No one would blame Matt Ryan if he burned the game film of the Falcons’ shocking late-game collapse against the Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
But that’s not Ryan’s style.
Not only did the Falcons quarterback watch the film the day after Atlanta coughed up a 25-point lead before losing 34-28 to Tom Brady and the Patriots in overtime, he watched it multiple times.
Talk about a glutton for punishment.
"I watched it the day after," Ryan revealed on 680 The Fan radio in Atlanta on Monday. "I watched it two days after. And then I watched it three days after.
"For me, it was one of those things, I think; you kind of want to be able to deal with it appropriately. Maybe that’s different for everybody. Some people bury it away. … For me it was, "All right, let’s watch."
What Ryan watched over and over – and over – again was the biggest collapse in Super Bowl history. The Falcons were leading 28-3 in the third quarter before the Patriots scored the last 31 points (including two 2-point conversions) to win a fifth Super Bowl title.
Listening to the reigning NFL MVP talk, the film sessions served to motivate – not deflate (sorry, we had to go there) – the veteran QB.
"I thought we played well," Ryan told the Atlanta radio station. "And we were right in the mix and fell a little bit short. But we should have every bit of confidence that we’re going to be right back there next year and getting a different outcome because we’re going to be more experienced."
Ryan, 31, threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns in building up the big lead, but was sacked five times and a late fumble aided Brady’s comeback.
The former Boston College QB also answered the criticism of the play-calling in the fourth quarter.
"We played aggressive the entire year," Ryan said. "That’s not going to change. I love that approach."