Matt Ryan and the rest of the Falcons have not stopped hearing questions about their epic Super Bowl collapse since it ended early last February. In particular, Ryan has expressed his disinterest in discussing the topic any further, but in an interview with CBS’s Pete Prisco, Ryan gave perhaps his best perspective yet on what actually happened in one of the most memorable games in NFL history.
My sit-down with Falcons QB Matt Ryan. “We made the play to win the Super Bowl to Julio.” https://t.co/sPI8GJ11xn
— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) July 19, 2017
This is a fantastic read all around, and I encourage all Falcons fans to take five minutes out of their day to give it a chance.
In it, Prisco discusses two key moments that ultimately determined the fate of the Falcons. The first of which is the 3rd and 1 play that resulted in the strip sack by Donte Hightower. It was the play that began the rewriting of history, but as Prisco explains and the tape will show, was almost a touchdown for Atlanta. “It was either Aldrick sneaking out the back for a touchdown or Julio (Jones) on the cross,” Ryan said. “Either way, it’s a first down.”
An Aldrick Robinson touchdown would have put the Falcons up 35-12 at that point. Oh, what a different story that would have been.
Prisco and Ryan then discuss the sequence following Julio Jones’s miracle catch down the sideline that should have iced the game for Atlanta. Why didn’t the Falcons run the ball? Couldn’t somebody have overridden Shanahan’s play calls?
It was a numbers of factors, the first of which started with Quinn, who was not one to change offensive play calls. Then it came down to Shanahan, who as Prisco puts it, might have been in a little personal battle with the greatest coach of all-time, Bill Belichik.
But as far as Ryan possibly calling an audible, last year’s MVP said it was not an option. “Kyle’s play calls — he would take time to get stuff in,” Ryan said. “As I was getting it, you’re looking at the clock and you’re talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don’t have a lot of time to say, ‘There’s 16 seconds, no, no, no, we’re not going to do that. Hey, guys, we’re going to line up and run this.’ You’re talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.”
There is plenty of more in the full interview, but this is some of the best insight Ryan or anybody has given into perhaps the most memorable Super Bowl of all-time