Broncos, Browns, or Dolphins, I have little doubt that they would instantly have a leg up on the rest of the league.
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