Former Boston College QB Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons look to advance to the NFL Championship Game this afternoon against the Seattle Seahawks (1 PM on FOX). Ryan, who led the Falcons to a 13-3 regular season record and the NFC's #1 seed, is looking to finally get in the win column as an NFL starting quarterback.
Ryan currently owns the worst playoff W-L record among active NFL QB starters (0-3). Here are the records of the starting QBs left standing in this year's playoffs:
-- Tom Brady, New England Patriots - 16-6 (.727)
-- Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens - 7-4 (.636)
-- Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers - 1-0 (1.000)
-- Matt Schaub, Houston Texans - 1-0 (1.000)
-- Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks - 1-0 (1.000)
-- Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons - 0-3 (.000)
A career that already includes two trips to the Pro Bowl and the 2008 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award has been marred by three middling performances in the postseason:
2008: @ Arizona Cardinals (L 24-30) -- 26-of-40, 65.0% comp. pct., 199 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
2010: Green Bay Packers (L 21-48) -- 20-of-29, 69.0% comp. pct., 186 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
2011: @ New York Giants (L 2-24) -- 24-of-41, 58.5% comp. pct., 199 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
Nevermind the fact that Green Bay and New York won the Super Bowl in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and that Arizona played for, and nearly won a title in 2009. NFL playoff losses for a starting QB are forever. Right or wrong, an NFL QB is judged as much on their playoff W-L record as they are on regular season results. Debatable, of course, when you consider:
-- Trent Dilfer - 5-1, .833 in the postseason and Super Bowl champion
-- Peyton Manning - 9-11, .450 in the postseason and Super Bowl champion
A win this afternoon would go a long way towards silencing Ryan's critics and legitimizing what has already been a stellar regular season NFL career. Leave your thoughts on the game below.