Matt Ryan: We had opportunities and made some mistakes

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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.

84 responses to “Matt Ryan: We had opportunities and made some mistakes

  1. Be honest Matty Ice … the Falcons took the Seahawks off the hook for being the biggest chokers in Super Bowl history.

  2. Shanahan blew it. Period.
    No need to attempt a pass.
    You’re on the 20 yard line.
    Run the ball 3 times and kick a FG.
    Then up by 11 with 3 min. left.
    No brainer.

  3. What a choke job by the Falcons coaches.This game was over at 3 minutes to go after Julio’s catch.Run,run,run,field goal.Game over.That is 2 Super Bowls the Patriots have won ,handed to them by opposing coaches.It is too bad,because the Patriots aren’t that good.

  4. As a nine year veteran Ryan can’t take that sack. The field goal wasn’t a chip shot, but a make-able field goal it certainly was. At that point the Falcons go up 11 and pretty much seal it. Bad move not throwing the ball away from the veteran quarterback in the biggest game. Oh well, the better team won.

  5. The Patriots defense definitely stepped up and took over the game after the half. Congratulations. Atlanta was tough. To those saying they choked – that doesn’t give either side the credit they deserved. Atlanta will definitely be back. I think their inexperience did them in in the 4th, plus their defense was gassed. Oh and btw, the Patriots were conceding the run in the first half daring the Falcons to beat them with it and the Falcons did. Until they made adjustments

  6. Dan Quinn was so thoroughly out-coached you almost have to feel bad for him. Bill Bellichick can make you look bad in so many ways, but it was not Bill Bellichick that somehow made Dan Quinn forget to take a timeout in OT to give his players a chance to catch their breath or GASP make a substitution.

    I think Dan Quinn should be fired as some sort of sacrifice to the football gods.

  7. Fatal mental error from Matt Ryan. He played well, but he’s prone to these types of mistakes in the biggest games.

    You have to walk on a razor thin edge between intense focus and assassin-like coolness if you want to beat Brady/Belichick. You have to be like, well, Eli Manning.

    These are the intangibles that stats and fantasy football nerds will never understand. And it’s what makes football so compelling. It’s all between the lines and between the ears. Kudos to Brady and the Pats for never giving up and having that mental stamina. They waited for Atlanta to make the fatal mistake. And they did in the final minutes.

  8. What about the contrast between the losing QB for this Superbowl to the losing QB of last years Superbowl? Cam Newton was a big baby while Matt Ryan shows that he is a champion, win or lose!! Cam Newton will fade out of view in a year or two.

    Congrats to the Patriots and to the Falcons for one of the greatest games in NFL history!!

  9. Mistakes?How about boneheaded decisions like taking a deep drop on 3rd and 1 when a FG just about puts the game on ice.I blame this loss on the Atlanta coaching staff.The players only do what they are instructed to do.It is a shame because losses like this have a tendency to haunt a team.

  10. For as good as Ryan played in the regular season, getting sacked at a time when they could’ve won the game with a field goal is somthing an MVP doesn’t do. He could’ve gotten outside the and threw the ball away. This loss for the Falcons is going to linger all the way into next season, so I wouldn’t expect them to make it back. Blown opportunity.

  11. The game was over and New England and Brady were about to be declared NOT the greatest ever when the Atlanta Falcons handed them the game. That’s pretty much the story despite what the fan boys will say.

    You’re up a score, you have the ball on the New England 23 with 3:56 left and second down. Two more runs, drain the time off the clock, kick the field goal and collect the trophy.

    Instead you pass twice, preserve time for the opponent and take the dumbest sack of all time. Sure Matty Ice choked but his coaches gagged most of all.

    This is now the second straight Super Bowl New England’s won only because the opponent doesn’t know it only has to hand off, and the Patriots are toast. But let’s declare Belichick and Brady the best anyway.

  12. Three direct runs and let your kicker take his shot. The clock runs
    and even if you miss you run time off. Why make it complicated?
    Your running game was tough enough. Sad ..you had it won.

  13. I love how all these Pats trolls rather spend the time to troll strangers on a fantasy football forum then enjoy a victory with there family and friends. What a miserable life you fans must have? Sounds like you been spending too much time with seattle trolls. I also find it funny that most of the pats fans who “so called loyal fans” probably fell asleep at halftime and had to be woken up by real football fans. I also find it equally amazing most of these trolls on here never watched a down of football before 2000 and to think Brady was ever better then Montana in the big game are complete ignorant fools. Montana was flawless in the big game. no int’s 4-0 perfect. Walk in traffic and educate yourself trolls! Worst choke job in sports history! What was your argument if Atlanta didn’t choke? LOSERS!

