*UPDATE: Dan in the comments correctly points out that the numbers I listed are actually double what they should be. All the attempt numbers should be cut in half. Thanks, Dan.*
On September 7, 2008, rookie Matt Ryan made his debut, launching a 62-yard touchdown strike to Michael Jenkins on his first ever NFL pass. It was quite the start for the 3rd overall pick, but while the future was bright for the young signal-caller, nobody expected him to average 62 yards per attempt. He would most certainly come back to earth.
So we can all agree that one pass attempt is not enough data to draw conclusions about a player’s true ability. In his debut, Ryan went on to complete 9 of his 13 passes (69.2%) without an interception; in his second start, he completed just 39.4% of his passes with no TDs and 2 INTs. Again, most of us will accept that a game or two is still too small of a sample. So, what is the point at which we can start to accept the results as indicative of a player’s true talent?