Falcons' Matt Ryan and Saints' Drew Brees have faced each other more times than any other quarterback tandem.
Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Matt Ryan vs. Drew Brees: It’s a close game

To say Matt Ryan and Drew Brees have been NFC South most durable slingers is an understatement. 

The two quarterbacks have met more times than any two in the Super Bowl era. (Dan Marino-Jim Kelly and John Elway-Dave Krieg met 18 times each.)

While their records may say otherwise,  Ryan and Brees are not as mismatched as you may think.

Both quarterbacks are expected to return from injury Sunday for the 21st meeting of their careers. Here’s the tale of the tape:


While Brees leads the all-time series against Ryan 13-8, their meetings have been tight contests — 13 of their 21 games have been decided by 8 points or less. 

The two have thrown more than 80 touchdowns combined against each other. 

In their last meeting on Thanksgiving, Brees completed 15 of 22 passes for 171 yards and four passing scores. Ryan went 35 of 47 for 377 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was sacked 6 times. 

Their overall stats against each other are:

QuarterbackMatt RyanDrew Brees

Overall stats 

Since 2008, Brees has played in five fewer games than Ryan and holds a 69.0% completion rate for 54,029 yards, 391 touchdowns and 154 interceptions. 

Ryan has a 65.6% rate over his 12 seasons for 48,890 yards, 310 touchdowns and 141 interceptions. 

Last season, Brees led the league in passer rating (115.7); Ryan was fourth (108.1). Brees averaged 8.2 yards per pass; Ryan averaged 8.1. 

Oh, the sacks

Over his career, Ryan has been sacked 340 times. 

By comparison during the same period, Aaron Rodgers (423) and Joe Flacco (359) have been sacked more. Eli Manning (315), Tom Brady (285) and Brees (270) have been sacked fewer times.  

Ryan runs more 

Ryan has 398 rush attempts for 1,212 yards and 9 touchdowns since 2008. Brees, in the same period, has 271 runs for 308 yards. He has 17 scores.

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