After 26 NFL starts, how does Ryan compare to Vick?

Matt Ryan hasn’t had the sunniest of sophomore seasons. His team is 5-5. He threw 10 interceptions in a five-game span. His team has lost four of its past five. But with all the dissection we’ve done, here’s one thing we haven’t tried: We haven’t yet compared/contrasted the Falcons’ newest franchise quarterback with their previous franchise quarterback. Here goes:

• After 26 regular-season starts, Ryan is 16-10. After 26 regular-season starts, Michael Vick was 16-9-1. (Note: Owing to his apprenticeship behind Chris Chandler in 2001 and his broken leg in 2003, Vick needed four seasons to make 26 starts.)

• Ryan’s passer rating in his second season as a pro is 80.0. Vick’s passer rating in his second season as a pro was 81.6. Ryan’s career passer rating is 84.3. Vick’s career passer rating is 75.6.

• Ryan’s completion percentage in his second NFL season is 59.3. Vick’s completion percentage in his second NFL season was 54.9. Ryan’s career completion percentage is 60.3. Vick’s career completion percentage is 53.7.

• Ryan has thrown 12 interceptions through 10 games of his second NFL season. Vick threw eight in his second NFL season. Ryan has thrown 16 touchdown passes in those same 10 games. Vick threw 16 touchdown passes in 15 games in his second NFL season.

• Ryan has fumbled three times in his second NFL season, his team losing two. Vick fumbled nine times in his second NFL season, his team losing six.

• Ryan has accounted for 2,324 yards (passing and rushing) through 10 games of his second NFL season — an average of 232.4 yards per game. Vick accounted for 3,713 yards in his second NFL season — an average of 247.5 per game.

• Ryan’s team lost his first playoff start, which came in Phoenix in his first NFL season. Vick’s team won his first playoff start, which came in Green Bay in his second NFL season.

After 26 games, the better QB is/was:

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Even though the styles were dissimilar, there’s not a lot of difference between the raw numbers at this point in the two careers. But it’s worth noting that we’re rating Ryan at a personal low — though he did have a big second half in Giants Stadium on Sunday — and Vick after 26 NFL starts was among the most feared players in the league.

That 26th start came in Week 5 of the 2004 regular season. The Falcons would finish 11-5 and beat the Rams in a playoff game and reach the NFC title game. But that was the end of Vick as a winning quarterback. He was 15-15 over his final 30 games as a Falcon, and his last NFL start came Dec. 31, 2006. This year he has accounted for 67 yards, more than half of them coming on one run against the Bears on Sunday night.

We can compare/contrast Ryan to Vick as young players, and you can make the case that Vick was slightly better. (Though not as a rookie; he started only two games in 2001.) But we cannot compare the Ryan of 2009 to the Vick of 2009 because there’s no comparison. One is the starting quarterback. The other is a backup.

Note: I’m posting this now, but I’m not opening it for comments just yet. I’m flying back from Newark, and I know from the hour I spent over dinner with D. Orlando Ledbetter last night how quickly matters can deteriorate on here. So I want to be able to monitor the comments. If you’d like to leave one, check back early in the afternoon. In the interim, feel free to vote in our poll.

In-flight update: Delta flight 2011 has wireless available — a free trial! — and I will open this for commenting. Since I’m at 30,000 feet, I’ve got nowhere to go. But let’s keep it clean, shall we?

706 comments Add your comment

mmgtfan

November 23rd, 2009
10:50 am

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
10:51 am

That’s twice for you, mmgtfan, is it not? Double kudos.

Gilley

November 23rd, 2009
10:52 am

Ryan is the better passer of course!! Bigger threat was Michael Vick. What he did to opposing defenses in his prime was uncanny and the fact that teams had to prepare just for him is equivalent to the hack a shaq in the NBA! He had wr acting like him in practice. He never got over the hump of his passing for obvious reasons but he was still one of a kind and I go with Mike Vick in the first 26 starts. Kudos to Matt Ryan because he had a great rookie season and did well but he doesn’t have the “IT” factor just yet. But hey thats my opinion!

