This one hurts. For years, the most devastating loss in Atlanta Falcons’ history was in the 1980 NFC Playoffs when the Dallas Cowboys rallied from a 27-17 deficit with 6:37 left in the game to beat the Falcons 30-27. Last night’s loss in Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots replaces it.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Falcons had a 28-9 lead. Tom Brady led the Patriots on a historic comeback to defeat the Falcons.
Some might say that this was the most exciting game in Super Bowl history because it went into overtime. It was not. Had BOTH teams been engaged in some kind of shootout it would have been, but the Falcons wilted away and had not fight in the fourth quarter and the Patriots just totally dominated to leave the Falcons one quarter short of their first Super Bowl title.
The Patriots simply deserved to win.
The Falcons deserved to win for three quarters but that’s why you play every quarter of a game. The defense, which has been the Falcons’ weakness all season, clearly was tired and couldn’t stop the Patriots’ offense.
The agony of defeat.
Atlanta Falcons’ fans have known this feeling many times. Once again, we wake up the day after with that sick feeling in our stomachs about what could have been. We replay the game over and over in our minds. Missed interceptions. Costly mistakes. Failed third down conversions.
People will say: “They’ll be back!” That doesn’t help for how close they were to it now. You just don’t know when or if you will ever be back in that position again. Injuries, trades and coaching staff changes will make this a different team next year. You just can’t think they will be back next year. Look how long it took last time to make it back.
Instead of Danny White sticking the dagger into the hearts of Falcons’ fans this time, it was Tom Brady.