  14. Not taking anything away from New England but the Julio Jones catch should have been the game defining play. What the hell were they thinking?

  15. Diehard Pats fan from Mass. I HATE BC. (GO IRISH GO BU HAWKEY!) But, I love matt Ryan. Hold your heads high Falcon fans. You have a TREMENDOUS team!!!

    After the 2004 ALCS, 2011 ECQF, AND 2011 SCF, i should have known better I cannot possibly believe what transpired tonight. I am ecstatic as a Patriots fanatic!

    Hold your heads up Atlanta! you have a young team and a a Belichick disciple helping you rise!!! #riseup

  16. Congratulations on a great season. Led your team to the Super Bowl. NFL MVP.

    Super Bowl Cham……… oh wait

  17. Why would Falcon fans have “a bone of contention” with the play calling? Shanahan plays with the strength of his offense and stays aggressive. That’s what got them to the game.

    Seriously, if the Falcons starting playing “kill the clock” conservative runs and “prevent D”, the critics would be ripping into them for letting Patriots back into the game.

  18. Hate to be in your shoes man. That loss is going to stay with you for life. Couldn’t imagine spending your entire life from a young age putting in all that work time and effort to lose like that in the Super Bowl.

  19. Lead management 101 failure on that drive – been noticing that lately, NFL teams have been placing too much on the QBs to finish it off on such drives

  20. When you are at the 27 with first down. You run the ball three straight plays and worst case you kick a field goal that puts the game out of reach.

  21. I am very, very sorry, but every time I put myself in the place of a Falcons fan, I am not sure I can go on.

  22. What happened to our unstoppable offense?
    you know the one that got shut out in the 4th quarter.
    Grrrrrrrrrrr
    I committed 17K for club seats in the new stadium next season for these choke masters???

  23. It was on Shanahan. First of all when it’s 3rd and 1 with a 16 point lead in your own end you run the ball. You either get a first down or you punt. Either way the clock runs and the Pats have to go 70-80 yards for a td. Shanahan doesn’t run it and it leads to a sack/fumble.

    Same thing when in field goal range. You run the ball, run the clock, and kick the fg to go up two scores. Ryan isn’t going to throw is OC under the bus but those were some pretty bad play calls.

  24. Coaching was horrible tonight like it was all year. Welcome to the ranks of Bills, Vikings Chargers, Panthers, Titans, Cardinals, Eagles, Oh yeah its Matt Ryan, not Matty “Ice”. Cant call him that when they give up a monumental lead.

    Brady= GOAT

  25. Winners know how to win when it really counts. Matt Ryan isnt that person. He wont ever be back to the Superbowl again and have the opportunity to hand the game to the opponents like he and Kyle Shanahan did.

  26. You were in FG range twice and took the sack. Left the door wide open. All you needed was one drive. Thus will hurt the team next season. Just like Carolina.

  27. Matt, did your team relax or press? Felt bad for old man Arthur. He was down there on the sidelines just itching to party with the crypt queen in the red dress. Sad.

  28. The Falcons were MIA in the 2nd half.

    I give the Pats credit but a play here or there and the Falcons win the SB no question.

    They faltered and failed every step of the way which is the only way the Pats won the game.

    This is a really bad loss for the dirty birds. So close – I hope they can recover and play well next year.

  29. Atlanta has nothing to hang their head for. I am watching the replay now and they were still playing hard and making plays. The pass coverage is right there on all of the Patriots receptions. But Brady is putting the ball in perfect places. This looks more like the Patriots going up a few levels than the Falcons dropping. Its amazing really.

  30. nfliferfan22 says:
    Feb 6, 2017 12:35 AM
    I love how all these Pats trolls rather spend the time to troll strangers on a fantasy football forum then enjoy a victory with there family and friends. What a miserable life you fans must have? Sounds like you been spending too much time with seattle trolls. I also find it funny that most of the pats fans who “so called loyal fans” probably fell asleep at halftime and had to be woken up by real football fans. I also find it equally amazing most of these trolls on here never watched a down of football before 2000 and to think Brady was ever better then Montana in the big game are complete ignorant fools. Montana was flawless in the big game. no int’s 4-0 perfect. Walk in traffic and educate yourself trolls! Worst choke job in sports history! What was your argument if Atlanta didn’t choke? LOSERS!

    ———————

    I’m pretty sure the trolls here raging Atlanta calling them names for losing are Pats haters not fans. Note how they are angry about the outcome is the indicator there.

  31. cheeseisfattening says:
    Feb 6, 2017 12:42 AM
    The Falcons really Packered that game.

    ——————————————————————————————-
    I think what you actually meant to say was that they vikinged, gary andersoned or blair walshed that game, 6 major choke jobs for 1 team. The greatest choke job team in the history of the nfl ever.