Gilley

November 23rd, 2009
10:53 am

I should have just typed ‘first’ and then proceeded to type my comment…lol

jokurone

November 23rd, 2009
10:54 am

These stats were before teams started “spying Vick” and then it was all down hill for Vick, Ryan will be able to improve because he is not reliant on “scrambling” to complete the play. I will take Ryan for the long run

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
10:54 am

There was a dynamic element about Vick that isn’t present with Ryan. I’ll grant that. But remember also that Vick didn’t have to start Game 1 of Year 1.

Dang!

November 23rd, 2009
10:54 am

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
10:55 am

I believe that is indeed the trick, Gilley. Don’t read. Just type.

In fact, that’s probably the better course with anything I write. Don’t read it.

close call

November 23rd, 2009
10:56 am

By most measures, they are comparable. Ryan has an appreciably better completion rate, but Vick accounted for 15 more yards per game. Because of Ryan’s much higher penchant for interceptions, I think Vick takes this by a hair.

RJ

November 23rd, 2009
10:57 am

The biggest problem with Vick is the way he went down hill so quickly his last couple seasons. Hopefully Ryan doesn’t experience the same fate.

Ced

November 23rd, 2009
10:57 am

Interesting comparison. Just wondering why we are still talking about Vick. For better or worse, Ryan is our quarterback now. Overall, he’s struggling through this season. The hope is that the experience from this tough season will make him a better QB going forward. Hopefully, he and the team can at least get us a winning season so that we can break this non consecutive winning season curse.

Gilley

November 23rd, 2009
10:58 am

Jokurone: The question is NOT for the long run but comparing the first 26 starts…..Winning speaks volumes!!!!

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
10:59 am

Why are we talking about Vick? Probably because, after hearing how Ryan is no Vick so often on the ol’ blog here, I decided to check the stats and see.

brave1

November 23rd, 2009
11:00 am

With Vick they had to SIMPLIFY the offense because he wouldn’t work hard enough to study.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 23rd, 2009
11:00 am

History and playoff wins

Rest my case!

“DUMP THE CHUMP”

brewdawg

November 23rd, 2009
11:01 am

I saw the run by Vick last night, and while still very fast, he seems to have lost a step. Two or three years ago, nobody catches him from behind.

FALCONS SORRY

November 23rd, 2009
11:01 am

MATTY HOPELESS! YOU DO NOT EVEN COMPARE TO MIKE! NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT! YOU ARE AS SORRY AND OVER PAID A QUARTERBACK AS THIS TOWN HAS EVER SEEN! BLANK TREATS YOU LIKE HIS LITTLE GOLDEN CHILD BUT THAT HOW HE USED TO TREAT MV7 BEFORE YOU STAB HIM IN THE BACK! AUTHUR BLANK = JUDAS THE TRADER! I HOPE YOU ENJOY COUNTING YOUR 30 PECES OF SILVER BLANK BECAUSE YOU WONT BE COUNTING THEM IN MIAMI COME JANUARY! BUT THE PHILADELPHIA EAGELS WILL! MATTY HOPELESS WILL BE CRYING LIKE A LITTLE GIRL INTO HER TOWEL AND WONDERING WHY BLANK DONT LOVE HIM NO MORE AFTER BLANK GET FED UP WITH HIM AND WASTE ANOTHER HIGH DRAFT PICK ON ANOTHER SQUEEKY CLEAN GOLDEN BOY WHO AINT GOT NO GOOD GAME OR NO GOOD ARM NIETHER! MATTY HOPELESS HAD THE BEST YEAR OF HIS ENTIRE CAREER AS A ROOK AND THAT WAS ONLY BECAUSE HE TOOK PEOPLE IN THE NFL BY SUPRISE! HE HAS BEEN ON A STEADY DECLINE EVER SINCE NOT JUST A SOFTMORE JINX! IF THIS TEAM WONT WISE UP AND TRADE MATTY HOPELESS FOR VICK THEN AT LEAST CALL UP THE TITAN AND GET VY DOWN HERE TO TAKE CARE OF BUSNESS! WHEN YOU BEEN TO THE THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN LIKE THIS FRANCHISE WAS WITH MV7 THERE AINT NO WHERE TO GO BUT DOWN! AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHERE # 2 IS GOING! RIGHT DOWN THE TOLET BOWL DRAIN WHERE IT GO WHEN YOU FLUSH IT! AND THAT # 2 IS TAKING ALL BLANKS MONEY THE ENTIRE FALCONS FRANCHISE AND THE WHOLE ATL RIGHT DOWN THE DRAIN AND INTO THE SEWER WITH HIM! # 7 IN YOUR PROGRAMS WILL ALWAYS BE # 1 IN THE HEART OF PEOPLE IN THIS TOWN THAT KNOW FOOTBALL AND ARE TRUE FALCON FAN!

