Matt Ryan: Falcons Quarterback Goes for First Super Bowl

The Year of Matt RyanAfter one of the toughest years in his career, Matt Ryan entered the 2016 season on a mission and has played so well he's become the front-runner for league MVP2017-01-12T22:28:48.000Z

Matt Ryan is looking to win his first Super Bowl in his first appearance in the NFL’s marquee game. Ryan’s career stats read like a video game, but the one thing that has eluded him is a Super Bowl ring.

Ryan had his best statistical season in 2016. During the 2016 season, Ryan went 373-of-534 (69.9 percent) while throwing for 4,944 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He set career highs for passing yards and touchdowns. Ryan also had the lowest interception total of his career.

He has had six straight seasons with over 4,000 passing yards. Ryan has thrown for 37,701 yards and 240 touchdowns during his nine NFL seasons.

While Ryan has made four Pro Bowls, Super Bowl LI marks the first time Ryan has made the Super Bowl. It also marks the first Super Bowl for the Falcons in nearly two decades (1999).

Despite his statistical performances, it has not been an easy road for Ryan. He has long been one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the league partly because of his lack of postseason success. Prior to the 2017 playoffs, Ryan had just one playoff win with four playoff losses. Ryan exceeded his career playoff win total in the 2017 playoffs alone with two wins heading into the Super Bowl.

Ryan faces a quarterback in Super Bowl 51 with a much different resume. Tom Brady enters Super Bowl 51 with six other appearances that have resulted in four Super Bowl rings.

While Ryan has emerged as a beloved quarterback in Atlanta, it was not always that way. Ryan was selected by the Falcons with the 3rd pick in the 2008 draft.

The Boston College quarterback was selected to be the successor to Michael Vick, one of the most popular Falcons players in franchise history. Atlanta cut ties with Vick for his role in a dog-fighting ring. The pick was met with skepticism given Vick’s successful career.

Fast forward to today, Ryan is on the third year of a five-year, $103,750,000 contract. Ryan made $15,750,000 this season. He leads a dynamic Falcons offense into the Super Bowl to take on one of the most historic NFL franchises.