Arthur Blank: Matt Ryan will be compensated well

Belichick's tough love works for Brady

Matt Ryan led the Falcons to the best season in franchise history and to the franchise's second Super Bowl appearance.

He most likely will enter the Super Bowl arena with the initials MVP appended to his name - having claimed that award in absentia the night before. Ryan received 25 votes, 15 more than Brady with Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr receiving six votes apiece followed by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' two votes and one for Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.

Ryan's offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, was named the AP assistant coach of the year.

The 31-year-old posted the best season of his nine-year career with the organization, throwing for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions in the regular season.

Ryan had career-highs for completion percentage, yards, touchdowns and passer rating and a career-low for interceptions.

"He was not that good", Ryan cracked at the team's facility. He was outstanding from start to finish and now has his Atlanta Falcons one win away from being world champions. I'd expect Brady to feel more of a pass rush during the Super Bowl than he's experienced during the playoffs this year. Mack's case was helped by the fact that he played on a modest defense - the Raiders were ranked just 26th in the National Football League this season.

"This is an incredible honor for me", Ryan said in a statement. No one predicteded Andre Rison getting the nod over Brett Favre in Super Bowl XXXI.

Ryan also won the offensive player of the year title at the NFL Honours evening. This won't be a surprise to anyone within the Falcons, but preparing for life without him hasn't been a priority as the team got ready for the Super Bowl. "I was young, but I've gotten a lot better since then". Atlanta reached the postseason four times in his first five seasons. It would have been harder to get here if we didn't go through that previous year together. Matt Ryan is without a doubt this years MVP.

"If you're looking at consistency this year, I think you can talk about Matt Ryan", Falcons owner Arthur Blank said.

This week in The Players' Tribune, Vick revealed he roots for the Falcons and characterizes his relationship with Ryan as "good friendship". Maybe Ryan hasn't reinvented himself in Year 8, but he has improved so much that Shanahan became a hot head coaching prospect.

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