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 Post subject: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Cute stats alert!!!

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Was looking at Advanced NFL Stats, they have a story for the Washington POst that basically says that Robert Griffin is worth 4 more wins than last year's Redskins QBs: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/foo ... dskin-qbs/

They also have a chart that shows the difference in EPA (Expected Points Added) for QBs over the past 12 years here: http://www.advancednflstats.com/2012/11 ... ne-at.html

What is interesting about that is that it suggests that Ryan's improvement in EPA from 2011 to 2012 alone is similar to the dropoff from VIck in 2006 to Harrington/Leftwich/Redman in 2007. Meaning 2012 Ryan is to 2011 Ryan as Michael Vick is to Harrington/Leftwich/Redman.

Matt Ryan currently ranks 3rd in the league for EPA with 112, behind Brees (114.1) and Brady (146.3). That if extrapolated out to a full 16 games, will be 179. Ryan's best season of his career was 2010 in EPA, where he had 117.1 EPA.

According to the Post article, every 100 EPA is worth 2.8 wins in the NFL. That basically means Ryan's play this year is about 1.7 wins better than he has ever played before.

Now his EPA obviously took a hit from the Cardinals game (-11.8). Now if you average out his EPA for the first 9 games, and assume his remaining 6 are more like that, then his 2012 season total will be about 194.5. That would be an improvement worth about 2.2 wins over Ryan's best season.

Ryan is also on pace to finish this year with a WPA (Win Probability Added) of 5.92 (that roughly translates to wins added). That figure would rank as the 6th highest regular season total for a QB since 2000:

1. Peyton Manning (2004) - 7.18
2. Tom Brady (2011) - 6.63
3. Tom Brady (2007) - 6.38
4. Peyton Manning (2009) - 6.19
5. Peyton Manning (2006) - 6.05
6. Matt Ryan (2012) - 5.92?
7. Aaron Rodgers (2011) - 5.83

Again it's numbers like this that tell me that this could easily be the best season Matt Ryan ever has. Historically speaking, very few QBs have played as well as he has this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:11 am 
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I know that many folks think I'm wrong, but I fully believe that Matt was capable of these kinds of performances long before this year. I think the guy was being crippled by his useless OC, and possibly HC. Matt Ryan is a Tom Brady clone. The right coach would have had him tearing up the league 3 years ago. Good head, great ability to read a defense, great under pressure, questionable arm strength. Instead of working on his arm strength 4 years ago, we told him long is never wrong, and slowly beat into him that he should throw the ball where no one can get it.

I've had to listen to you people tell me for 3 years that I was wrong. This year, we changed the OC, and suddenly Ryan is an MVP. Go freaking figure. And now I have to listen to people saying, "this is a fluke, Ryan won't ever do this again." <sigh>


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:03 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
I know that many folks think I'm wrong, but I fully believe that Matt was capable of these kinds of performances long before this year. I think the guy was being crippled by his useless OC, and possibly HC. Matt Ryan is a Tom Brady clone. The right coach would have had him tearing up the league 3 years ago. Good head, great ability to read a defense, great under pressure, questionable arm strength. Instead of working on his arm strength 4 years ago, we told him long is never wrong, and slowly beat into him that he should throw the ball where no one can get it.

I've had to listen to you people tell me for 3 years that I was wrong. This year, we changed the OC, and suddenly Ryan is an MVP. Go freaking figure. And now I have to listen to people saying, "this is a fluke, Ryan won't ever do this again." <sigh>



I agree 80% as I've been saying the same thing to the point of annoyance (4 WRs, 2 legit TEs, pass catching RBs, spread the field.) I also think Ryan was coached wrong. All that said, I think he's still better this year. He has better zip on his ball. He's stronger in a muddled pocket.

I think he would have been better than he's been the last 3 years with a better OC, but I think he's made additional strides this year. Now with the right personnel (a versatile RB who is a threat in the pass game, 4 WRs who will beat their matchups instead of 2, 2 solid WR) and a bit better OG play, I think he can play similarly to this year year in and year out. Maybe a little better some years, and a little worse others, but I think he can be a 4800/30/13 kind of guy consistently.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:21 pm 
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I don't think having #88 out there can be excluded fromt he conversation. When Tony retires it will be a big speed bump for Matt as he really helps move chains, inflate his numbers, etc. It's all speculative and, I agree, a combination of lots of things.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:53 am 
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I agree that coaching was definitely a factor, but I still contend the leap that Ryan has made this year isn't the normal bump from simply making a coaching shift. He's practically a brand new QB which is again why I don't expect the arrow to continue to point upward. It certainly could, but with Gonzo retiring and your typical regression to the mean, Im expecting some drop off in 2013 and beyond.

The ability to play at this high a level depends on so many other factors that have nothing to do with Ryan's arm strength or play calling. All you have to do is look around the league at other elite QBs and you see year to year fluctuations. Again Ryan's play may only drop off 10% or so and he remain a Top 5 QB but just won't have as great a season. Just look at Rodgers in GB. 2011 very well could be his best season ever, and the Packers failed to take advantage of it by winning a Super Bowl. There has been drop off this year thanks to injuries at WR and subpar O-line play, but also because at times Rodgers has been pressing. Rodgers is still a Top 5 QB despite all of these issues, but the Packers no longer have the benefit of him playing out of his mind (although his play this year would be that for 90% of the rest of the starters in the NFL).

