Following Super Bowl LI, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan took some heat over his decision to abandon the run with the Falcons leading the New England Patriots 21-3 to open the second half, and climbing to a 28-3 lead midway through the 3rd quarter. The Patriots staged a historical comeback ending in the Falcons defeat 34-28 in overtime.
Following the game, Shanahan spoke with the media and had some interesting comments on the game and playcalling. He talked about Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s performance and shared his thoughts on the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady. Finally, he discussed what’s next with the San Francisco 49ers.
Regarding the play calling decisions, Shanahan said it was all about staying on the field:
It’s not really about the run-pass ratio that I look at, it’s you stay on the field and run your offense. We went three-and-out two times, which is huge and we had second-and-one on both of them and then third. It was tough, that’s how we let them get back into the game.
Asked whether he second guesses himself after games, he had the following to say:
That’s every game. You look at everything – what could have happened, what could have gone different. You wish you could have ran on more plays, but when it was said and done, we had a chance there at the end. We got into field goal range, took that sack and then had that holding call and we got out of it. You give the ball back to Tom Brady too much and that’s usually what happens.
On Matt Ryan’s first performance in a Super Bowl:
I thought Matt played really well. Looking at the game, we’ll obviously go back and evaluate everything as a coach, but Matt made a lot of big plays. The big-time throw to [Austin] Hooper in the first half for the touchdown. I think there was some confusion on that protection [leading to the fumble], [Dont’a] Hightower came free, Matt didn’t see him. You expect him to be picked up, he didn’t see him and that’s what happens.
On what’s next with the San Francisco 49ers:
I actually have no clue. It’s actually the first time that I’ll go back and spend some time with my family. Hopefully, go down and see some of these guys. I don’t really get a chance to talk to them in the locker room, but there’s a lot of guys I really want to go spend some time with tonight. So dealing with that and thinking about that tomorrow.
You can read Shanahan’s full comments here via the NFL.