The Falcons’ 28-3 blown Super Bowl lead to the Patriots turned into the NFL’s version of the Warriors’ blown 3-1 NBA Finals lead in 2016. The Warriors were able to avenge their loss this season, and as heartbreaking as the Super Bowl was, Matt Ryan’s ready to move past it.
“We're already back at it,” Ryan told the AJC. “When we started as a team in April, we got together before that as players down in Miami, it was time to move on. It was time to look forward.”
“Anytime that we kind of dwell on that, is wasted time,” he added. “We have to focus trying to become the best football team that this group can be.”
That’s the best thing Ryan could have possibly said. It can’t be easy for Ryan and company to move on, even more than four months later, but they are. Devonta Freeman made that known earlier this offseason.
As a lifelong Falcons fan, I couldn’t put my thoughts together about the game until a week afterward, and I’m (obviously!) not on the team.
The only way I’ve been able to deal with the loss is joking about it. There’s not a scenario you could come up with in which I couldn’t make a Falcons Super Bowl joke out of it. I am now mentally wired this way now — same goes for many other Falcons fans. It somehow gets worked into damn near every conversation we could have.
breh it’s June tomorrow, I swear the Falcons lost the Super Bowl last week— Harry Lyles Jr. (@harrylylesjr) May 31, 2017
In some ways, it’s easier for the players to get past it than the fans. They’re too busy working hard preparing for next season, while we’re sucked into trash tweets and reminders of that once-beautiful Sunday evening that turned into a nightmare.
Aside from Michael Vick’s prime, I can’t think of a time where I had enjoyed watching the Dirty Birds more than I did at the end of the season. The Falcons went on a tear from Week 14 throughout the rest of the season. Their lowest-scoring game for the rest of the year happened to come in the Super Bowl, despite scoring 28 points in 36 minutes and 29 seconds of game time (yes, I counted). Every other game, they posted at least 33.
The Falcons are in a perfect position to carry that momentum into the 2017 season. The offense remains stacked, the defense should be better, and by all accounts, everybody is healthy — physically.
Winning doesn’t always translate to the following season. But if there was one thing that myself, and other Falcons fans, had to be concerned about going into 2017, it was the mental makeup of the team. There’s no success in 2017 if they don’t put 2016 in the past.
We won’t really know how they’re doing until the season. When they get that first 25-point lead, or when they face the Patriots in primetime on Sunday Night Football in Week 7, will be a good indicator of where they stand.
It’s good to see Ryan and the Falcons putting the Super Bowl behind them to make a run next year. A lot of us are still working on that.