Shanahan regrets play-calling late in Falcons' SB LI loss to Patriots
The Super Bowl LI loss still gnaws at Kyle Shanahan.
To this day, the Atlanta Falcons are mocked for blowing a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots, and Shanahan, the Falcons' offensive coordinator at the time, is questioned about the play-calling late in that defeat.
Shanahan said he regrets calling the pass play that led to a sack knocking the Falcons out of field-goal range late in that eventual loss.
While on the "Flying Coach" podcast with Peter Schrager and Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, Shanahan said it was a previously stuffed second-and-10 running play that led to his aggressive approach late in the fourth quarter with the Falcons ahead 28-20. Julio Jones made a spectacular 27-yard reception a few plays earlier, which also prompted the coach to put his faith in the receiver and call for a throw.
"So we threw it to Julio, he caught that. I ran it the next play, got it to second-and-10, and I was like, 'I'm going right to Julio,'" Shanahan recalled.
"Right when we snapped it, the coverage took it away, so it was the wrong call. And I wish we didn't take a sack, but no one was open, and we ended up taking a sack. And right then I was like, 'Oh my god, why did I just try to end it?'"
The Falcons took a holding call the next play and punted the ball to the Patriots. And the rest - as they say - is history.
"Yeah, I wish I called a different call on that one play," Shanahan said. "I don't want to go to the final (thought process on) everything. You're down, you get into the two-minute (drill), you throw the ball six plays straight, but that one right there, and I think it would have been different."