Falcons' Quinn defends questionable play-calling late in Super Bowl loss

Chuck Cook / USA TODAY Sports

Dan Quinn isn't about to second-guess the play-calls made as the Atlanta Falcons clung to their lead late in Super Bowl LI on Sunday night.

Following the 25-point collapse at the hands of the New England Patriots - the largest comeback in Super Bowl history - the third-year head coach explained the strategy was based on matchups and trust in his players.

"We thought we'd have a good look based on the personnel that was in the game for them," Quinn told reporters, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN. "We trust our guys and thought we'd let it rip. When it doesn't go that way, it's easy to question it. Same thing defensively, too. We thought we'd have a chance to get a few off them and we did, but then we needed one or two more in the second half and we weren't able to do that."

Criticism of the coaching decisions will largely be directed at the possession that preceded the Patriots' game-tying drive.

After Julio Jones pulled down an incredible 22-yard catch to put Atlanta in range for a field goal, which would have all but sealed a win, the Falcons elected to run the ball just once.

A second-down dropback resulted in a sack of Matt Ryan, a short pass the following play was called back and replayed due to holding, and an incompletion on third-and-33 stopped the clock before a punt.

New England got the ball back with 3:30 left on the clock, and Tom Brady promptly marched the offense on a 10-play, 91-yard touchdown drive that, following a two-point conversion, forced overtime.

Though Quinn stands by his decisions, and those of his coaching staff, squandering what seemed like a surefire victory has the Falcons facing a long offseason.

Atlanta is now winless in its two Super Bowl appearances.

The Patriots, meanwhile, come away with their fifth title of the Brady-Belichick era.

Falcons' Quinn defends questionable play-calling late in Super Bowl loss
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