There is a Matthew Stafford vs. Matt Ryan Twitter battle going on now.
These are two of my favorite quarterbacks in the NFL today. Stafford played at my alma mater. I’ve never seen an SEC quarterback sling it like he did at Georgia. Ryan has quarterbacked my favorite team for the last decade-plus, leading the Atlanta Falcons to unprecedented heights. Yet, Twitter for some reason thinks Stafford is a better player than Ryan? Just stop it. You’re being so dumb!
The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak put out a poll to tackle the greatest Twitter debate we never knew we needed in our lives. While people respect the job Stafford has done for making a terrible Detroit Lions team mediocre for the last decade, the amount of disrespect Ryan is getting from this poll is laughable, wrong and downright shameful. This is not that hard to figure out, people.
Ryan has won 40 more regular-season games, made 40 more starts, thrown for 10,161 more yards, 65 more touchdowns and only 13 more interceptions than Stafford. Ryan has missed three NFL starts, while Stafford has missed 27 games due to injury. In only one more year of play, Ryan has won NFL MVP, been to a Super Bowl and won four playoffs. Stafford hasn’t done any of this.
Matt Ryan is an infinitely better NFL quarterback than Matthew Stafford.
The big argument in Stafford’s favor is how deplorably bad the Lions have been since the 1950s. They have won one playoff game since the Falcons became an expansion team in the mid-1960s. Well, it wasn’t like the Dirty Birds were the gold standard of football-winning excellence down south either.
Prior to Ryan’s arrival in Flowery Branch in 2008, Atlanta had never had back-to-back winning seasons. In Ryan’s first five years in the league, the Falcons never had a losing record, made the NFC playoffs four times and won the division twice. Ryan has quarterbacked his team to two NFC Championship games at home. Stafford can’t get the Lions a home playoff game at Ford Field.
Though both quarterbacks are great friends, only one of them will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and that will be Ryan. Through 12 NFL seasons, Ryan has approached the Ken Anderson Line, which means he’s already at the asymptote of getting into Canton or not. With half-a-dozen years or so left in the tank, Ryan earns a gold jacket with one more Pro Bowl nod.
Stafford, however, will go down as his generation’s version of Vinny Testaverde, one hell of a passer, but more of a stat accumulator than anything. Both went No. 1 overall in their respective drafts to abysmal NFC franchises. Testaverde would leave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to have better personal success with the Baltimore Ravens and most notably the New York Jets.
When healthy, Ryan and Stafford are no-doubt top-15 passers in the league. At his best, Ryan approaches top-five territory, but usually hovers in the seven-to-nine range most years. When Stafford is humming, he can crack the top-10, but he’s typically in the 12-to-15 range more often than not.
Though Stafford has the better arm talent and plays for a more chaotic franchise, Ryan’s accuracy, dependability and leadership are why he’ll end up in Canton one day and Stafford will never surpass the Anderson Line for Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement.
There is no debate, as Ryan is the superior quarterback to Stafford anyway you slice it.