The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Matt Ryan is a better quarterback than Dak Prescott

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Debate Round Forfeited
ajisthetruth has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2016 Category: Sports
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 494 times Debate No: 97012
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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We will be debating about who is the superior quarterback using only results from the first ten weeks of the 2016 NFL season. I will be arguing that Matt Ryan is the better quarterback, my opponent will be arguing that the Cowboy's Dak Prescott is better.

I am going to define better in the following way:

Better= More valuable in terms of production/the amount of points each theoretically would add to his team

Good luck to whoever accepts.


With one game to go in Week 9, Dak Prescott has the best Total QBR of the week. It's the second time this season that the Cowboys rookie posted the top Total QBR of the week. ESPN Stats & Information takes a look at the best and worst QB performances from Week 9 in terms of ESPN's Total Quarterback Rating (QBR).

Top 3

Dak Prescott: 96.4 Total QBR

Dak Prescott had a 96.4 Total QBR against the Browns on Sunday. ESPN Stats & Information
Prescott"s magical rookie season continued on Saturday as he posted a 96.4 Total QBR (out of 100) in Dallas" 35-10 victory over the Browns. Not only was that Prescott"s seventh consecutive win, the third-longest win streak for a rookie QB since the 1970 merger, but it was his NFL-leading seventh straight game with a QBR above 70. Prescott now has a 83.6 Total QBR for the season, which ranks second behind Tom Brady and is the highest for a player through his first eight career starts since 2006.

Getting back to Sunday"s win, Prescott completed 21 of 27 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a clean sheet in terms of interceptions, sacks and fumbles. As a result, Prescott didn"t have one play that cost his team at least 0.5 expected points, while a season-high 42 percent of his plays gained at least positive 0.5 EPA. Because of his overall efficiency, Prescott added 8.5 points more than an average QB would have with the same number of plays, which is about three more points than any other QB in Week 9.
Debate Round No. 1


I agree completely with my opponent that Dak Prescott was the most valuable quarterback of week 9 but week 9 was only a tenth of the season thus far and we are actually debating who has been the more valuable quarterback over the entirety of the season. I think it's Matt Ryan, and here's why:

1. Matt Ryan has been the more valuable quarterback this year

Per ESPN the most valuable quarterbacks this season have been:

1. Matt Ryan- 69.9 EPA
2. Drew Brees- 62.6 EPA
3. Dak Prescott- 60.3 EPA

Note that Matt Ryan is not ahead by a very significant 9.6 points (he has contributed 9.6 more points to his team over a replacement quarterback than Dak Prescott did).One could argue that therefore by definition Matt Ryan has been more valuable to his team than Dak Prescott.

2. Matt Ryan is a far superior passer than Dak Prescott

Matt Ryan is by far the better passer than Dak Prescott, having not only a stronger but also a more powerful arm. Note the following statistics (I've bolded the categories in which Matt Ryan leads the league, note that for each not bolded statistic he is in the top four):

Matt Ryan: Dak Prescott:
Comp. percentage 68.2 66.8
YPG 324.7 292.4
Touchdowns 24 14
Passer rating 115.1 106.2
EPA from passing 53.5 43.7
Yards per attempt 9.38 8.35

I think its clear from these statistics that Matt Ryan is the superior passer. Keep in mind that he is of course doing all of this with an inferior running attack and a much worse offensive line. Defenses have gone in knowing that Matt Ryan would have to pass to give the Falcons any chance at winning, Dak Prescott can rely on Ezekiel Elliot to make major contributions to the running game. Matt Ryan hasn't had that luxury.


3. The Atlanta Falcons desperately need Matt Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons need Matt Ryan extremely badly. They have one of the worst defenses in the league (28th in PPG allowed with 28.3). This is permissible right now as the Falcons also have the league's most efficient offense (32.0 PPG).

If you take away Matt Ryan and replace him with a league average quarterback the Falcon's record would change from 6-4 to 4-6. In other words they would change from a playoff team to a bad team (note that without Ryan Week 2 and Week 8 become losses, this was calculated by subtracting Ryan's EPA for that game and replacing it with the league's 15th best EPA total. If you do this Week 2 becomes projected to be 28-27.4 loss and Week 8 becomes a 32-27.7 loss).

If you take away the EPA total from Dak Prescott and replace it with the average quarterback in the league the Cowboy's record stays the same, watch:

WEEK 1: Loss
WEEK 2: Changes from 27-23 wn to 24.4-24 win
WEEK 3: Changes from 31-17 win to 25.6-17 win
WEEK 4: Changes from 24-17 win to 20.4-17 win
WEEK 5: Changes from 28-14 win to 28-14 win (Dak Prescott was the 15th most valuable QB that week)
WEEK 6: Changes from 30-16 win to 30.9-16 win
WEEK 7: Bye
WEEK 8: Changes from 29-23 win to 25.3-23 win
WEEK 9: Changes from 35-10 win to 30.2-10 win
WEEK 10: Changes from 35-30 win to 35-30 win (Once again Prescott was the 15th most valuable QB)

As shown above without Prescott the Cowboys would still have a projected 8-1 record. They would still be great without Prescott, the Falcons wouldn't even be good without Ryan. Without Prescott the Cowboys would still have outscored opponents by a total of 28 points this year. Without Ryan the Falcons would have been outscored by 33 points (thus far they have outscored opponents by 37 points).

