These players are more similar than many realize.
In a pinch, I’d have to say the better Matt is Matt Ryan.
Even though this poll shows that many think that Stafford is the better quarterback.
Who is a better quarterback
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) June 14, 2020
First, let’s look at their similarities and then the one difference that gives Ryan the edge.
NCAA First-Team All American
Both Ryan and Stafford were First-Team All Americans in their senior seasons.
Ryan went to Boston College; whereas, Stafford went to Georgia.
Their excellent senior seasons set them up very well for their NFL Draft days.
First Round Draft Picks
Matt Ryan was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2008 draft (3rd overall).
Stafford was selected first overall in the 2009 draft by the Detroit Lions.
Both have spent their entire careers with one team up until now.
At first glance, Matt Ryan’s statistics are better than Matthew Stafford‘s, but a closer look reveals otherwise.
Year after year, Matt Ryan brings it.
Ryan is the ONLY NFL QB with active streak of 10 straight seasons of 4,000+ Pass Yards pic.twitter.com/Bqgn2Skvsz
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 4, 2021
We should preface this by saying that Matt Ryan had a much better supporting cast with the Atlanta Falcons than Matthew Stafford ever had with the Detroit Lions so that’s why the numbers may seem skewed.
Since Matthew Stafford's rookie season in 2009, Lions receivers lead the NFL with 350 drops.
Stafford had 7 consecutive seasons throwing for at least 4,000 pass yards from 2011 to 2017. That is the 5th longest streak in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/SMhwdifKXW
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 24, 2021
Ryan’s passer rating is 94.5; Stafford’s is 89.9.
Matt Ryan has thrown for over 55,750 yards in his 13-year career.
Better QB: Matt Ryan or Matt Stafford? pic.twitter.com/MKSY9cKzQK
— PFF (@PFF) June 16, 2020
In 12 years, Stafford has thrown for just over 45,100 yards.
Ryan has never been afflicted with serious injuries so he’s played 14 or more games each season of his career for a total of 205 regular season games.
Stafford (maybe because of being on an inferior team) has been more injury prone and has three shortened seasons in 2009, 2010, and 2019 where he played 10, 3, and 8 games respectively for a total of 165 regular season career games.
Though Ryan played only one year longer, he has appeared in 40 more games than Stafford.
Their per game average passing yards are almost exactly the same at 272 yards (Ryan) and 273 yards (Stafford).
This is the difference that gives Matt Ryan the edge.
Matthew Stafford has played in only 3 postseason games.
He is 0-3 in those games; all were one and done games in 2011, 2014, and 2016.
Matt Ryan has appeared in 10 postseason games.
His playoff record is 4-6, the Falcons played in the Super Bowl following the 2017 season.
The Falcons’ loss to the Patriots was a heartbreaker as they were up 28-3 over the Patriots.
In the end, Brady and company made one of their trademark comebacks, and the Patriots won the game by the score of 34-28 in overtime.
Ryan’s demeanor and words at the postgame press conference said it all.
“There’s nothing you can really say. There are no words…That’s a tough loss. Obviously, very disappointed. [The Falcons] were very close to getting done what we wanted to get done, but it’s hard to find the words.”
Even though Ryan’s postseason experience ended in bitter defeat, he has won playoff games and was frightfully close to winning a Super Bowl title.
That’s what gives him the edge in the Battle of the Matts.
Although now that Stafford is with the Rams, this could certainly change in the future.