All Shanahan had to do was run the ball a couple times. Or if only the defense had stepped up and made just one play in crunch time! These two things will haunt us Falcons fans for years to come.
Julio had just made that world-class catch to give us a first down at the Patriots twenty-two. We’re up 28-20 with 4:40 to play. Run it three times and send in Matt Bryant to make it a two-score game. Bryant makes a forty-yarder in his sleep. Right? Run the ball and make the Patriots burn a couple timeouts. This was a critical mistake. It cost us a Super Bowl victory.
I’m going to put some blame on Head Coach Dan Quinn too. I know he’s focused on the defense, but he’s got to step in and tell Shanahan to run it in that series. Q missed it. Let it slide. Didn’t step in and do the smart thing.
If only Matt Ryan had changed the 2nd down and/or the 3rd down call to runs. The MVP QB should be able to make that change. Just blame it on the helmet speaker not working.
Mr. Blank could have stepped in, as he was positioned closely on the Falcons sideline. Step over and tell Quinn to run it… okay, so I’m only half serious on this one.
I keep hearing how the defense was “gassed” and got no help. I see it a different way. Rise up and make a play. One play. Get them off the field. Stop a two-point play. Make one play on 3rd down and we win. If Campbell looks back. Or if Beasley catches it, instead of just breaking the pass up. Or if we tackle on 3rd down once… didn’t happen and we lost!
Now Coach Shanahan heads off to Frisco to take over the 49ers and we are left to suffer!
Obviously, Quinn’s hire of a new offensive coordinator will be critical moving forward. Got to get this right. Get a guy that will keep the zone blocking and play-action game and that doesn’t sound like Chip Kelly. Stay away from that guy.
If Quinn can get that OC hire right, then we’ve got a chance to knock on the door for a few years. That young nucleus on defense gives us a chance to be back, if they can develop.
Can we survive this epic collapse? Only time will tell. Stay tuned.