Matt Ryan Says Kyle Shanahan Took Too Much Time Calling Plays in Super Bowl

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Patriots defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Matt Ryan recently opened up about the Atlanta Falcons' Super Bowl collapse in a wide-ranging interview with CBS Sports' Pete Prisco and said former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's play-calling on a key fourth-quarter series was frustrating. 

Leading 28-20 with under six minutes to go, the Falcons appeared to be in prime position to take at least an 11-point lead after Ryan hit Julio Jones for a gorgeous 27-yard completion along the right sideline. 

That gain put the Falcons at the Patriots 22-yard line ready to make it a two-possession game, but a holding penalty and a series of questionable calls—including a second-down passing play that saw Ryan get sacked for a loss of 12—pushed the Falcons out of field-goal range. 

Looking back, Ryan pointed to the cadence of Shanahan's calls as one of the big reasons for the Falcons' collapse. 

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in. As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there." 

Ryan may not have to deal with those issues moving forward now that Shanahan is the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers

Instead, the reigning NFL MVP can try to erase memories of the 28-3 meltdown and turn his attention to a new season as the Falcons eye back-to-back NFC championships. 

As things stand, the Falcons (+600) trail the Green Bay Packers (+425) and Dallas Cowboys (+500) as the third choice in Vegas to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 52. 

Atlanta will open its season Sunday, Sept. 10, at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears

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