Well that was an intense Super Bowl we all witnessed! The Falcons got off to a blistering start which was clearly leaving the Patriots a bit bewildered. The first half was nothing short of surprising because the Patriots were not supposed to trail by that much; granted we all knew the Falcons had an explosive offense…but so to did the Patriots. The amazing thing though, was it was not the falcons offense that gave them that big lead, it was their defense. Brady threw two picks, one which was returned for an 82 yard touchdown. Coming into the game, the Falcons defense actually ranked closer to the bottom of the league (according to nfl.com), so when Dan Quinn’s defense came out with those 2 picks and the 3 or 4 sacks of Tom Brady, I was a bit surprised.
Then came the 4th quarter…and literally everything changed like I knew it would. The Patriots were just too good to play that poorly and I knew they would at least make a game out of it…and boy did they ever! As soon as Julian Edelman made that ridiculous catch, I knew the Falcons were going to lose. Everything was going the Patriots way at this point and there was going to be no way that the Falcons defense could with-stand the Patriots onslaught.
It was painful to watch the Falcons lose control of that game. As a 49ers fan, I was only rooting for the Falcons because their offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, was going to be our new head coach, which should be cause for excitement for Niner fans, but that is another blog for another time. The Falcons just simply ran out of gas, and against a team like New England, that is asking for trouble.
Overall, it was an exciting game to watch. This game seemed to have all the drama that a sports nerd could want. It had the excitement of the team you rooted for getting off to a sizzling start, then it had the moments of nervousness as you watched the opponent start to come back, and finally it had that disastrous moment of heartbreak, when you lose in overtime. This game had every emotion you could ask for. This is why we love watching sports. Yes, our teams will have moments of glory, but there are those other times when they (in this case the Falcons) must endure gut wrenching moments that sting you for the entire off season.
On the bright side, the Falcons still look poised to make another championship run, if they keep their core players intact and they can stay healthy, then I think they have a legit shot of returning to the super bowl. However, losing their offensive coordinator is going to be huge for them because Matt Ryan had a really good relationship with him and they both worked very well together. Whoever becomes their new OC will have to try and emulate the success that Matt Ryan and Kyle Shanahan built. Not an easy task.