K.J. Wright has been there before. Late in the game. Super Bowl victory seemingly in hand.
And then, boom! The New England Patriots find a way to spoil it all. It happened to Wright and his Seattle Seahawks teammates in Super Bowl XLIX, just as it happened to the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
‘It always comes down to finishing’
From what Wright could see, the Falcons seemed to lose steam in the late stages of the game, and it cost them dearly.
“You could tell,” Wright told Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on Late Hits. “They got really hyped at the beginning of the game, but as the game kept going on, I believe that fire kind of went out they kind of lost that energy that they had. They were definitely prepared for the game, but, of course, it always comes down to finishing all the way down to the end.
‘It takes a lot of maturity … a lot of honesty’
“The Patriots have been in that position before. They have a veteran quarterback that’s been there, a veteran coach. They just find a way to get the job done.”
How do the Falcons rebound from the devastation of squandering a 25-point lead in a meltdown of historic proportions?
‘You’ve got to find a way to make that extra play at the end’
“It takes a lot of maturity,” Wright said. “It takes a lot of honestly. You’ve got to be honest with yourself. You’ve got to be truthful and just find a way to not (let that happen) again. Because you know you’re going to be in positions where you are up in a big game. We had to learn this as well. You have to try to do the little things like find a way that this team won’t come back.
“You’ve got to find a way to make that extra play at the end of a game to make sure this team doesn’t come back and win.”