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.
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?