When Koetter was taking over, I expected Ryan to potentially reach this point in year 3 under Koetter not year 1. Now could Ryan continue to show growth until then? Sure, but again I no longer expect it.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:56 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I agree that coaching was definitely a factor, but I still contend the leap that Ryan has made this year isn't the normal bump from simply making a coaching shift. He's practically a brand new QB which is again why I don't expect the arrow to continue to point upward. It certainly could, but with Gonzo retiring and your typical regression to the mean, Im expecting some drop off in 2013 and beyond.

The ability to play at this high a level depends on so many other factors that have nothing to do with Ryan's arm strength or play calling. All you have to do is look around the league at other elite QBs and you see year to year fluctuations. Again Ryan's play may only drop off 10% or so and he remain a Top 5 QB but just won't have as great a season. Just look at Rodgers in GB. 2011 very well could be his best season ever, and the Packers failed to take advantage of it by winning a Super Bowl. There has been drop off this year thanks to injuries at WR and subpar O-line play, but also because at times Rodgers has been pressing. Rodgers is still a Top 5 QB despite all of these issues, but the Packers no longer have the benefit of him playing out of his mind (although his play this year would be that for 90% of the rest of the starters in the NFL).

When Koetter was taking over, I expected Ryan to potentially reach this point in year 3 under Koetter not year 1. Now could Ryan continue to show growth until then? Sure, but again I no longer expect it.


I agree largely on this. I think the growth or regression will likely actually have more to do with quality of pass catchers and interior OL. It will look like Ryan, but is likely more related to Dimitroff. Really hoping for interior line help in FA, and a real back, 3rd WR, TE in some combo of FA and draft. It's tough since we really need a DT and DE also.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:56 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I agree that coaching was definitely a factor, but I still contend the leap that Ryan has made this year isn't the normal bump from simply making a coaching shift. He's practically a brand new QB which is again why I don't expect the arrow to continue to point upward. It certainly could, but with Gonzo retiring and your typical regression to the mean, Im expecting some drop off in 2013 and beyond.

The ability to play at this high a level depends on so many other factors that have nothing to do with Ryan's arm strength or play calling. All you have to do is look around the league at other elite QBs and you see year to year fluctuations. Again Ryan's play may only drop off 10% or so and he remain a Top 5 QB but just won't have as great a season. Just look at Rodgers in GB. 2011 very well could be his best season ever, and the Packers failed to take advantage of it by winning a Super Bowl. There has been drop off this year thanks to injuries at WR and subpar O-line play, but also because at times Rodgers has been pressing. Rodgers is still a Top 5 QB despite all of these issues, but the Packers no longer have the benefit of him playing out of his mind (although his play this year would be that for 90% of the rest of the starters in the NFL).

When Koetter was taking over, I expected Ryan to potentially reach this point in year 3 under Koetter not year 1. Now could Ryan continue to show growth until then? Sure, but again I no longer expect it.


I agree largely on this. I think the growth or regression will likely actually have more to do with quality of pass catchers and interior OL. It will look like Ryan, but is likely more related to Dimitroff. Really hoping for interior line help in FA, and a real back, 3rd WR, TE in some combo of FA and draft. It's tough since we really need a DT and DE also.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:57 am 
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I think you guys forget how raw a Qb is out of college and to start with
any line is tough on a new college to pro qb.

I think Mularkey was great for Ryan year 1-3. Perhaps in year 4 he was held back a little, but it wasn't Mularkey who had the head in the headlights; it was Mularkey asking him not to do as much.

I won't list the hundreds of Qbs that were push to fast; and if you don't like what Mularkey did with Ryan that's ok by me. Mularkey didn't ruin him; and I can't prove my case either.

All the good Qbs go up & down once they establish a baseline. Ryan did make good on getting or making him have a stronger arm, and I always give the credit to the player while Mularkey made the extra effort
to keep him from getting shell shocked!!

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:00 pm 
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Whatever the reason for his progression this year, it's a great thing to witness, and I hope it is only the beginning of many good years to come for Matt!

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:24 pm 
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My stance is similar to yours Cyril. I wasn't high on Mularkey when we first hired him dating from what I saw of him in PIT/BUF. BUt I thought he handled Ryan beautifully as a rookie.

I also think that Ryan didn't show that he was capable of the things he's doing today until his 3rd year, so the idea that Mularkey "ruined" or "hurt" him in his first two years is revisionist history IMO.

Now, I agree that Mularkey held him back in 2011, and said as much a year ago.

takeitdown wrote:
I agree largely on this. I think the growth or regression will likely actually have more to do with quality of pass catchers and interior OL.

