All the QB buzz in the NFL last season was the emergence of two rookie quarterbacks, and rightfully so. Matt Ryan and Joe "the Pro" Flacco each led their teams to playoff appearances in their first NFL seasons.
Two similar QB's were in extremely different situations as rookies. One had the easy road while the other needed four-wheel drive to get through.
However, he also got to face Cincy, a team with a soft defense, no QB, and a wide receiver (Ocho Cinco) subject to erratic behavior.
Another one of the cupcakes Flacco faced was a Browns team which overall underachieved, with QB Derek Anderson only playing in ten games and star wideout Braylon Edwards catching 55 passes for 872 yards and three touchdowns.
As you can see, it should not have been too difficult to get four wins right off the top.
On the other hand Matt Ryan had a load to handle. With Michael Vick constantly being a headline, Ryan was forced to make a name for himself and resurrect a lifeless city.
The NFC South was harsh. Playing Carolina twice, a team with two pro-bowl caliber running backs and an attacking defense led by Julius Peppers was a daunting task. Then came Sean Peyton and his stellar offense led by Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, and Devery Henderson...wow. Tampa was tough defensively but somewhat average on offense. However Atlanta, on paper had no guaranteed victories.
With a three-headed ground attack like Baltimore's, and that Ray Lewis-led defense, Joe Flacco just had the task of not losing the game, which proved simple for him.
However, Matt Ryan had only Michael "the Snow Plow" Turner and Roddy White, along with a talented but unproven defense, although Keith Brooking had 102 tackles. He also had the entire city of Atlanta to please.
Flacco went 11-5 in a bad division (with the exception of Pittsburgh). Ryan also went 11-5 in what I'd call a much-improved NFC, and played in arguably the toughest division, the NFC South.
Flacco threw for under 3,000 yards while Ryan went for nearly 3,500. Flacco had 14 TDs/12 interceptions while Ryan had 16 TDs/11 picks.
Flacco had a 44 percent completion rate in the postseason. I just don't know how Baltimore got by with Flacco playing poorly in the postseason. Ryan completed 65 percent of his passes in his one postseason game.
What I'm saying is Flacco has done less with more! I don't get why ESPN NFL Analysts are expecting for Flacco to lead Baltimore further with what he has. I fully dispute Flacco's ability and still believe an injury to Troy Smith last year is the only reason he's a starter.
It's tougher for Ryan to get wins than it is for Flacco. Not because of their teams but because of where they play and their opponents.
Ryan in my opinion is proven and and is superior to ole Flacco.