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Josh Freeman vs Matt Ryan - The Buccaneer Wins?

Pro Football Reference recently posted a feature basically slamming Matt Ryan, or at least the perception of Matt Ryan as an elite passer in the media. Posts like that always warm my heart, and I couldn't agree more. I'm convinced Matt Ryan is vastly overrated because of his rookie season, which was great but he hasn't come close in the two years since. He's been a slightly above average passer since then, who has the advantage of playing many of his games in perfect conditions in a dome, throwing to people like Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White and benefiting from a very good running game and a solid defense. PFR slams Matt Ryan based on his poor performance in the Net Yards Per Attempt statistic, which takes into account sacks and runs and which they call predictive of future performance. Contrast this with Matt Ryan's performance in Adjusted Net Yard per Attempt, which takes into account interceptions and touchdowns. Because touchdowns and interceptions aren't very consistent from season to season that statistic isn't very predictive, but it is very good at explaining why teams won in the past. For a good explanation of the difference, check the article about Matt Ryan  linked above.

Keeping in mind that Net Yards Per Attempt(NY/A) is the most predictive measure PFR has, I wanted to see how Freeman compared to Matt Ryan and the rest of the league. Turns out he does very well. Freeman got 6.5 NY/A, compared to Matt Ryan's 6.0 yards per attempt. Matt Ryan was 25th in the league there, while Freeman was 11th - just behind Drew Brees. In fact of all the young quarterbacks in the league - Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Sam Bradford, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford - Freeman clearly performed second best behind only Aaron Rodgers, who's 5 years older. And not just in Net Yards Per Attempt, this goes for nearly every passing statistic you can find. Josh Freeman had a very good year, but if the stats can be believed, the best is yet to come.