That may be the case, but in the case of the 2012 season, I think Ryan is significantly out-performing the quality of all both areas. I know people always believed that with the talent of our trio, that they would all perform at their current levels, but when you look at a measure such as EPA, and see that of the 10 highest-rated pass catchers, our guys ranked 4th (White), 7th (Jones), and 9th (Gonzo), that just isn't normal. The odds that you find a TE that good are extremely low. Just an interesting note, you look at the EPA of Gonzo through 11 games which is 46.6. Jason Witten has never had a season where he had more than 45 EPA.

Roddy White is playing his best he's ever played. He's on pace to blow away his 2008 numbers, which is widely believed to be his best season.

2008: 88 catches, 1382 yards, 7 TDs, 148 targets
2012 (on pace): 97 catches, 1458 yards, 6 TDs, 145 targets

Roddy is 31 years old, and outproducing his 27 year old self by 10%. That too is not normal. If he continues on this pace, you're talking about one of the greatest single seasons a 31-year old WR has ever had. In a historical context, you're talking about maybe 5 guys before him that have ever done this at the same age.

As for the O-line, I don't think you can ask Ryan to do more with less than what he is currently doing. We've always known that Ryan is the type of QB that makes his OL look better than it is. But he's doing things that up to this point he's never really shown he can do well, which is handle a muddy pocket. He's not Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger by any means, but it certainly looks like a much different Matt Ryan.

Now if you think he's turned a new corner because of Dirk Koetter rather than Mike Mularkey, I say that's BS. That's purely on Ryan. You look at Ryan's under pressure accuracy % according to Pro Football Focus which basically the number of completions (minus drops) over attempts under pressure, not counting times when the ball is thrown away or when he's hit as thrown. Here's Ryan's numbers over the years:

2008 - 66.3%
2009 - 55.1%
2010 - 61.3%
2011 - 60.3%
2012 - 65.3%

A point difference could be 10 passes that don't get completed, and those 10 passes could all fall incomplete, or maybe they wind up in the hands of defenders.

Look at Eli vs. Brady. Eli and Brady had roughly the same # of dropped passes in 2010. Yet Eli throws a league-high 25 INTs, and BRady a league-low 4 INTs. I know Eli had at least 7 of his INTs due to dropped passes.

These are the unknowable breaks that can go your way, or sometimes don't.

And thus the notion that Matt Ryan is only beginning his ascension I don't think is necessarily a realistic notion.

Again, it may be similar to Peyton Manning. Manning "peaked" in 2004, arguably the greatest season ever for a QB in NFL history. And there was dropoff after that, yet he was still very, very good from 2005 to now, and his success in many of those years was still better than every other QB in the league. And Ryan may hover at or slightly below this level for another 7 years similar to Manning, and thus its not a big deal, as it ultimately proved to be with Manning.

I'm just saying that 5 years from now when we are on the back 9 of Ryan's career, I think it's likely we'll look back on this 2012 season he's having and think, "Man, that was when Ryan was playing his best football," and the addendum to that statement maybe "Man, I wish the rest of the team was good enough to take advantage of that and get this team a ring."

Now in the case of the Colts, despite Manning being redonkulous in 2004, it was in fact 2005 that they won their lone Super Bowl. Now maybe at that point in 2017 or whenever, we'll have reeled in our a title between now and then, and thus this argument is moot.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Ryan: A Tale of 2 Seasons
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
That may be the case, but in the case of the 2012 season, I think Ryan is significantly out-performing the quality of all both areas. I know people always believed that with the talent of our trio, that they would all perform at their current levels, but when you look at a measure such as EPA, and see that of the 10 highest-rated pass catchers, our guys ranked 4th (White), 7th (Jones), and 9th (Gonzo), that just isn't normal. The odds that you find a TE that good are extremely low. Just an interesting note, you look at the EPA of Gonzo through 11 games which is 46.6. Jason Witten has never had a season where he had more than 45 EPA.
...
As for the O-line, I don't think you can ask Ryan to do more with less than what he is currently doing. We've always known that Ryan is the type of QB that makes his OL look better than it is. But he's doing things that up to this point he's never really shown he can do well, which is handle a muddy pocket. He's not Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger by any means, but it certainly looks like a much different Matt Ryan.




I think you misunderstand me. I'm saying Ryan has ascended to a level where from here on out, it comes down more to whether they have a pocket, and whether they have multiple pass catchers who he can distribute the ball to...more so than any improvement from Ryan. He's to the level where you shouldn't expect anything more. He can look better with a strong interior OL, legit back, 3rd WR, 2nd TE even if the top 3 don't perform as well. Or he can look worse if the OL collapses and we're relying on the Drew Davis's and Kevin Cones of the world.

But what you have right now is a great QB, and you need to supply him with the tools with which to work. He can't make HD legit, or Palmer. Ryan is doing all that can be expected...a large amount of his stats, and therefore perceived "play" for the next several years is going to come down to whether he has a second to find the open man, and if he has decent guys who can beat their matchups.

In other words, I think he has peaked, but he can look better with more (not better) weapons. Or he can easily look worse with no more weapons, and expecting the top 3 to perform as they have this year.


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