But the way players react to pressure can be the difference between an All-Pro and a marginal starter. It's the difference between being able to play in this league and being just another in the long line of college greats who couldn't cut it.
Monday night's game will feature two quarterbacks whose play under pressure is part of what defines them. Matt Ryan earned his nickname ("Matty Ice") for his cool play under fire, and Peyton Manning's return gives us another glimpse of one of the best the game has ever seen.
But what happens when pressure actually gets to these two players, and therefore who is likely to have the edge on "Monday Night Football"?
Play under pressure
The key to success in today's NFL is disrupting the passing game, and the best way of doing that is to pressure the quarterback. Pressure negatively affects even the best quarterbacks, so the real question is: By how much?