Matt Ryan, the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, would have traded his Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy for the Super Bowl, one day after they lost to the New England Patriots via a come-from-behind victory during the Super Bowl 51 held at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The night before the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots faced off in the Super Bowl 51 on February 5, Matt Ryan was named as the NFL MVP, capping off a career-best season leading his team to its first ever Super Bowl appearance since 1999.
The 31-year-old Matt Ryan received 25 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 members who regularly cover the NFL games. Tom Brady, the quarterback for the New England Patriots, who led his team to the championship was a distant second to Ryan as he managed to snare 10 votes.
Dallas Cowboys rookie sensation running back Ezekiel Elliott and Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr each received six votes. Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, got two votes. The remaining one vote went to the other Dallas Cowboys rookie sensation Dak Prescott, who was adjudged as AP’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Offensive Player of the Year awardee too
Matt Ryan also won the Associated Press’ Offensive Player of the Year award on February 4, beating Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. Ryan got 15 votes compared to Rodger’s 11 votes, reports ABC News.
Ryan passed for 4,944 passing yards with 38 touchdowns and only seven interceptions and led the NFL with a 117.1 passer rating, helping the Falcons score a league-high 540 points.
In accepting his MVP award, a video was shown wherein Ryan was giving a speech as he was not able to attend the ceremonies, probably because they were in the thick of their game planning for the next day’s Super Bowl 51.
Ryan said that it is an incredible honor for him, adding that there are so many other great candidates and players who had amazing seasons in the NFL.
He then thanked his teammates because without them he would not be able to win the award or get an amazing season for the Falcons.
Ryan explained that they had so many guys on their team making great plays and have great seasons for the team, and he acknowledged them by expressing his gratitude to them.
Consistency wins it for Ryan
The third overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft, Ryan guided the Falcons to an 11-5 record, the NFC South title and their first playoff berth since the 2012 season.
It marked the second consecutive year a quarterback from the NFC South was named MVP, following Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers.
Arthur Blank, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, said that if the voters for the NFL MVP were looking for consistency in the 2016 NFL season, they should all talk about Matt Ryan.
Blank said that he thinks that the reason why Matt Ryan had a strong season this year is because of the offseason work that he put in himself personally as well as to some commitments he made on the West Coast to support his training, his offseason programming.
The Falcons owner said that Matt Ryan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have been on a much better communication path than they were in their first year, adding that Matt’s understanding of the system is certainly greater than it had been in Year 1.
Blank added that Ryan’s ability to feel comfortable turning his back to the line of scrimmage, partly due to Alex Mack, partly due to the offensive line withstanding their role staying together and carrying back when releasing the ball were all critical.
He explained that Ryan’s ability to pass on the move and do it in an accurate fashion, all of that’s gotten much better. That started from Day One and has continued throughout the season.
Ryan, a four-time Pro Bowler, was considered to be the front-runner for the MVP award after being named first-team All-Pro, ahead of Super Bowl counterpart and two-time MVP Tom Brady.
As he evolved into the lead MVP candidate, Ryan maintained a team-oriented approach whenever he discussed the possibility of achieving the league’s highest individual honor, details USA Today.