  32. nickinneohio says:
    Feb 6, 2017 12:16 AM

    Shanahan blew it. Period.
    No need to attempt a pass.
    You’re on the 20 yard line.
    Run the ball 3 times and kick a FG.
    Then up by 11 with 3 min. left.
    No brainer.

    —–

    Nothing more needs to be said.

  33. nfliferfan22 says:
    Feb 6, 2017 12:35 AM
    I love how all these Pats trolls rather spend the time to troll strangers on a fantasy football forum then enjoy a victory with there family and friends. What a miserable life you fans must have? Sounds like you been spending too much time with seattle trolls. I also find it funny that most of the pats fans who “so called loyal fans” probably fell asleep at halftime and had to be woken up by real football fans. I also find it equally amazing most of these trolls on here never watched a down of football before 2000 and to think Brady was ever better then Montana in the big game are complete ignorant fools. Montana was flawless in the big game. no int’s 4-0 perfect. Walk in traffic and educate yourself trolls! Worst choke job in sports history! What was your argument if Atlanta didn’t choke? LOSERS!

    —–

    It’s ok muffin. You’re time will come again. Sometime. Eventually. Probably. Maybe? In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying one of the most unlikely SB wins ever. You’ll still be wallowing in that ridiculous hatred for a team that isn’t even in your conference. I don’t understand it, but it makes you angry and use capslock to try and get your point across. As Trump supporters would put it, that’s sad.

    Only they would also use capslock as well because they think it means more when that’s on. And because you did so they would have to use it more to make sure you knew their point was more alternatively factual than yours, and thus, they also win…..

    lol

  34. This game reminds me of when Tiger Woods was in his prime. His come from behind wins were almost expected, and the guys ahead of him would just wilt. They could feel his presence. He was in their heads. There is just no way Matt Ryan stands there and holds the ball. Just no way. You don’t need to gain any yards, just don’t take a sack. And where was Vic Beasley all night? Did he take the night off? He never got out of his stance.

  35. Run the ball 3x kick a FG be up by 11 with about 2min left game over after the sack a run still wins it. That’s on Kyle “Lobster jr” Shannahan.

  36. “You stay aggressive.” “You keep doing what got you there.”

    People say that as if the Falcons don’t have two of the most versatile RBs in the NFL. Freeman and Coleman were a huge part of what got them there. Giving them the ball isn’t like giving it to a plodder like Blount. Giving them the ball is just as “aggressive” as any other play, with the additional benefit of being smart and strategic in that situation. Shanahan’s gonna Shanahan though. Good luck 49ers, lol.

  37. Run the ball 3x kick a FG be up by 11 with about 2min left game over after the sack a run still wins it. That’s on Kyle “Lobster jr” Shannahan.
    ===============================

    People keep saying this. A couple of things, first, the Patriots were doing well at stopping the run after halftime adjustments. In fact on the first down after Jones great catch, they did try to run and Freeman lost two yards. Second, they could have run it and still ended up with lost yards and a holding call. If that happened or they missed the field goal then everyone would be screaming that they should have been more aggressive. With the pressure that team was feeling I do not think that that field goal was a gimme, especially if they still got the holding call.

    Another point, the Falcons were able to run the ball well in the first half because the Patriots were conceding the run. They just didn’t expect that the run game would net so many yards. It drove me crazy that Aikman kept pointing out that the Patriots had no answer for the run game. Come on man. You knew the game plan was to concede the run. Once they made the adjustment, the Falcons didn’t run so well. Sure Coleman got hurt but he only made the line of scrimmage on that play and I think Freeman had the more explosive runs.

  38. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Feb 6, 2017 12:27 AM

    You are insufferable. Brady and the pats made some bad plays early and guess what? They made great plays later on. Atlanta. Atlanta made some bad plays and couldn’t recover. They could have, I dunno, made a stop in overtime rather than let Brady march down the field. Or done anything to make a stop in the 4th quarter. But nah that doesn’t fit your stupid narrative. Enjoy the offseason!

  39. The 2 biggest comebacks in SB history were 2 years ago in #49 – 10 points in the 4th quarter, and yesterday in #51 – 25 points down.

    With #12 leading the charge the Patriots find another gear and rise to the occasion.

    I repeat – with #12 leading the charge the Pats find another gear and rise to the occasion, and across the land that silly sound you hear is my favorite one, music to my ears – the sound of haters’ hearts breaking.

    Yet again

  40. Choke on it. Once Gomez Addams came from his box in a show of complete arrogance to assume he would win the game….poof. gone. Stay in the box and don’t come out.

