How Does Matt Ryan's MVP Season Stack Up Against Recent Quarterback Winners?

Matt Ryan won the NFL's Most Valuable Player award, but was his season that impressive compared to other winners?

When the dust settled, it seemed like the majority of NFL fans were cool with Matt Ryan winning this year's NFL MVP award. If you look at his raw statistics -- which many will look to when voting -- it's hard to argue. Our advanced numbers favored it, too.

There's no doubt, though, that this season saw a controversial MVP race. Ryan's numbers and play were off-the-charts good, but Tom Brady put in some serious work in his 12 regular season contests, and Aaron Rodgers made a strong case as well, carrying the Packers' offense into the playoffs.

Because of this, it may feel like Ryan's MVP wasn't as deserving as past quarterback winners.

Well, according to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, which you can read more about in our glossary, Ryan's MVP season certainly wasn't the greatest we've seen over the last decade and a half. It wasn't the worst, either.

What the table below shows us is the number of expected points an MVP quarterback -- there have been 13 of them since the turn of the century -- added in sum, how many points he added per drop back, the average per drop back rate for that particular season, and the difference between his rate and the average rate.

Per Drop BackAvg. Per
Drop Back
2004Peyton Manning231.100.450.03+0.43
2011Aaron Rodgers231.300.430.01+0.42
2007Tom Brady259.400.430.02+0.42
2013Peyton Manning278.520.410.07+0.34
2009Peyton Manning188.800.320.02+0.30
2003Steve McNair105.430.25-0.01+0.26
2001Kurt Warner145.170.25-0.02+0.26
2016Matt Ryan212.860.370.12+0.25
2003Peyton Manning139.850.24-0.01+0.25
2010Tom Brady152.660.300.05+0.25
2014Aaron Rodgers188.410.340.10+0.25
2002Rich Gannon133.120.200.02+0.19
2015Cam Newton105.040.200.11+0.09

As you can see, Ryan's efficiency numbers place him in the same tier as these other league MVPs, but his season was far from elite when adjusted for the year. So he was deserving, but he certainly didn't show us anything new.

(Oh, and for the record, these are all passing, not rushing, numbers -- that's why Cam Newton isn't getting the love he deserves for last year's campaign.)