After squandering a 25-point lead in the biggest meltdown in Super Bowl history, the Atlanta Falcons have done plenty of self-examination.
Coach Dan Quinn has said that his team “ran out of gas” in the late stages of Super Bowl LI Sunday, as the Patriots rallied to tie the game at the end of regulation and then won, 34-28, in overtime.
‘They caught their momentum and it was hard to get ours back’
Defensive end Grady Jarrett, who had three of the Falcons’ five sacks of Tom Brady, agrees.
“I would just say they caught their momentum and it was hard to get ours back,” Jarrett told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “We didn’t get off the field in the second half and we just let them back in the game. And it just sucks to go out like that after being up so far and playing as hard as we did. It’s almost like the team ran out of gas.
‘We’re more motivated than ever to get back’
“When you’re on the field for 90-plus plays, that’s a toll on your defense, especially guys up front who rush and you’ve got to roll those guys on the back end covering … it takes a toll. Even when we got a pick-six, we had to go right back out. And (Quinn) will be the first to tell you, we don’t make no excuses and we’re more motivated than ever to get back to work and get better, find out where we can get better.
“But I mean, you know, everything’s a lesson, man. We played hard, had a great year, and we had a lot of fun, man. It definitely would be good to be champs, but it’s not over for us.”