The big knock on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan isn’t much of a secret.
After four NFL seasons and three trips to the playoffs, Ryan is still searching for his first playoff victory. His lack of success in the postseason has overshadowed his regular season accomplishments, especially after he and the rest of the Falcons offense laid an enormous egg in the 24-2 playoff loss to the Giants back in January.
Ryan isn’t the first quarterback to face questions about whether or not his skills translate to the playoffs. Peyton Manning heard the same rumblings early in his career and he didn’t wind up winning his first playoff game until his sixth season. Manning was good enough to get his team to the playoffs three times in his first five years, though, and Ryan mentioned the significance of that during an interview with WCNN in Atlanta when he was asked about the perception that nothing he does is worth all that much unless he finds a way to win in the postseason.
“Absolutely, and that’s kind of the nature of the NFL right now, and especially the position that I play. Quarterbacks are judged by Super Bowl championships, and that’s — whether you agree or disagree with it — that’s kinda just the way it is,” Ryan said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “And I understand that, but I can’t worry about that too much. It’s difficult to get to the playoffs, it’s very difficult to win in the playoffs. I think if you’re looking too far into the future, too far down the road, you’re not giving yourself a chance to be successful week to week.”
The point about looking too far into the future is a good one. There’s no way to change the playoff narrative unless you actually make the playoffs, which isn’t a particularly easy task in any NFL season. That doesn’t change the need for Ryan to show he can win a postseason game (or the need for the rest of the Falcons team to similarly step up its collective game), but it does offer a reminder that being a quarterback isn’t just about winning games in the playoffs.