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Falcons produce a choke job for the ages in Super Bowl LI - ESPN


fuego
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The Atlanta Falcons will never live down the worst choke job in NFL history.

There's really no other way to view their inability to hold a 25-point third-quarter lead on the way to a 34-28 overtime loss in Super Bowl LI. While the world rushes to recalibrate the New England Patriots in the annals of sports history, and rightfully so, it should not lose sight of how unprecedented it was for a Super Bowl team to cough up such a big lead.

The Patriots more than doubled the previous record for a Super Bowl comeback (10 points). Their victory after trailing by 25 points was the third largest in NFL postseason history. Consider this: Since 2001, 394 teams have trailed by at least 25 points in the first three quarters of a game. Those teams, including the Patriots, are now 3-391, per ESPN Stats & Information.

Even Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, an eternal optimist and competitor, was shocked.

Largest Comeback In Super Bowl History
SB WINNER POINTS OPPONENT
Source: ESPN Stats & Info
LI Patriots 25 Falcons
XLIX Patriots 10 Seahawks
XLIV Saints 10 Colts
XXII Redskins 10 Broncos

"Down 25 points," Brady told reporters, "it's hard to imagine us winning."

Fans, media and historians will spend the offseason unpacking the second half of this game. Among the first places they should look: a key sequence late in the fourth quarter.

Leading 28-20 with 4:40 remaining, the Falcons had a first down at the Patriots' 22-yard line and a great opportunity to make it a two-score game. The Patriots had found their rhythm on offense, but it's debatable whether they would have had enough time to score twice.

The Falcons' playcalling at that point was, well, unexpected -- and that's being kind to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. They missed a huge opportunity to seal the game.

Shanahan called a pass on second and third downs. The first resulted in a 12-yard sack, and the second was overturned by a holding penalty. On the next play -- third-and-33! -- Shanahan called another pass that fell incomplete. The Falcons lost 23 yards on two plays, were forced to punt and drained only 1:10 off the clock.

Had the Falcons simply run three times -- even if they failed to gain a single yard -- kicker Matt Bryant would have been in position for a quite reasonable 39-yard field goal attempt. In his career, Bryant is 31-for-32 on field goals of 40 yards or shorter in the fourth quarter or overtime, according to research from Micah Adams of ESPN Stats & Information.

Instead, the Patriots got the ball back with 3:30 remaining. They needed only 2:30 to drive 91 yards for a touchdown and game-tying two-point conversion against the Falcons' exhausted defense.

That's just one of many hotspots where the Falcons are vulnerable to criticism. They led by 25 points in the third quarter and by 19 points with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and they lost. It was an epic, historic collapse that will never be forgotten.

http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/230700/falcons-produce-a-choke-job-for-the-ages-in-super-bowl-li

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I can't disagree.  I also can't figure out what the **** he was thinking. You cement your legacy and win a Super Bowl. You don't take a chance when it isn't needed.  As big of a fan as I am, and seeing some really bad football from this franchise in my 47 years of rooting for them, I don't have any faith that this team will recover from this loss. As the article said, it was an epic loss.  I don't expect us to get back to a Super Bowl in my lifetime. It was that epic of a failure.

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4 minutes ago, fuego said:

The Patriots more than doubled the previous record for a Super Bowl comeback (10 points). Their victory after trailing by 25 points was the third largest in NFL postseason history. Consider this: Since 2001, 394 teams have trailed by at least 25 points in the first three quarters of a game. Those teams, including the Patriots, are now 3-391, per ESPN Stats & Information.

We lost historically. We lost in a way that was absolutely ludicrous and, essentially, unprecedented. This would almost make me laugh if it weren't so f***ing painful.

This franchise will never live this one down.

A Lombardi someday would ease the sting considerably. But you never live that down.

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Just now, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

We lost historically. We lost in a way that was absolutely ludicrous and, essentially, unprecedented. This would almost make me laugh if it weren't so f***ing painful.

This franchise will never live this one down.

A Lombardi someday would ease the sting considerably. But you never live that down.

