Over the last 51 years, plenty of quarterbacks have led their teams to the Super Bowl with dominant playoff showings. Few, however, have entered the big game playing as well as Matt Ryan is right now. Here's a look at the MVP candidate's recent numbers.
During the 2016 playoffs, Ryan has completed 53 of 75 passes for 730 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. Those numbers amount to a 132.6 QB rating, which is the third-highest in NFL postseason history (minimum 50 attempts). Only Bart Starr (146.0 in 1966) and Joe Montana (146.4 in 1989) have recorded better QBRs in a single playoff run. Both of those runs ended with Super Bowl championships.
According to NFL Research, Ryan is the seventh QB to throw for seven-plus TDs and zero interceptions in a postseason. The other six all won Super Bowls.
Ryan is one of only nine quarterbacks to attempt 75-plus throws in the NFL playoffs without tossing an INT.
Only seven players have earned more yards per attempt in a playoff run than Ryan's 9.73. Just one of them (Kurt Warner, 2009) had a higher completion percentage than Ryan's 70.67 in the last two weeks, and all but two (Joe Flacco, 2012; Montana, 1989) threw at least one pick.
Ryan's outing against the Packers was one of the best anyone has had during a Conference Championship bout. His QBR (139.4) ranks third all-time in those matchups (minimum 20 attempts), and his 392 passing yards vs. Green Bay are the fourth-most anyone has tallied in the semifinal round.
Per NFL.com's Chris Wesseling, Ryan on Sunday became the first player in the Super Bowl era to register at least four TD passes, zero INTs and a rushing TD in one playoff game.
Ryan's success vs. Green Bay made him the only NFL player to notch two 350-yard, three-touchdown performances on Championship Sunday. Ryan has been sensational in January, but his tear didn't start when the calendar flipped. In fact, it extends a whole month before the playoffs began.
By shredding the Packers defense, Ryan became the first player in NFL history to post a QBR of 120.0 or better in six straight games. And he became the first QB to lead his team to opening-drive touchdowns in eight consecutive starts.
As Chris Wesseling of NFL.com and Bill Barnwell of ESPN noted, Ryan's last six appearances look similar to the best six-game stretch of Tom Brady's career, which occurred during his MVP campaign in 2007.
Taking a broader view, Ryan's entire campaign is similar to Brady's in 2007.
Ryan thru 18 games: 426/609, 5,674 yds, 45 TD, 7 INT, 119.0 QBR
Brady thru 18 games in '07: 475/687, 5,543 yds, 56 TD, 11 INT, 113.8 QBR — Andrew Hirsh (@andrewhirsh) January 23, 2017
Fittingly, those two will battle for the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 5. And with the way Ryan has been executing of late, Atlanta has good reason to believe it will come out on top.