Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pro Bowl Debate: Matt Ryan vs. Aaron Rodgers

Whenever rosters are announced for any all star type contest for a professional sports league, there is sure to be some debate over players who are omitted. Our first debate this year comes from the NFC Pro Bowl squad, as Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was left off of the roster behind 2 seemingly less deserving quarterbacks. We could make a case that Rodgers was more deserving than Drew Brees, however, in this case we will be looking at the case of Rodgers vs. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. While not surprised by the choice of Ryan, he is not more deserving than Rodgers. Ryan has been a big reason of the success of Atlanta this year, however you can make the argument that Michael Turner is the most important piece of the Atlanta offensive puzzle. The same such argument cannot be made about Rodgers. One could argue that besides Peyton Manning, there is not another player in the NFL that means more to their offense than Rodgers does to the Packers. Rodgers' case may have been hurt by the time he missed because of concussion problems, but even with the time off he still was able to throw for more yards and touchdowns than Ryan, and in the all-important quarterback rating, he is over 12 points higher. Those stats alone do not measure Rodgers' value, as you must also take into account his threat as a runner. When you combine passing and rushing, Rodgers has accounted for over 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns, while only turning the ball over 11 times. While Ryan deserves accolades for Atlanta's stellar season, they should not come at the expense of a more deserving candidate.


  1. Well said. It's unfortunate that Pro Bowl selections are made the way they are. As a football fan above any particular team, I don't like to see a player like Rodgers get passed up simply because he plays in a smaller market. Seems that the selections have really come down to a popularity contest. How else do you explain 5 Dallas selections. It would seem to me that it is hard to make an argument that Rodgers is not in the top three quarterbacks in the league, much less NFC, this year.

  2. Matt Ryan has been superb this year, but admittedly, he has been carried by a terrific running attack. However, his numbers are pretty damn similar to Rodgers (27 to 26 TDs, 10 to 9 Ints). The 12 point difference in QB rating comes from Ryan's lower YD/completion average. Which is a bit trivial, in the scheme of things...Ryan's 12-3 record to Rodgers' 9-6 is reason enough to put him ahead.

    In a perfect world, I would have kept Brees off in favor of Rodgers. Brees's 21 interceptions are a bit disconcerting. However, he is one of the league's golden boys (and defending Super Bowl MVP), so no realistic chance he's getting left off.

  3. If the Packers make the Super Bowl, I guess it won't matter that Rodgers was left off the Pro Bowl. Any QB would take that!