Falcons Vs. Chiefs: How Close Is Matt Ryan?

ATLANTA - AUGUST 13: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up before facing the Kansas City Chiefs at Georgia Dome on August 13 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

If I had to rank Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan I'd put him in the very-good-but-not-great category. Many people would agree with that assessment.

But how close is he to being elite? I asked SB Nation Atlanta that question and here's what they said:

Matt Ryan is constantly, perhaps carelessly, tossed in the bin of "good but not great" quarterbacks. While his stats may tell some that he's a game-manager, I think 2012 is the year we see Ryan make that leap to "elite." He has a brand new playcaller that's paid early dividends, a wealth of offensive talent around him, and four years of experience as a starter. All that's left is a playoff win or two before we see Ryan join the ranks of the top five or six QBs in the league.

Playoff wins matter. That's really what this comes down to. If Trent Green, for example, brought the Chiefs to a playoff win or two, I imagine he would be viewed in a different light around the NFL.

Stats are great but ultimately it's playoff wins -- and Super Bowl wins -- that allow players to join that elite category.

That said, it's only a matter of time until Ryan's stock receives a boost. He's young enough and the Falcons are built well enough that their playoff wins are coming. Maybe not this year, but Ryan has a long career ahead of him.

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