Which is worse? Matt Ryan making three costly mistakes on the same play, or Kyle Shanahan not knowing basic arithmetic?
Despite a couple of decent games earlier this season Matt Ryan had a long history of choking in playoff games, when his team needed him most. On Sunday, he worsened his reputation. How much of that falls on his own shoulders is debatable. The only solace Ryan can take is that very few people are blaming him. Most analysts, myself included, are piling the blame on that ridiculous idiot Kyle Shanhan, who called the worst plays in Super Bowl history.
And of course, head coach Dan Quinn ALLOWED Shanahan to call those bad plays, so he has earned our wrath as well.
As more and more analysts continue to dissect the infamous 1st-and-10 series from the 22 yardline with 3 minutes left, I continue to emphasize that it was the series before that doomed the Falcons. Facing a third and one, and only needing a few feet to win the Super Bowl, Shanahan called for a long bomb pass. You don’t even have to know the result of the play to know how wrong this is. No, it’s not wrong because it failed. It’s wrong because it was so incredibly unneeded and unnecessary. The Falcons played like they were down 40 points, instead of UP by 16.
But I first need to mention another thing I picked up on, that most everyone else missed. and I was talking about this to reader Sean during the game. After Atlanta had the huge lead, they were still passing the ball, and everyone saw that. But what I noticed in my analysis was that Ryan was snapping the ball with 20, 15, 19. 22, 19, even 25 seconds still left on the play clock.
Just image if Ryan knew football 101. He wouldn’t be known as the ultimate choker today if he ran the play clock down to Zero in the 4th quarter. If Ryan had snapped the ball with 1 second left on the play clock, that would have eaten away more than two full minutes of game time, and New England has no time at the end.
If you’re going to call idiotic pass plays when you’re up by 25 points, at least milk the clock before you run those idiotic plays.
It’s a brutally incorrect decision to play pass-happy football when you lead by 25 points. But it’s even worse to take no time off the clock. Even on the strip sack, watch all the mistakes Ryan makes.
On this one single play, the choke artist makes THREE AWFUL decisions.
ONE: Ryan doesn’t run enough time off the clock. Watch the play clock. Why snap it with 16 seconds left when you could have taken those seconds away from New England? Ryan did this nonsense consistently throughout the entire 4th quarter.
TWO: Ryan watches the same receive the entire time, absolutely oblivious to the danger quickly approaching him.
THREE: Ryan tries a risky long bomb instead of throwing the sure-thing first down screen pass. Needing only ONE measly yard, the running back is so incredibly wide open for an easy first down. The announcers kept harping on the RB for missing the block… but his job was not to block!!! It was to chip the rusher and then get open. He played it beautifully, but it all went for naught because of Matt Ryan’s three mistakes. The ONE TIME you want to throw it to your check-down man is when you only need a yard. Matty Choke forgot that and locked his eyes on the incorrect target way too soon.
Watch that video again and look at my points. Long before the 22-yardline fiasco, I knew the Falcons would lose because, they simply were not taking any time off the clock.
The series before that? The Patriots botched an onside kick AND had a penalty, meaning that the Falcons began their drive inside Patriots territory. Pass pass pass punt. Incredibly poor decisions.
If Matt Ryan is the Prince of Choke, then Kyle Shanahan is the King. As we hear more and more about Atlanta’s decisions making, it becomes more and more infuriating. When the Falcons had the ball at the New England 22, well within field goal range, they passed.
This is what Kyle Shanhan said about why they “had” to pass with only 3 minutes left: “You don’t run the ball and make your guy kick a 50-yard field goal.” Attention, Kyle. It was a 39-yard field goal, not 50!!! And after you lost a yard on first down, it became a 40-yard field goal, not 50!!
Not making this up folks; Kyle Shanahan’s incorrect math and field awareness doomed the Falcons just as much as Matty Choke did.
Dan Quinn’s reply to all these mistakes? “We decided to let ‘er rip.” As our reader FlyerFinFan stated, letting ‘er rip is nice sentiment when you’re playing Madden with your kids, but when you have a 25-point lead? Or even an 8-point lead when you’re already in field goal range?
The lethal combination of Dan Quinn’s ignorance, Kyle Shanahan’s stupidity, and Matty Choke’s lack of awareness means that we have to hear about Tom Brady et al. for eternity. Thanks for that, Atlanta.