What Does Falcons' First Loss Mean for Matt Ryan's MVP Hopes?

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent INovember 12, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 11:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints  at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 11, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons finally lost their first game in 2012, but Matt Ryan's MVP stock didn't take much of a hit.

He was without Julio Jones for much of the game after Jones went down with an ankle injury, yet still Ryan managed to pass for 411 yards with three touchdowns and just one interception.

Given the way Michael Turner completely disappeared against the NFL's worst run defense, one could make the argument that Ryan's MVP hopes are as high as they've been all season long. 

After all, Ryan is really the only player that kept the Falcons on pace with Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints, as the running game was non-existent and the defense forgot how to tackle. 

For the season, Ryan has a resume that compares well to all the elite quarterbacks on winning teams.

Peyton Manning 230 330 69.7% 2,705 8.20 21 6 108.0
Aaron Rodgers 219 327 67.0% 2.383 7.29 25 5 107.4
Matt Ryan 240 351 68.4% 2,771 7.90 20 7 102.6
Ben Roethlisberger 200 298 67.1% 2,203 7.39 16 4 101.1
Tom Brady 232 358 64.8% 2,645 7.39 18 3 100.1


Some may point to the incredible array of talent Ryan has surrounding him at the skill positions. With receivers like Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, Tony Gonzalez and Jacquizz Rodgers, Ryan should be putting up huge numbers, his detractors would say. 

It takes a special player to run a high-octane offense like Atlanta's. The Falcons' elite receivers are akin to a Lamborghini that needs a special mechanic to keep it purring along on all cylinders.

Throw Ryan Fitzpatrick or Mark Sanchez in behind center, and I guarantee things won't work as well.  

Furthermore, if not for Ryan's late-game heroics against the Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, the Falcons would be 5-4 right now instead of 8-1.

As long as the Falcons stay atop the NFC and as long as Ryan continues to play at the extraordinary high level he's been playing at, he has just as much of a chance as any player to take home the NFL's MVP trophy at the end of the season. 



MVP Rankings After Week 10

  1. Peyton Manning
  2. Matt Ryan
  3. Andrew Luck
  4. Ben Roethlisberger
  5. Tom Brady 


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