Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman believes he would have been named Super Bowl LI MVP, an award eventually won by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, if he'd been given more chances during Atlanta's 28-3 collapse.
"I don't want to make this no competition thing with me and my quarterback. I'm just talking about from based off that game," he said. "Let's [say] it like this: If I would have kept getting the ball, if I would have stayed in the game, I don't know why I got out of the game actually. But if I would have stayed in the game, I would have got MVP. I'm looking at my stats, and I see my numbers didn't lie. Look at my numbers."
The 25-year-old Florida State product finished the Super Bowl with 11 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. He added two catches for 46 yards.
He received just three touches during the Falcons' three drives in the fourth quarter, though.
The most controversial decisions came when Atlanta had the ball at the New England 23-yard line with under four minutes to go and an eight-point lead. It opted for three straight pass plays, including one where holding was called and another where Matt Ryan got sacked, dropping them out of field-goal range.
Brady and Co. scored on the ensuing drive to tie the game after the Falcons punted, and they went on to win the game in overtime.
If Atlanta had pounded the ball on that drive with Freeman, who averaged nearly seven yards per carry in the contest, the result may have been different.
Meanwhile, the running back is angling for a new contract before the 2017 season gets underway. Dianna Russini of ESPN reported the Falcons are "confident" the contract extension will be in place by the early stages of training camp.
Freeman told SiriusXM NFL Radio he expects the new deal will be "something great."