Houston, TX: Clearly there is no justice in the world. What a depressing end to a riveting Super Bowl. Watching the Falcons do everything right until they did everything wrong was painful, and Hell’s favorite QB and Coach added another ring to their impressive resumés. The Falcons’ hammer missed the coffin’s last nail and the Pats clawed their way out and pulled off a comeback for the ages. Ryan and Company will have a long summer to ponder their flummoxing flop.
Everything was coming up Falcons: The game plan was working to perfection. They were getting pressure on Brady and exploiting the weaknesses of the Pats D with a dazzling array of weapons. They were getting Julio involved enough to open things up for everyone else, and they even got a rare pick six off the GOAT. Brady was off his game. I was making “should we revisit Brady’s big game QB status?” jokes. (Hold on while I eat a big slice of crow.) It was over. But unless you bet the over 1.5 on live Giselle shots, things all fell apart from there. (For those scoring at home, Giselle was shown celebrating 276 times. Kudos Rich Russo, Director.)
The Turning Point: Most people will point to the sack/forced fumble by Dont’a Hightower. But I dont’a think so. Sure, that was the point where the “I’m nervous” texts starting flying. A little overly aggressive in retrospect, but they were still ok. The big moment for me was the backbreaking next series. After some ridiculous sideline toe tapping by Jones, the Falcons found themselves up by eight, 2nd and 9 on the Patriots 21, with time winding down. Matt Bryant is a reliable kicker and a FG makes them champions. The Patriots were in the midst of highjacking the momentum, two runs or safe passes was the only choice. After a sack, a penalty, and an incomplete pass, the Falcons were punting away the game. Young OC Kyle Shanahan got a bit carried away with his own genius.
The Signature Play: The pass went off Alford’s hands and into the air. A cast of Falcons went for the game sealing interception (note: a “cast” is the actual name for a group of falcons, the bird. A group of eagles is a “convocation,” ravens – a “congress,” and cardinals – a “college,” in case were wondering about the other NFL teams. A seahawk is not a real bird.) But the ball was held in the air for a gravity-defying moment by The Hand of Satan (the only logical explanation and also the name of my middle school death metal band); just long enough for Edelman to sneak his mitts around it. It looked like one of the Falcons actually got his hands under it to help prevent it from hitting the ground. Said Edelman, “I think I caught it. No one knows what the dang rule is for a catch.” (Tangent alert: So Edelman is dating Adriana Lima. If he marries her, maybe next year’s game will feature shots of both of Lima and Giselle celebrating together! I might root against the Giants for that.) Anyway, when something like this happens to a team, you can practically see the air coming out. You might say it’s deflating. Apologies.
Matty Not-So-Ice: Make it 8 for the last 8 and 2 in a row on season MVPs losing in the Super Bowl. Why do they announce the winner the night before the game? Anyway, the ice cracked and Ryan made some key blunders, like taking the aforementioned sack. He had time to throw it away, there’s no way you can take a sack there. Also, the Falcons had over 50 seconds left to get in FG range for a game winner after the Pats tied it. Sure, they had poor starting field position and no time outs, but a 4-yard dump to the TE in the middle of the field is not gonna get it done. Ryan looked rattled. If he were truly Ice, he would’ve gone for the win. It turned out that he never touched the ball again, as even the coin knew which way the wind was blowing. Let’s all remember to thank Eli Manning or the Pats would be two rings on to the second hand by now.
And after all that, the Goodell booing drowned out the trophy presentation awkwardness. Lame.
Thanks for stopping by. Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, a man whose only association with “ice” was a ’91 lip sync performance of Ice Ice Baby, by Vanilla Ice. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit & @MeetTheMatts, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.