What is striking is the confidence with which Godfrey characterizes the historical data and by extension characterizes the arguments Catholics have made about it. Few protestant historians are willing to go there. At CtC Nick points out that J.N.D. Kelly is a more respected protestant expert on church history and he says quite the opposite, that the Catholic position on the Eucharist was generally taught and never questioned in the early church.
Still Godfey's statement is likely to embolden Protestants and produce a lot of exchanges where the Catholics say the protestants are cherry picking quotes and the protestants say the same thing back. Knowing that the vast majority are not going to drill into the details you end up with a kind of stalemate.
It reminds me of my thinking about scripture as a Protestant. I assumed there was a mountain of biblical evidence for the protestant position. I knew a few proof texts but even when those were shown to be not as convincing as I thought I remained confident that the scriptures were overwhelmingly on the protestant side. This mountain of evidence never existed. The few texts I knew were all there was and there were good Catholic answers to those.
I just didn't get that. All I had left was tradition. The truth is I had always taken it as infallible tradition. I didn't believe in any doctrine of infallibility but in my heart I held certain doctrines as infallible. So even when I saw much biblical evidence against them and nothing very strong in their favor I could not really let them go. Too many people I knew and respected accepted them as bedrock truth.
The same thing happens when looking at the early church fathers. We end up at a stalemate because each side has a tradition that they are unwilling to seriously question. But what makes sense at that point? Should we just continue to hold to our previous position simple because it was our previous position? That would be ad hoc. We want the truth don't we? A stalemate is not enough to make anyone confident of truth.
So what are the options? There might be no way to tell which tradition, if any, is right. Does that really make sense? If we are Christians and we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important truth in the world then does it make any sense to believe that it has gotten lost in one big mass of human opinions? God would not send His son to die on the cross and allow us to mess up the project so badly that we would have no clear idea what being a Christian was supposed to look like.
So the stalemate is really a good reason to reject Sola Scriptura. It is a reason to prefer a tradition that says there is more grace provided to allow us to know the truth. There are just a few traditions that even claim such a thing. How to pick between them is another question. The key is to pick objectively. Don't pick yours because it is yours. Realize that it sounds the best to you because it is yours.