Through three quarters of Super Bowl LI, it looked like Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had a good chance of adding the Super Bowl MVP to the regular season version of the award.
Things did not work out that way as the Patriots scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game and then added a touchdown early in overtime for a 34-28 win that left the Falcons on the wrong end of the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. Among the reasons for the loss were a lost fumble on a sack on third-and-one early in the fourth quarter and a disastrous series of plays late in the fourth that saw the Falcons drop out of field goal position after a sack, a penalty and incompletion.
Ryan was asked after the game if he thought offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s play calling was too aggressive given the situation.
“Too aggressive? No. I thought Kyle did a good job,” Ryan said. “I thought we played the way that we play. We always play aggressive and play to win and we had opportunities as players. We had opportunities and we made some mistakes on the field that, at the end of the day, ended up costing us.”
Ryan said he wished he’d done a better job of getting rid of the ball on the late sack, which came a couple of plays after Julio Jones made a spectacular catch along the sideline to put the Falcons at the Patriots’ 27-yard-line. Ryan said he thought the team was in “good position” to get a win after that catch, which was a popular opinion among many watching the game. They didn’t and the play calling in the sequence that followed will likely be a bone of contention for many Falcons fans long after Shanahan has taken over as the head coach of the 49ers.