NFL tradition in the recent past shows that the MVP should be awarded to the quarterback of the best team in the NFL.
Why wouldn't he be? Ryan has the Falcons at 7-0, boasting the league's eighth-ranked passing offense. This hasn't been an easy 7-0 either, as the Falcons have had some tenuous moments that Ryan has led them out of this season.
His numbers for the season are MVP worthy—he's thrown for 2,018 yards and 17 touchdowns for a quarterback rating of 103.0. Ryan has also only thrown six interceptions all season.
What really helps his candidacy is the fact that Atlanta isn't offering him very much help. Their running offense is averaging 95 yards per game, but you could make the argument that Ryan's play at quarterback has opened up some lanes for the Falcons' running backs.
Their defense, on the other hand, is a different story.
On defense the Falcons rank 17th overall, allowing on average 367.2 yards per game. Their pass defense has been decent, only allowing an average of 223.3 yards per game, but their run defense has been at times abhorrent, allowing 143.8 yards per game.
Ryan also has great rapport with his receivers, which we see in the development of second-year player Julio Jones. This season, Jones has 499 yards on 35 catches with five touchdowns. His longest touchdown play came against Philadelphia in Week 8, thanks to a perfect throw from Matt Ryan.
Is Matt Ryan the number one contender for the NFL's MVP after Week 8?
Jones had the speed to turn on the jets, but it was Ryan's arm that produced the bomb.
Atlanta has a Super Bowl-level team, and are being led by an MVP-level quarterback. Right now there are only two other players that are likely to catch up with him in the MVP race: Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.