Matt Ryan: I was shocked we didn’t score at end of NFC title game

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It’s been almost five full months since the Falcons lost to the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has not shied away from watching the painful end of the season.

Ryan sat down with Pete Prisco of to watch the tape of the game, giving rise to an interesting article that gives you a quarterback’s eye view of what went down on the field. The loss was a painful one for Ryan on two fronts as he injured his shoulder on one of the game’s final plays — Ryan told Prisco that he thinks he would have played in the Super Bowl if the Falcons advanced — and because Ryan knows that a trip to the Super Bowl was close enough to taste before the Falcons failed on their final plays near the 49ers end zone.

“In a way, I was shocked we didn’t score there at the end,” Ryan said. “We had done it so many times before. We were facing one of the best defenses, if not the best defense, and I still thought we would go down and score. We just didn’t get it done.”

While Ryan pointed to some errors on the final plays, including a six-step drop on third down when a completion might have been there if Ryan threw the ball after four steps, he really lamented some missed opportunities earlier in the game that would have made things easier on the Falcons in the closing seconds. Ryan also points to smart decisions by the 49ers defense as the chess match unfolded in the fourth quarter.

The entire piece is an illuminating glimpse inside Ryan’s head, telling you both what he saw at the time of the game and what his reflections are after watching the game multiple times. None of it will change the outcome for the Falcons, but the process should serve as a learning process for Ryan and the offense as well as anyone interested in how the NFC was won last season.

70 responses to “Matt Ryan: I was shocked we didn’t score at end of NFC title game

  1. On the last play of the game Ryan got nervous and choked…had he lead the pass in front of Gonzalez in the end zone Tony had his man BEAT. Tony catches everything! Lead the pass in front of Tony’s hands and its touchdown and the Falcons are playing Bmore instead of the 49ers….. He choked threw the ball to White who ran right in Aldon Smith and it was incomplete…Not a good decision typically due to pass rush or the pressure to win….

  2. Is there another team in the NFL that fans like watching lose more than Atl? It’s a weird phenomena considering that most of these fans are non- NFC South fans. Maybe it’s that we’re sick of Atl robbing us of cold weather, outdoor playoff games only to lose in that boring, sanitary, indoor dump of theirs.

  3. The guy is the 6th or 7th best QB in the league, yet he gets enough hate to be in the top three.
    Ryan is a hell of a QB though, deal with it. GO PACK!

  4. Joe Flacco is shocked that more people STILL mention Ryan as the better QB even though Joe doesn’t choke in pressure situations. Joe also has probably more wins in the playoff’s than any other active QB besides choking manning and Brady, but Joe pummeled both this year on his way to the Superbowl MVP.

  5. Shocked? To be shocked is to imply you are actually used to winning playoff games. We all knew you’d choke off that “Ice”

  6. justintuckrule says:Jun 17, 2013 3:12 PM

    Is there another team in the NFL that fans like watching lose more than Atl?


    The Dallas Cowboys, and it isn’t even close.

  7. Enough with the Tony Gonzalez “what if” talk. Goldson, one of the hardest hitters in the league, was right over the top of Tony and would have likely broken up the pass. woulda coulda shoulda…

  8. If it weren’t for a complete breakdown in coverage in the last 30 seconds of the game the week prior, he would be saying the exact same thing but replace SF with Seattle.

  9. Here comes the “Guilters” who will spout how terrible Ryan is all the while defending Vince Young and Tarvaris and even Jason Campbell. look at the stats lemmings.

  10. .

    ”Ryan also points to some astute decisions made by the 49ers defense as the chess match unfolded. ”

    True that….. Sometimes we rush to condemn the failure of an offense without taking into account that the opposing defense knows how to play the game too.


  11. No one was surprised to see Ryan choke in a play off game.

    What was shocking is they whey could get past Seattle to get there. Were it not for a bonehead T O by Pete Carroll they would have been one and done as usual for matty melt.

  12. I was shocked when the Falcons blew a 17-0 lead into the 2nd quarter, then a 24-14 halftime lead, then failed to score points in the 2nd half of that game.

    But that’s the past. What you gonna do presently to get over that hump in the future, Matt?

  13. I lost faith in this guy when the packers embarrassed him on his own field in the playoffs. He had a good D, great receivers and home field.

    He will continue to have excellent reg seasons stats and not get it done in the playoffs. He is the Anti-Flacco.

  14. How can he be shocked? They BARELY held off Seattle a week earlier after throwing away an enormous lead.

  15. “Matt Ryan: I was shocked we didn’t score at end of NFC title game”

    …And on behalf of 49ers fans everywhere, I thank you, sir!

  16. he better do it this year or the better than flacco
    stuff has got to stop..those fantasy qb numbers
    mean nothing!!!!!

  17. Seems to me the DEFENSE choked and gave away big leads in both games……couldn’t cover a TE and it cost them, almost cost them the Seattle game too.

  18. I love how people say he choked. He leads the NFL in 4th quarter comebacks because he didn’t comeback on one he choked. This is on the defense. They beat them plain and simple but I would definetly not put this on Ryan’s shoulders

  19. Any way CBS can make this ‘Inside the QB’s Head’ a reocurring segment?….. Would love to see how Tony Romo’s interview goes after a double pick-six, 5 turnover game, you know, as a student of the game….

  20. hmmm…those of us who fully expected you to choke again were not the least bit shocked – isn’t it funny how that works?