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
11:02 am

I don’t care if they simplified the offense or complicated or left it exactly the same. The question for today: What did each man do with the offense he was running? And it’s pretty darn close.

tee

November 23rd, 2009
11:02 am

Reg

November 23rd, 2009
11:02 am

Ryan has the weapons that Vick didn’t have and a decent coaching staff along with a real play caller.
I would like to see what Vick would have done with the offensive talent that the Falcons currently have. I don’t think there would even be a comparison, Vick hands down. The Falcons are a quarterback and a reciever away from being an elite team in the NFL. The Falcons need a Wecker type speed player that can go across the middle with heart. Ryan doing what he did at Boston,,,,throwing INT’s. Just one mans opinion.

Mychelfromatl

November 23rd, 2009
11:02 am

Uh OOOOHHHH. I’ll stay outta this conversation, I’m only here to watch.

**Proceed**

Sam

November 23rd, 2009
11:03 am

Interesting numbers for the two of them. But the two of them are very different in terms of their QB style. Vick is a great athlete…but not a great QB. Vick has attributes that most QB’s don’t have; but he doesn’t have the passing accuracy to be a great QB like a Steve Young did in his day. Ryan is a pocket passer with better accuracy than Vick. It helps that Ryan’s receivers have gotten better with time (even though Jenkins is still AWFUL), but the receivers constantly had to make adjustments to their routes when Vick was throwing to them. Also, when Vick was here, our offense was pretty basic…give ball to Vick and see him run. There was no real threat from our RB, WR, or TE’s. At least now, Ryan has the luxury of having a good RB, a HOF TE,and decent WR’s. I’ll take Ryan in the long haul, but Vick was exciting for sure!

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
11:05 am

I don’t know about that. Vick had Warrick Dunn and Alge Crumpler alongside. And Vick had Dan Reeves as coach in his first three seasons, including his best statistical passing year (2002).

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

November 23rd, 2009
11:05 am

Because of their dramatically different styles, comparing Vick with Ryan is an “apples to oranges” comparison. The overall results are pretty close, although it’s clear that Vick’s passing inaccuracies (among other things) made him less effective over the long run.

Since MV was unable to lead the Falcons to back-to-back winning seasons, I would rate his overall Falcons career as “unsatisfactory”. If MR can lead this team to four victories over the next six games, then one might make the case that he’s the best QB in franchise history! … only time will tell.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 23rd, 2009
11:06 am

brave1

November 23rd, 2009
11:00 am
With Vick they had to SIMPLIFY the offense because he wouldn’t work hard enough to study.

“Actually” there was an article out last week, that stated several quarterback coaches stated that Ryan’s playbook was simplified, so I think you have it backwards.

I believe the AJC ran that article on one of their blogs.

Chett Peebles

November 23rd, 2009
11:06 am

Matt is the present and future qb. He has a lot of good years ahead of him, and a lot of experience to gain. I feel totally confident with MR and this organization. Don’t get frustrated over a few bumps- these guys work hard.

Falconsforlife

November 23rd, 2009
11:06 am

I loved Vick and he broke my heart. I now love Ryan and hope he won’t do the same. Vick certainly electrified this city and brought an energy to this franchise that had never been seen before, but he was too inconsistent, too susceptible to injury, and had a poor work ethic. Ryan, while showing this season that he is human, is the exact opposite. The consistency certainly isn’t there yet, but I’m hoping he turned a corner yesterday.

