Falcons vs. 49ers: Matt Ryan blames turnovers for loss

Streeter Lecka

The Atlanta Falcons turned the ball over twice in the second half in the NFC Championship Game, helping the San Francisco 49ers get back in the game and eventually clinch a spot in the Super Bowl.

The Atlanta Falcons fell just short of making the Super Bowl on Sunday, falling 28-24 to the San Francisco 49ers. The Atlanta offense stalled badly in the second half, and two turnovers helped to kill their chances of winning. Quarterback Matt Ryan spoke with the media after the game, and said that those second half turnovers were a large reason why the Falcons will be sitting at home instead of playing for a championship on Feb. 3.

On the Falcons' offensive issues in the second half:

"Going into it I felt like the way we played in the first half, we wanted to keep that momentum going in the second half. We moved the ball pretty effectively. The two times we had chances on the plus side of the field we turned the football over. You can’t do that. You can’t do that in these types of games. We could’ve used points on those drives."

On his third quarter fumble, specifically:

"It was just kind of a freak play. I took my eye off the ball for a quick second and it ended up on the ground. Against a good football team like that you can’t have those kinds of mistakes. You have to capitalize on those opportunities. We moved the ball really effectively all day we just had two chances where we were in positive territory and didn’t walk away with points. When you do that against a very good football team you’re not going to win."

On whether his banged up left arm affected his play during the game:

"I was alright; good enough to go. We had two chances, we really did they just made good plays. On third down, they had the tipped ball and then on fourth down we tried to make something happen and we just couldn’t get it done. We fell a little bit short. I thought everybody battled really hard, we just didn’t make enough plays to get it done."

The loss continues a disappointing run of form in the playoffs for the Falcons over the past several years. Atlanta is 1-4 in the playoffs since Ryan took over as starting quarterback, and in those five playoff games, Ryan has thrown nine touchdowns to seven interceptions.

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