  41. All Georgia teams suck and choke. The fans beat the death “when Sid slid” (btw they lost the WS that year) and talk about Herschel Walker like it was yesterday (most of them weren’t even born when UGA won the championship). Not to mention they lost two NHL teams. It’s a city that built a new ballpark and a stadium that weren’t needed which will be full of the visiting team fans. It’s pathetic.

  42. Matty’s A good egg but he choked this win away he is the one responsible for taking a strip sack on 3rd and one . The silliest play calling sequence late in the 4th with a chance to salt away he game and they pass three plays straight ? Matty please don’t insult our intelligence with comments like “it’s who we are” ” thats how we play” situational football 101 ask Seatle if they would pass again in the same situation . There was only ONE thing not to do after the Julio catch and that was don’t lose field position and lose the opportunity for the GAME CLENCHING field goal . C H O K E !

  43. Can we drop the Matty Ice schtick now? Exactly what has he done to earn that nickname? Choke away two huge playoff games? Matty Gag! Now we have months of ideal gas law crap. Tom showed Roger even though 31 owners put Brady down not Roger Goodell. Pats fans were bad enough before. Thanks Atlanta.

  44. LSUStrong says:
    Feb 6, 2017 8:35 AM

    People keep saying this. A couple of things, first, the Patriots were doing well at stopping the run after halftime adjustments. In fact on the first down after Jones great catch, they did try to run and Freeman lost two yards. Second, they could have run it and still ended up with lost yards and a holding call. If that happened or they missed the field goal then everyone would be screaming that they should have been more aggressive. With the pressure that team was feeling I do not think that that field goal was a gimme, especially if they still got the holding call.
    ——————————————–

    Spoken like a true homer. What is this mystery holding call that was going to happen if they ran it? You’re just inventing some occurrence to support your argument. Likewise, the fact they lost a yard (not two as you say) on first down is besides the point. You’re looking to eat clock there and by passing they did the Patriots an undeserved favor by stopping it twice. You run, and even if you have no gain you run time off, or you make New England use up their time-outs. Either way they’re crushed. Then you kick the FG and you’re up 11. Now Brady needs TWO scores with not much time left, which is everybody’s point.

    Also that’s a chippie FG for a kicker who’s deadly accurate, indoors. So the likelihood of a miss there isn’t too great. No reason for Atlanta NOT to be up 11 instead of 8 and win the game. Sorry, this was more Atlanta losing the game than New England winning. Deal with it.

  45. Ryan has always been compared to Flacco because of being drafted in Round 1 2008 as well as Ryan having been the Ravens first choice. Now that Ryan had the chance to put those comparisons to rest he blew it so until/unless he wins a Super Bowl, the conversation will always be punctuated with “but Flacco won a Super Bowl and was the MVP of the game.”

  46. We will never know who was the better team and the real winner of the Super Bowl until the game is played for a full quarter, NOT THE FIRST SCORE OF A TOUCHDOWN in overtime. The Patriots got the luck of the draw. If Atlanta had the luck of the draw, they may have been the Super Bowl Champs. The first half of this game Atlanta kicked
    the Patriots ass in every department. The Patriots came
    back because Atlanta took their foot off the gas. That does not make the Patriots the better team. They simply took
    advantage of the circumstances HANDED TO THEM.
    Atlanta is the better team. I am a 49er fan.

  47. 17edward57 says:
    Feb 6, 2017 9:04 PM
    We will never know who was the better team and the real winner of the Super Bowl until the game is played for a full quarter, NOT THE FIRST SCORE OF A TOUCHDOWN in overtime. The Patriots got the luck of the draw. If Atlanta had the luck of the draw, they may have been the Super Bowl Champs. The first half of this game Atlanta kicked
    the Patriots ass in every department. The Patriots came
    back because Atlanta took their foot off the gas. That does not make the Patriots the better team. They simply took
    advantage of the circumstances HANDED TO THEM.
    Atlanta is the better team. I am a 49er fan.”

    ***********************************************

    I’d like to give you a “thumbs up” and a “thumbs down” for this post. This was a great game because there were two teams that played hard. The Pats won because they wanted it more and they made the proper adjustments at halftime that got them back in the game. As for “Atlanta took their foot off the gas”, I didn’t see that at all. NE made the proper adjustments and the Falcons didn’t. Brady was cold as ice in the first half and was pressured over and over. He missed some easy throws, and then he came out in the second half and was ON FIRE!! He showed why he is possibly the best ever. I also think that the Super Bowl experience of the Pats, players and coaches, made a difference as well.

    However, I am one in a minority of people who wish the overtime rules were different. I wish it was more like the college OT system. Not put the ball on the 25, but how about the 50 yard line? Each team will possess the ball and would have a chance to either score to tie or win if possible. That way, it is not just about the offense beating the other teams defense, it would be BOTH sides of the ball having a part in the win (or loss).

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