  21. I love how people say he didn’t choke, if he leads the NFL in 4th quarter comebacks where the hell was he, oh that’s right losing that 17 point lead!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Oh yeah Drew definitely put on a better show with the same result. To a lesser QB and less potent offense also. Got a lot of love for Alex but Kaep has already surpassed. BTW where was drew last year while this game was played out? Ryan played well. Unfortunately his defense felt no need at all to cover Davis or Crabtree

  23. I love how people say he choked. He leads the NFL in 4th quarter comebacks because he didn’t comeback on one he choked. This is on the defense. They beat them plain and simple but I would definetly not put this on Ryan’s shoulders

    In the regular season…no one cares what you so in the regular season against opponents (including teams with losing records).

  24. I was shocked they didn’t call pass interference on NaVorro Bowman! But karma bit them in the butt hard with the Jimmy Smith defensive holding that went uncalled in the Super Bowl.

  25. I think the Falcons have opportunity to back into the SB and missed out.

    As long as Mike Smith is the coach, expect to see 1st half game planning that goes pretty well, and then nothing but confusion in the 2nd half which is where they lose. 13-3 is a matter of a few seconds from being 9-7 or 8-8.

  26. I am no fan of Matt Ryan, but he is only part of the problem in Atlanta. This team is soft, and has no heart and no guts. Drew Brees threw about 23 interceptions in the Thursday night game last year, and botched clock management at the end of the half, and the Saints still had a chance to make a game of it late. The Falcons have some individual weapons, yes, but the league does not fear them, even when they play at home. I was much more surprised that Atlanta DID beat the Seahawks than the fact that they lost to the 49ers.

  27. Soft, and I dont believe they fully utilize what they have.

    I am surprised no one has hired the Falcons WR Coach as OC or something, it seems thats the only thing they coach well at and can draft pretty well.

  28. Wow, reading these comments reminds me how stupid some of the fans in the NFL can act. Did anyone actually read the article? It was incredibly eye opening reading the calls and plays laid out the way there were in it. Ryan is a very cerebral QB and a winner. He has more regular season wins in the past 5 years than any QB in the game. He also put up 21-0 and 17-0 scores against both NFC West teams in the playoffs and the defense let him down.

    As for the choking comments, wow… Watch a Falcons game before you comment. He has more 4th quarter comebacks than any QB in the league over the past 5 seasons. He separated his shoulder, stayed in the game and came within 10 yards of the Super Bowl. Compare him to Manning or even Marino. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. It’s a team game and when you put up double digits versus a goose egg against teams you shouldn’t be expected to make a comeback. You should win. I can’t fault him for that loss.

  29. They likely would have scored against the Seachickens, but not the better team, the 49ers.

  30. I sat down with Prisco the other day and after watching tape we still can’t believe that the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl! Where’s that story PFT?!?!?

  31. Lets get something straight….
    Ryan had the Falcons up big at Halftime

    The Falcons Defense is the one who “choked”
    Also lets remember that Harry Douglas could have walked into the end zone on a previous Ryan pass in the same drive but Douglas “choked” on a perfectly thrown pass and tripped over his own feet

  32. The guy has more come from behind 4th quarter wins than any other QB in this history of the league in his first 5 years and people call him a choker?

    This is why people say NFL fans are stupid…….or we just have a lot of Saint fans that post.

  33. How about the fact that Matt Ryan couldnt score but 1 TD all of the 2nd half?

    You talk about the defense, talk about the offense going on vacation every 2nd half of a game.

  34. Well they should have scored but the pass interference wasn’t called. Niners will never sniff another SB with krapapick at the helm

  35. Ryan is clutch qb, regardless of the moronic comments I’m reading. Ahmad Brooks made a game changing play with his hit on Ryan. and while in full speed I thought Bowman was going to draw a flag….replay showed he capped the game with one helluva play. five yard bump. let off when ball when ball was in the air (unlike the f-ing super bowl Jimmy ref shoving Smith play). then Bowman came back for the bat down.
    my point though Ryan has nothing to be ashamed of- they gave SF all they could handle.
    a few unbelievable defensive plays like cullivers diving pick made the difference.

  36. …and the Seattle near comeback is blown out of porportion. their comeback-sparking INT was a blatant Pass interference on the corner,…almost exactly how they cheated out an int against RG3 in the wild card.

  37. I’m “Shocked” that anybody cares about what Matt Ryan’s reaction was to his own inepitude. Every year you pundits tell us that Ryan is a better QB than Joe Flacco, yet despite having much better offensive skill position players than Flacco (8-4 in the playoffs) he has managed only one playoff win in five years. If Reggie jackson was “Mr. October” than Matt Ryan is “Miss January”.

  38. Flaccid said the same thing after the Denver….. Oh wait he did score a touchdown and went in to win the Super Bowl. A feat Ryan has yet to fact he had won only one playoff game not nine like Joe Cool

  39. swaggyy says:
    Jun 17, 2013 11:40 PM
    Well they should have scored but the pass interference wasn’t called. Niners will never sniff another SB with krapapick at the helm

    …….says the fan who didn’t see it was within 5 yards and, thus, not interference.

    PS…..Atlanta won’t “sniff” another SB for another 10 years. They shouldn’t have been that close in fact.

  40. Enough of the what ifs…what if Akers would have made the field goal in the game. Then there wouldn’t even have been a what if.

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