Al Bruce wrote:
What separates Brady, Manning, Rodgers and Brees from Ryan (besides Super Bowl rings)? In a word, it's called "moxie." In football terms, moxie can be defined as having the skill and strength of mind to consistently deliver in the face of adversity.
Indeed, Matt Ryan has shown flashes of moxie, but quarterbacks like Brady, Manning, Rodgers and Brees exude moxie on every snap they receive from under center.
With respect to my colleague at BR, this is pure BS. The only reason the Big 4 he named appear to have this so-called "moxie" is because they have rings. And thus because SB rings are magic, it makes people believe that certain variables exist that really don't. There are plenty of times when those other QBs don't show moxie, but because they have hardware, no one ever questions them as hard as they do with someone that does.
Did Brees exude moxie on every snap under center when he threw 59 picks in his last 52 games, 2nd most in the league behind only Eli Manning (65)? Or when he has yet to win a road playoff game and sees his production take a major dip in those games? Or Tom Brady, who started his career 10-0 in the playoffs, but now is 5-5 in his last 10 playoff games. Is that because he exudes so much moxie? And Peyton Manning, who "chokes" in the playoffs almost every year except the one year where he was actually a fairly average QB.
Matt Ryan needs to play better. Of that I agree on. But gaining some intangible quality won't do that. That intangible quality only exists as a retroactive application. Meaning, you only get it after you've reached the goal. When you scale the mountain, and people wonder, "How did he do that?" They answer, "Oh, because he has moxie." No one ever says when the guy is in the midst of scaling the mountain, "He's going to get to the top because he has moxie." Instead, they say, "Oh he'll never make it because all his predecessors had moxie, and I don't see it in him." No one who watched the Ravens last year thought Joe Flacco had moxie going into Week 18. But then fast forward 4 weeks, and all of sudden he's got more moxie than all the world put together.
Again, Ryan needs to play better. But the OC needs to help him out. The WRs need to drop less passes, and the running game has to take slack off him, and the defense has to get stops, and the OL has to play better. I can guarantee you one very tangible
thing, if those things start happening, then Ryan's play will pick up.