Atlanta Falcons

Why Matt Ryan Will Be The Next Aaron Rodgers

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Packers won 48-21. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
No NameAnalyst IAugust 4, 2011

Last year marked an incredible run for the Green Bay Packers, which almost didn't even make the playoffs.

They snuck their way in towards the end of the season, and rolled everyone on the way to winning the Lombardi Trophy. Rodgers carried his injury-rattled team all the way to a Super Bowl victory. Who is next in line to do the same?

Looking at the list of candidates this year that have a chance to do what Rodgers and the Packers did last year, there is one guy who stands out to me.

Matt Ryan has been a very productive quarterback since he came into the league. He is leading a high-powered offense in Atlanta that features so many incredible weapons.

The Falcons have been a very good team the past couple of years, but this could be the year they get over the hump.

If they are going to make it to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl, they might have to do it as a Wild Card team in the NFC.

That is exactly what Green Bay did last year, though, so that might be a positive thing.

The NFC South is probably the best and toughest division in all of football.

Not only do you have the Saints and Drew Brees, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 10 games last year, and the Carolina Panthers look to be one of the most improved teams in the league this year. There is a lot of talent in this division, so it won't be easy for anyone.

What was an improved defense last year, will only get better with the addition of defensive end Ray Edwards.

The offense will feature dynamic playmakers like Michael Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers and exceptional receivers like Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and highly-touted rookie Julio Jones.

Many people around the league are raving about Jones, including future Hall-of-Fame teammate Gonzalez. Tony said this week that Jones is the best receiver he has ever seen coming in to training camp. Just think about that statement and let it sink in.

With so many weapons at his disposal, Ryan should have no trouble finding the end zone early and often in Atlanta.

It still might be a little too early to put him on the same level as Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers and Roethlisberger, but I believe he will get there.

With his talent and progression as the quarterback of this team, he should be able to join the list of elite quarterbacks in today's game as Super Bowl champions.

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