I hope the Atlanta Falcons NEVER win another game! The Falcons completely ruined the Super Bowl for me.
I can't believe they lost that game. I'm angrier at the Falcons than I was at Pete Carroll when he unbelievably decided not to run the ball.
Super Bowl 51 was playing out almost exactly as I would have scripted it. The Patriots were getting blown out. Atlanta had scored offensive touchdowns on three of four drives spanning the second and third quarters and had opened up a 28-3 lead with 8:36 left in the third.
In the meantime, the Tom Brady led offense was doing nothing. Brady was getting sacked, he was missing open receivers and the Patriots were dropping passes. The looked very un- New England.
I didn't think the game was over at halftime but I started to think about it at 28-3. When the game went to the fourth quarter with the Falcons still up 19 points, I thought it was over.
I wasn't convinced the Patriots would have enough time to score on three drives but even if they did, Atlanta wouldn't go stone cold on offense. Yet both of those happened, much to my dismay.
As great as Tom Brady is and I think he is the greatest quarterback of all time and as great as Bill Belichick is, the Falcons BLEW that game.
More specifically, the coaches blew it. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and head coach Dan Quinn appeared to panic because Brady was standing on the other sideline.
Despite the New England rally, the Falcons still could have put that game away with about four minutes to go when an amazing catch by Julio Jones gave them a first down at the Patriots 22 yard line. That is an easy field goal for Falcons kicker Matt Bryant. A field goal would have given Atlanta an 11 point lead with about 3 1/2 minutes to go. I know its Brady but I don't think they finish off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history at that point.
But for some reason, Shanahan felt the need to call a pass play on 2nd and 11. Matt Ryan was sacked dropping Atlanta back to the 35. A long field goal for sure but not out of the question for the reliable Bryant.
A holding penalty on third down negated a pass completion that would have put the Falcons back inside the New England 30. Instead Atlanta had to punt the ball away and give it back to Brady.
Maybe Dan Quinn, former Seattle defensive coordinator, wanted to take Pete Carroll off the hook by doing his own version of "I can't believe they didn't run the ball".
How do you not go uber conservative and run the ball three times? Who cares if you don't get a first down? Just take the field goal and create a two score game again! Perhaps the coaches felt they needed a 14 point lead over Brady rather than just 11.
When Brady got the ball at his own nine yard line, I was resigned to the fact he would take them down field and score.
Now we all have to suffer through another Pats Super Bowl championship. We have to read the endless stories about "The Patriot Way". We have to hear about Brady's revenge tour and how he basically gave the NFL a giant middle finger. We have to deal with Boston sports fans and media who will be even more arrogant than they have been and I didn't think that was possible.
I honestly believe after Atlanta we are the second most depressed NFL city today. Nothing will change until Tom Brady retires. For at least a brief moment I could have felt differently but Atlanta torpedoed that moment. I will never forgive that franchise.