The NFL playoffs have a way of letting us know which teams and players thrive on the big stage and which ones shrink back into mediocrity.
When all is said and done with the hype, you have to get it done on the field of play and the gridiron doesn't lie.
The Not Ready For Prime Time list is as follows:
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Sorry Atlanta fans. The Falcons and the NFL can try to overhype Matt Ryan all they want to, the truth is that he is not ready for prime time.
The pass he threw at the end of the half against the Packers was not only a bad decision, but that what you would expect out of a rookie. During the season, Ryan wasn't asked to win many games on his own, which is the mark of a great quarterback.
It's one thing to be good during the regular season, but it is something different to be clutch in the postseason. Ryan is just not as good as he is being hyped to be.
Give me Josh Freeman, Michael Vick, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers ahead of Ryan.
Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan are pretty much the same quarterback when it comes to the playoffs. When the game is on the line, they don't get it done.
Ryan is not the budding superstar he is being made out to be.
He is better than average, but that is it.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
You guessed it—Joe Flacco is next. He has had multiple opportunities to beat the Steelers in the playoffs and has not gotten it done.
Whether it is a turnover, a bad pass or just plain inconsistency, he can't seem to get it done against Pittsburgh in the post season. The Steelers have a lot to do with that in fairness to him.
Flacco stays on this list until he can get his team to a super bowl. He is pretty good in the regular season, but as we all know your legacy is made on what you do in the second season.
The Ravens Wide Receivers
The difference this year with the Ravens offense this year was that Flacco had proven weapons to throw the ball to, and together that would take their offense to the next level.
Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh came up small for the Ravens on the biggest of stages. These types of games were the reason they were brought in, but to no avail.
Boldin dropped a very catchable touchdown pass that could have been the difference; Houshmandzadeh dropped a fourth down pass that would have given them a first down in Steeler territory and kept their hopes alive to tie the game.
Here's what I am saying: Just because you add top flight players at the skill positions on offense, that doesn't mean that will get you over the hump in the postseason or any season.
Just ask the Bengals.
The Ravens were the chic pick to win the super bowl because of the receivers they brought in, but in the end the joke was on them.
These two were not ready for prime time.
The Atlanta Falcons Coaching Staff
Whoever called that roll-out pass to the sideline at the end of the half in an attempt to get a little closer for a field goal attempt is definitely not ready for prime time.
It was obvious what the play call was going to be and they set Ryan up for a bad pass.
That interception for a touchdown, in effect, ended the game.
Matt Cassel and the Kansas City Chiefs
We can chalk this up to this young group of guys not being there before.
Cassel played with New England so he doesn't have that much of an excuse, but the rest of them were not up to the moment.
They shouldn't wet the bed next year if they make it back to the playoffs next year.
Pittsburgh Steelers Special Teams
This unit almost cost them the game against the Ravens and was the difference in the game when they lost to the Jets earlier this season.
They better tighten it up or else they will be watching the super bowl from home.
New England Patriots Management
I am calling them out for the decision they made this season to get rid of Randy Moss. It looked like a good idea at the time, but the fact they didn't have anyone to stretch the field versus the Jets hampered what they could do on offense.
There was no speedy deep threat to open up the field for Brady. The Woodhead's and Welker's of the world are not going to scare a good defensive team like the Jets.
It was painful watching them try to come from behind seven yards at a time.