And it's obvious to the writer it was Shanny's play calling also.

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4 minutes ago, ki46dinah said:

No where in this commentary is the mathematically probability for the Pats to have 96 plays run without an offensive holding penalty.

The Pats don't hold, ever, on either side of the ball.  They can ride Julio up and down the field all day and it will never get called.  They can tackle Beasley on every play and it would never get called.  Welcome to the National Fix League.

Edited by pr0d16y
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Just now, fuego said:

And it's obvious to the writer it was Shanny's play calling also.

Like I said in the other thread, you don't blow a 25 point lead on one play call. Realistically, there's plenty to look at.

But that call is by far the most obvious and the most inexcusable part of the epic meltdown.

Because the other things ... that insane Amendola catch, in particular ... there's just not much you can do about them, if that's how the football gods and luck wanted to roll the dice.

Once a ball is snapped, **** happens.

But the actual play call?? THAT you have complete control over.

Shanahan masterminded an absolutely brilliant season.

And then made the most asinine play call imaginable right when it mattered most. 

 

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9 minutes ago, coastiemike said:

I can't disagree.  I also can't figure out what the **** he was thinking. You cement your legacy and win a Super Bowl. You don't take a chance when it isn't needed.  As big of a fan as I am, and seeing some really bad football from this franchise in my 47 years of rooting for them, I don't have any faith that this team will recover from this loss. As the article said, it was an epic loss.  I don't expect us to get back to a Super Bowl in my lifetime. It was that epic of a failure.

Sorry To hear you think like that so I'm guessing you won't be back for more then.This makes me more resolute.

Epic failure be ****ed I'll be back for more.Enjoy your retirement from being a fan you'll live to regret that.

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I never want to see Kyle Shanahan's face ever again. I was screaming at my TV, "WHERE IS DEVONTA?! WHY IS DEVONTA NOT EVEN ON THE FIELD???!??!" 

 

It's insane to me that in critical situations, fans make better decisions than coaches. All of America was screaming at Seattle to run the ball. All of Atlanta was screaming at them to RUN THE BALL. 

 

I don't really even understand how you can make such an idiotic decision. Ever. We were in field goal range with one of the best kickers in the NFL. Why would you even give them a chance to intercept the ball????

 

I hope Kyle turns SF into an even bigger dumpster fire than before. There is absolutely no excuse for those playcalls. Ever. Period. 

 

It cost us everything. We may never be respected again. 

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1 minute ago, falconsrus said:

We will be back next year stronger ,smarter ,faster 

I hope so. But, generally speaking, it's just not that easy. It takes so much to get to that game, and a lot of it isn't about talent (it's about injuries and lucky bounces and how the rest of the conference plays out that year ... unbelievable things like the 2nd seed being put back in our hands by a miraculous Cardinals field goal in the final seconds). So, SO much just to get there. Even if the team comes back next year resilient and with more talent, it's just not a guarantee. It was RIGHT THERE for the taking tonight. Everything had aligned. Ever since that Cardinals kick referenced above, I really felt like THIS was it. This was the year. I feel sick.

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10 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

Sorry To hear you think like that so I'm guessing you won't be back for more then.This makes me more resolute.

Epic failure be ****ed I'll be back for more.Enjoy your retirement from being a fan you'll live to regret that.

I didn't say I wouldn't be back or I was retiring as a fan, whatever the **** that means. Stop being an asshole and putting words in my mouth. I said I don't have faith they will recover from this failure and that they likely won't make the Super Bowl again in my lifetime.  I've been a fan for 47 years. Why would I leave now?

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11 minutes ago, TheFalcoholic said:

 

It cost us everything. We may never be respected again. 

Exactly. There are other boards i go to and it took me years to convince some other fans to get on board with the Falcons. They always say that Atlanta sports are a bunch of chokers.  I didn't even bother to go to those messageboards because i already know they having a field day with this one... Its over. Atlanta could go 16-0 in the regular season next year, and get ZERO respect because everybody knows they will choke in the playoffs...

Edited by slickgadawg
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