Matt Ryan has already established himself as one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, but in the 2019 season, he could put himself closer to making history.
Over this coming season, if Ryan just throws for as many yards as he did a year ago, he will surpass Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway and move into the No. 9 spot all time in the NFL’s all time list for total career passing yards. Last season, Ryan threw for 4,924 yards.
Moreover, if Ryan passes at least 4,000 yards per season for the next five seasons, he will become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to surpass 70,000 career passing yards.
Even if he does not match his 2018 yardage, Ryan can still get past the 70k number in the next six years if he averages at least 4,000 yards per season over that span.
Here is a rundown of the league’s leaders in passing yards all time.
1. Drew Brees: 74,437
2. Peyton Manning: 71,940
3. Brett Favre: 71,838
4. Tom Brady: 70,514
9. John Elway: 51,475
10. Warren Moon: 49,325
11. Fran Tarkenton: 47,003
12. Matt Ryan: 46,720
Ryan already owns a bevy of Falcons franchise records, including passing yards, touchdown passes, attempts, and completions, including a dozen other categories for passing with Atlanta since entering the NFL in 2008 as their first round pick from Boston College.
Should he continue to play up to his career standard, Ryan could in all likelihood move into the top 10 in NFL history in career passing yards.
Ryan threw for career bests or near career bests in yardage, completion percentage, touchdown percentage, and scoring overall this past season.
Ryan finished the 2018 regular season with 35 passing touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns, and his first career receiving touchdown, accounting for 39 total touchdowns on the year. The seven interceptions he threw were tied for a career low.
Last year, he completed 69.4 percent of his pass attempts, his second best mark, amassed his second most yards in a season, and had a 1.2 percent interception rate, his lowest ever.
Now, with Dirk Koetter back in the fold, Ryan hopes to add onto that success.
Atlanta reached the NFC Championship Game after the 2012 season with Koetter calling plays, and Ryan leading the NFL in completion percentage.
In 2014, Koetter called a Falcons offense that averaged 378.2 yards per game, 284.6 passing yards per game, and 23.8 points per game, all ranking in the top dozen in football. In Tampa Bay as head coach, his offense averaged third in yards per game and first in passing yards per game. The Buccaneers finished 5-11 overall.
Ryan enjoyed consistent production with Koetter as play caller, in the 2012 season leading the NFL in completion percentage (68.9 percent).
Over three seasons with Koetter as the main play caller, Ryan averaged 4,643 yards, 29 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and completed around 67 percent of his pass attempts.
In the 2012-13 season, the Falcons earned a berth in the NFC Championship Game with this offense.
Now with Koetter back, Ryan hopes to pile on more yards, and help the Falcons get back into contention for the Super Bowl the city of Atlanta has been waiting for.