It’s almost impossible to compare the two since they are vastly different. One key thing to remember is that Vick never led this team to back to back winning seasons. That is obviously in jeopardy now, but I would bet real money on the fact that Ryan will do that before his career is over. And when Ryan leaves this franchise it will be because he is retiring and not getting hauled off to jail.

It’s almost impossible to compare the two since they are vastly different. One key thing to remember is that Vick never led this team to back to back winning seasons. That is obviously in jeopardy now, but I would bet real money on the fact that Ryan will do that before his career is over. And when Ryan leaves this franchise it will be because he is retiring and not getting hauled off to jail.

Steve

November 23rd, 2009
11:06 am

How many points did the Falcons score while Vick was QB and while Ryan was QB? Therein lies the tale.

Mychelfromatl

November 23rd, 2009
11:08 am

Awwwman forget it, I’ll join the coversation. To me they both was pretty decent through their first 26 games.

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
11:08 am

The whispers from Philly are that Vick has lost a step. That’s why I didn’t make the topic about which quarterback you’d take at this moment. Because I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. Vick hasn’t done anything of substance in the NFL since 2006.

Eternal Optimist

November 23rd, 2009
11:09 am

The AJC goes out of it’s way to instigate annomosity between the Vick/Matt Ryan fans. Let it go, please. Matt Ryans is our QB of the future and Vick is doing the best he can to resurrect his career. Just let it go Bradley…..The only conversation these comparisons will spark on this AJC blog are opinions(sometimes racially motivated) not based on any facts.

A Mouthful of AWESOME !!

November 23rd, 2009
11:09 am

To keep from having to watch Matt Ryan’s poor play, immaturity and the rest of this 2009 Falcons season jump out of the frying pan and into the fire, I wonder if “Freddie Falcon” will commit suicide and take the easy way out just like UGA did.

Sam

November 23rd, 2009
11:11 am

To “Matt Chole Ryan”…so the same records (except for the tie that “Vick” couldn’t win) means that Vick is better? So Vick one 1 – not 2, not 3 – playoff game and he is better? Did he ever take us again to the playoffs? Did he give us back to back winning seasons? Um, no. And I guess since he didn’t reach 26 games until his fourth year doesn’t say anything to you about Vick’s lack of football readiness?

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
11:12 am

Actually, Eternal Optimist, that’s what I’m trying to avoid. By laying out the numbers, I’m trying to deal in facts.

And for the record, I like both as people. I probably had more conversations with Vick because having a conversation with Ryan is kind of tough. He’s very nice but unbelievably programmed to say nothing interesting.

Ree Roe

November 23rd, 2009
11:13 am

I’ll go with the homie Mike Vick just b/c he could beat you in a variety of ways. The first 2 years the sky was the limit for Mike back then & the energy for the Falcons at that time was undeniable. With that said, I’m a huge Matt Ryan fan & I was glad to see him play well on Sun.

-REEcently Roe!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 23rd, 2009
11:13 am

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
11:05 am
I don’t know about that. Vick had Warrick Dunn and Alge Crumpler alongside. And Vick had Dan Reeves as coach in his first three seasons, including his best statistical passing year (2002).

“Now Mark” You know I couldn’t let you get away with this one.

- Crumpler w/Vick went to multiple pro bowls

- Without Vick Crumpler has not even been mentioned again

- Dunn w/Vick multiple 1,000 yard seasons

- Prior & after Vick, a 600-700 yard back with Tampa & Atlanta

Crumpler & Dunn benefited from Vick’s attention from opposing defenses. They were just one of many that rode the “Vick Experience”.

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
11:13 am

The tie was pretty memorable. Vick rallied the Falcons into overtime against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Great performance by him that day. And many days in that 2002 season.

guy

November 23rd, 2009
11:15 am

considering that ryan has a team to work with, i’d say mike vick was better, football player-wise. ryans passing numbers are about on par with mv7’s, but mv7 could tack on 50-100 yds rushing in any game. plus the supporting cast around ryan is better as a whole. i.e. (turner + gonzo + roddy white) > (dunn + crumpler + finneran). that being said, mv7 was a punk who never studied or worked and couldn’t be a leader on the field or off of it

Gilley

November 23rd, 2009
11:16 am

Seeing some good points from both sides of the fence but @Steve we don’t measure in terms of points but WINS!

