Matt Ryan threw it away by not throwing it away

on February 2017 | in Sports | by David Seigel | with 1 Comment

In the most spectacular comeback in Superbowl history, the New England Patriots once again took advantage of an opponent’s mistake on an obvious play to win Tom Brady’s 5th Superbowl.

A couple of years ago, everyone knows the mistake the Seattle Seahawks made by not letting Marshawn Lynch run the ball in, as Russell Wilson was intercepted, handing Brady his 4th ring.

This time, the game changer took place around the 3 1/2 minute mark. The Falcons, up 28-20 were in field goal range. On third and long, Matt Ryan took the snap and scrambled. He was chased down by the Pats defense and dropped for a huge loss, putting the Falcons out of field goal range.

Why didn’t he throw the ball away?

Many times when a QB knows the play is developing like this, they will anticipate and throw the ball out of bounds. Close enough to the receiver that it’s considered a good attempt, but obvious enough that he was too smart to take the loss of yards.

Ryan made the huge mistake of not throwing the ball away. 4th and long, no chance at the field goal. They could have gone up 31-20, forcing the Patriots to require a touchdown, a two-point convert, an onside kick, and another drive to at least pick up a field goal.

But Ryan didn’t throw the ball away.

As a result, the best QB of all time was given 3 minutes to lead his team downfield (aided by a catch by Julian Edelman that will become a permanent addition to every football highlight reel ever) to score the touchdown and pick up the two point convert to force the first overtime in Superbowl history.

And then, of course the coin toss went the Pats’ way, because when you’re Tom Brady, these things just go your way, and the rest is history.

The Falcons have a great core. They will compete for the Superbowl again.

But in a game they were leading 28-3, Matt Ryan’s mistake is the one that truly cost them. Not the many penalties. Not the referees. Only the single play the MVP quarterback controlled, and failed to make the an MVP-like decision on.

As for Tom Brady? 5th Superbowl win (best all time). 4th Superbowl MVP award (best all time). $40 million dollars per year in earnings (in 2016). Three healthy children. And of course, a gorgeous supermodel wife who has a net worth twice as large as his.

But that’s not the point. The point here is: Tom Brady didn’t make the crucial mistake with the game on the line because Tom Brady simply doesn’t make those mistakes. Hopefully Matt Ryan will learn from the best of all time.

*edit* And apparently the QB himself agrees with this overall premise:

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