I think I have shown that Ryan has been the superior quarterback this season. Looking forward to my opponent's response.


Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has now begun his career with 132 consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception. That stands as an NFL rookie record " albeit one fellow rookie Carson Wentz of the Eagles also has a say in, with 103 over three games plus a bye week " and just 30 short of the longest streak in NFL history to begin a QB"s career.

Prescott has embodied efficiency within this Dallas offense, and that"s what they have needed him to do to win during the team"s 3-1 start.

Patriots QB Tom Brady holds the record of the longest streak of pass attempts without an interception to begin a career with 162 after he took over for Drew Bledsoe in New England, and he also holds the record for the longest streak of any player between interceptions, throwing 335 passes without one during the 2010 season. When Brady is the other name involved in the statistics you"re showing well in, it says something about the type of player you are.


To be clear: I"m not saying Prescott is the new Brady, but that right now he is playing with the kind of passing efficiency that has made Brady so great. Perhaps the single biggest asset Brady has had for most of his career is patience. Defenses can frustrate most QBs by taking away their big plays and forcing them to play underneath, eventually creating a turnover when they push for bigger plays. If 5-yard gains are all that is there, Brady will take them all game long, because eventually those will end up in the end zone.

Other QBs take more of a gambler"s mentality to the position, shooting for big plays knowing that it will cost them some turnovers, but New England"s offense has typically been a far higher-percentage approach. In order for it to still dominate at that level, it takes somebody with Brady"s patience and self-control to make it tick and avoid turnovers.

Prescott needs to be that kind of QB for Dallas, and through the first four games of the season he has been. Right now he sits as the No. 7 QB in PFF grades with an 82.9 grade, having completed 68.2 percent of his passes in his first season. He has thrown just three touchdowns, but added another two on the ground.


This isn"t a case of the Dallas passing attack just trying to scheme Prescott cheap yardage; he simply isn"t attacking as aggressively as some other QBs. Against Pittsburgh, Wentz threw a screen on 33 percent of his pass attempts and his average depth of target was just 5.1 yards downfield. The same week Prescott"s average target depth was 10.2, one of the higher ones in the league, and his season average of 8.3 is middle of the pack, above Baltimore"s Joe Flacco and New Orleans" Drew Brees.

For the season he has thrown a screen on just 5 percent of his attempts, 4 percent below the league average, and actually makes his money on the short to intermediate passing game, rather than the "free passing yards" short game.

It"s at the other end of the scale where Prescott"s conservatism shows. Only Chicago"s Jay Cutler has gone deep (passes of 20-plus air yards) less than he has, and Cutler missed the last game injured. On a per-attempt basis Cutler has actually gone deep more than twice as often, and Prescott"s 6.1 percent is the lowest mark in the NFL, below even the permanently conservative Alex Smith in Kansas City (7.7 percent).

As we know, Dallas has one of the league"s best offensive lines, and even with injuries affecting it this season it is still at its best in terms of run-blocking and opening holes on the ground. Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott has now had 20-plus carries in each of the first four games of the season, and his per-carry average has increased each week. Over the past two games the team has rushed for 386 yards and four touchdowns, and the reality is they don"t need to be carried by their QB.

Part of Prescott"s success was always finding himself in maybe the single-best possible situation for a QB to land, with an excellent offensive line, a fresh rookie RB and an elite wide receiver in Dez Bryant to throw to. Injuries have eroded that position a little, but the fundamental support structure is still there for him. Dallas doesn"t need Prescott to aggressively attack deep down field, as they can afford to be conservative, but neither are they asking him to dink and dunk his way down the field or spending their time manufacturing him cheap yardage underneath with endless bubble screens aiming to pick up yards after the catch.

Prescott has been at his best between 10 and 19 yards in the air, completing 64.7 percent of those passes for 10.7 yards per attempt, with all three of his passing scores coming in that range.

The Dallas passing offense may be conservative, but it has been effective, and that"s in large part due to the play of the rookie fourth-rounder Prescott. He may become more aggressive as time passes, but right now the Cowboys don"t need him to change a thing, and he is more than holding up his end of the bargain. This is not a quarterback being propped up by scheme, but rather one playing within it, and not risking the big mistake to make a huge play when he doesn"t have to.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent did not refute any of my arguments and the only argument he could bring forth was a copy and pasted article by Sam Monson from Pro Football Focus ( He does cite this (kind of) but the fact remains that copying and pasting somebody else's argument (especially one which has no relation to what were debating, the name Matt Ryan isn't even mentioned) is no debating it is plagiarizing.

Unless my opponent gives a genius refutation in his final argument, I consider this debate won.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by lua 1 year ago
Aj plagiarized every argument line for line without citing his sources:
Posted by ILikePie5 1 year ago
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