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
11:17 am

I’m not sure Vick didn’t study or work. I thought he was pretty darn diligent his first few seasons. But I would concede that things might have changed after he signed that second contract on Dec. 23, 2004.

Bears Fan

November 23rd, 2009
11:17 am

As a Bears fan, I will take them both right now over Jay Cutler

G man

November 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

Hate to say it but Vick was better. The yards don’t lie. Ryan has been a big letdown this year. We only have 3 losses without his sloppy play

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

Congratulate yourselves. We’re 40 comments in and I haven’t had to delete one.

Tommy

November 23rd, 2009
11:19 am

The problem is that Vick and Ryan are on the extremes of style when it comes to NFL quarterbacks.

Vick in his prime was all speed and improvisation, doing insane stuff no other QB could ever do. The problem was that so much of his game was instinct, it was hard to design an offense around him. The defense never knew what was coming, but the problem was that half the time the offense didn’t know either. Vick was the only player I’ve ever seen that could look like the best player in the NFL and the worst quarterback in the NFL in the same game.

Ryan on the other hand is the classic set-piece, drop-back QB. Where Vick improvised after the snap, Ryan improvises before it, audibling, unloading the ball fast and hitting hot routes. Vick was at his best when prolonged a play, Ryan does his best when he shortens them.

In short, Vick was a supercharged Randall Cunningham but never developed into Steve Young. Two years in Ryan looks to be a supercharged Phil Simms, and we’ll have to see if develops into another Montana.

FALCONS SORRY and Choke are black? Really?

November 23rd, 2009
11:21 am

To FALCONS SORRY AND CHOKE-

Your skin color is showing. Love your racist comments week after week. I just know in my heart that if Matt Ryan was black you would be singing his praises.

From the immortal field of dreams…

“I told him that I could never respect a man whose hero was a criminal.”

Mark Bradley

November 23rd, 2009
11:22 am

Let me also say this: I know a lot of white folks who really enjoyed watching Michael Vick play for the Falcons. I’m among them.

My point being: The only black and white point I’m trying to make today is putting the numbers down in black and white. As Parcells once said: “In the NFL, you’re what the record says you are.”

Reck in effect

November 23rd, 2009
11:22 am

It’s very hard to compare these two. Michael Vick was drafted to run a version of the west coast offense versus Ryan who was drafted to run a more pro style, shotgun orriented offense. The west coast requires a more athletic type qb because of the shorter routes and reads. The Falcons offense now is based off timeing,combination, deep play action routes. This is conducsive to a pocket passer. Needless to say the running game sets all of that up. We will see how good Ryan is in the weeks to come with Turner the Burner out.

Bears Fan

November 23rd, 2009
11:25 am

I also think that Vick’s fortune changed when Dan Reeves was fired. The fact that Vick has his best passing year in his first year as a starter speak volumes about the coaching, I think, of Jim Mora. Maybe if the Falcons kept Dan Reeves for one more year, who knows?

Angus

November 23rd, 2009
11:26 am

Ideally, give me Vick’s legs and arm strength, but give me Ryan’s height, brain, heart, and soul.

Since we’re keeping it in the real world – give me Vick without the criminal penchant. Not reality?

OK, give me Ryan.

And can we get a defense?

Eaasssy

November 23rd, 2009
11:27 am

Vick will never do anything more than what he has already accomplished. A few playoff wins, combined with several more than embarrassing on and off the field. How about the time he lined up under the guard during the closing minutes of a game. HA!!! The kid had all sorts of natural talent. I will give him that.

Unfortunately, for him and the rest of the Vick supporters, he has the maturity level of a 13 year old boy.

How about some statistics for Ryan’s second year in comparison to other solid QB’s (Peyton, Favre, Elway, McNabb etc. Hell how about Flaco and Cutler?