You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Report card: Falcons earn low marks in Super Bowl collapse


Here’s the Report Card from the Patriots’ 34-28 come-from-behind overtime win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI:

Pass offense: Matt Ryan completed 17 of 23 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns. He was also under duress as he was sacked five times and hit eight times. The passing attacked stalled in the second half. Julio Jones had four catches for 84 yards and was not able to dominate the game. Ryan moved the ball around to the other receivers, tossing touchdown passes to tight end Austin Hooper and running back Tevin Coleman. Ryan’s key strip fumble by Dont’a Hightower in the fourth quarter ignited New England’s rally. Grade C-minus.

Rush offense: Devonta Freeman had 11 rushes for 75 yards and Coleman rushed seven times for 29 yards before leaving the game with an ankle injury. The Falcons ran toss sweeps, trying to get outside on New England’s slower linebackers. It also allowed them to run away from center Alex Mack, who was playing with fractured fibula. Grade C.

Rush defense: The Falcons defensive front shut down running back LeGarrette Blount and stripped a fumble from him. The Falcons held the Patriots’ running backs to 33 yards on 13 carries in the first half. With the run game shut down, the Patriots relied on their passing attack, which turned the game around. They finished with 104 rushing yards in 25 tries. Grade B.

Special teams: Falcons kickoff specialist/punter Matt Bosher boomed his kickoffs and placed two 55-yard punts inside the Pats’ 20. New England’s Shea McClellin was called for illegal formation when he tried to jump over long snapper Josh Harris on an extra point attempt. After the penalty, Matt Bryant made the kick to put the Falcons up 14-0. Guarding a 28-9 lead, Falcons linebacker LaRoy Reynolds recovered an onsides kick in the third quarter. Grade B.

Coaching: Coach Dan Quinn and his coordinators had masterful plans to attack the Patriots. The offense ran the ball outside and once the offense line settled down, Ryan was able to move the ball while running some tempo. The Falcons defense shut down the run and pummeled Brady, who was clearly rattled in the first half. But once he got into a groove, he attacked nickel back Brian Poole and relied on White to cut up the Falcons’ young defense. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has some questionable play calls in the fourth quarter and Quinn should have waited to throw the challenge flag on a late catch by Julian Edelman. The call was upheld and he cost the offense its final timeout. Grade C-minus.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones is focus of Pat Dye Jr.-Jimmy Sexton lawsuit
Julio Jones is focus of Pat Dye Jr.-Jimmy Sexton lawsuit

Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones is the center of a lawsuit between Pat Dye Jr. and Jimmy Sexton, according to AL.com. It’s possible, if the civil suit continues into the fall, that Jones may be called to a disposition to give his testimony during the season. Dye, of Atlanta, and Sexton, of Memphis, merged firms in 2010...
Falcons not hosting ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage
Falcons not hosting ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage

For the first time in 11 seasons, the Falcons will not hold the wildly successful ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage during training camp, the team announced on Wednesday. The Falcons, the defending NFC champions, will report for training camp on Wednesday, July 26. The team has gone into the community for a scrimmage at local high schools...
Allen: Defense ‘is going to be amazing’
Allen: Defense ‘is going to be amazing’

Kicked to the curb just three years ago, Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen has successfully made the transition from cornerback to free safety and is now an entrenched NFL starter. He played 1,101 defensive snaps (99.1 percent), most on the team last season, in just his second year at free safety. Drafted as a cornerback in the fifth-round of the 2014...
Falcons report for training camp on July 26
Falcons report for training camp on July 26

The defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons will report for training camp on July 26, the team announced on Wednesday. Training camp will be held at the team’s facilities in Flowery Branch for the 13th consecutive season. Selected practices will be open to the public, but there is not a “Friday Night Lights” event listed. The team...
Falcons’ Freeman on Super Bowl: ‘If I would have stayed in the game, I would have got MVP’
Falcons’ Freeman on Super Bowl: ‘If I would have stayed in the game, I would have got MVP’

If the Atlanta Falcons held on to their 28-3 lead in the third quarter of February’s Super Bowl, running back Devonta Freeman thinks he would have been named Super Bowl MVP. In an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Brady Quinn and Bruce Murray, Freeman discussed his ongoing contract negotiations, the Falcons’ Super Bowl loss...
More Stories