Matt Ryan laments Kyle Shanahan’s play calling at end of Super Bowl LI

Matt Ryan Super Bowl LI Atlanta Falcons New England Patriots

It will take a long time before the Atlanta Falcons ever live down their overtime Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. It was a brutal loss that saw the Falcons tank a 28-3 lead they owned in the third quarter. Quarterback Matt Ryan, who is obviously still impacted by the devastating 34-28 loss, had this to share regarding his former coordinator’s play calling.

“Kyle’s play calls — he would take time to get stuff in,” Ryan said via Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. “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.

“With the way Kyle’s system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn’t get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I’m all for it. But there’s also winning time. You’re not being aggressive not running it there.”

These are some pretty heavy duty remarks by Ryan, placing much of the blame on Shanahan.

The Falcons led the highest scoring offense in 2016, averaging 33.8 points per game. They also played extremely well during the playoffs leading up to the Super Bowl, scoring 36 and 44 points per game, respectively.

Perhaps if the Falcons had been playing any team other than the well-coached New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51, things might have gone differently. Quarterback Tom Brady and Co. did the the unbelievable when they scored 25 points within a quarter and a half to take the game to the first ever overtime in a Super Bowl.

Shanahan has since moved on to tackle coaching the San Francisco 49ers. As for Ryan, he has shouldered his fair share of the blame too. But in the end, he still put up a tremendous individual performance after completing 73.9 percent of his passes, earning him a 144.1 passer rating.


Ryan also went on to become the MVP of the league. That’s not too shabby.

The Falcons can only strive to build off of last season’s success and let the Super Bowl loss provide motivation to be the best they can be in 2017.