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NFL Game Ever played.
Pats had to kick the ball off after their 17th do or die play. Gostkowski
pooched it to the Two. "I think once everybody looked around in the
locker room, and realized we weren't giving up," Branch said.
"That it kind of changed the whole mindset of everybody and we went
out there firing off on all cylinders." Justin Hardy returned it, and
Jonathon Jones flew in and forced him out of bounds at the Ten.
was do or die play number 18. "Special teams is a big part of the
game in New England, and it should be," Jonathon Jones said.
"There are three phases of the game, and we do a good job on focusing
on all of them. You can't really control or dominate a game if you don't
dominate in all three phases, and I definitely think we do a good job of
doing that." Because they had to stop Atlanta from getting any more
points, or the game was over.
and 10, the Falcons lined up at their own Ten a Twins-Twins Singleback.
The Pats matched up in a 4-2 Nickel with both Safeties up in the box, and
Branch on the Nose. "He just told us to stick to the game plan. He
didn't go crazy or anything," Branch said. "He just told us to
go out there and we were able to definitely come back from that score
deficit. So he said, 'If everybody does their job, we have a great chance
of coming back to win the game." Everybody was expecting a run.
ran play action. Ryan had all the time in the world, as the Pats had
clearly keyed run. Ryan looked down field. Then he Spotted Freeman, who
had snuck out into the left flat after the Play action. Ryan hit him with
no Pats within 20-yards of him.
ran to the 35, and juked out two defenders. "I would say he’s
definitely physical, definitely has a violent play style," Pats LB
coach Flores said about Roberts. "He’s got speed. He’s got
quickness. He’s smart. He’s done a good job of trying to learn our
defense. It’s hard for a rookie coming in, trying to put everything
together because there’s a lot of info and terminology, along with the
other things that come with being a rookie, moving to a new city, meeting
a bunch of new people. There’s a lot going on for rookies specifically.
So he’s done a good job." Roberts took him down from behind at the
and 10, the Falcons lined up in a Singleback. The Pats matched up in a 3-4
with Chung in at ILB. "I never know what's going to happen on any
play," Chung said. "You've got to do what you've got to do.
You've got a job, do your job or you won't have one." Chung held the
edge and meet Freeman at the line on the Numbers on an off tackle run.
and Branch got in to the tackle as well. "He just told us to stick to
the game plan," Branch said. "He didn't go crazy or anything. He
just told us to go out there and we were able to definitely come back from
that score deficit. So he said, 'If everybody does their job, we have a
great chance of coming back to win the game.'" But it was Chung's
setting the edge that made the play.
and 9, the Falcons motioned into a 3-Wide strong shotgun, twins left. The
Pats matched up in a 2-4 Nickel, with all four LBs on the line, and
Hightower in the A-gap. "Everybody did their job," Van Noy said.
"Honestly, I was trying to go for the ball and Matt Ryan did a good
job of keeping the ball cause I was going for it. I wanted that
thing." Van Noy got pressure and forced Matty Ice to take off to his
Ice is often at his best moving to his right. "We were in field goal
range [after this pass], and then we got pushed back out of field goal
range," Matty Ice said. "We knew we had to come away with points
in both of those." This was certainly a case of that.
hit Julio Jones high and outside along the sideline at the 22. "Sure,
we did some good things, [but] just made some mistakes in certain
situations that put us behind the chains," Ice said. "And we
were not able to overcome that, and that part was disappointing."
Julio dragged in what would have been the play of the Super Bowl, if this
wasn't the greatest NFL game ever played. Then he fell out of bound to
stop the clock.
was such an incredible play that it won the game. If they just lined up
and kicked the field goal? They win. "We just made some mistakes,"
Matty Ice said. "And against a team like New England, those mistakes
ended up costing us" If Ryan just kneeled on the ball three times and
then kicked the field goal? They win.
obviously that is a preposterous scenario that you could only say in
hindsight. "There's nothing you can really say," Ryan said.
"That's a tough loss. Obviously, very disappointed. [The Falcons]
were very close to getting done what we wanted to get done, but it's hard
to find the words." However, what they did next will go down in
don't like blaming a coach when things go bad. But if they just slammed
the ball in the Big Man Alan Branch three times and kick a field? They
win. They would be up eleven and that would have added a 3rd and 4th
component to winning for the Pats. They would have had to: recover an
onside kick, after they scored a TD, and after they converted a 2-point
conversion, and then kick a field goal, in two minutes.
and 10, The Falcons do what they need to do. They ran Freeman. "Basic
reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House,"
McCourty said. "With the president having so many strong opinions and
prejudices, I believe certain people might feel accepted there while
others won’t." McCourty was their to wrap him up behind the line.
was the 19th do or die play. "Honestly, we just started finally
executing," Alan Branch said. "We were on the field and we knew
what we had to do, but we weren't getting it done in the first half. When
we came into halftime, we talked to each other. We weren't down, we didn't
give up. We weren't talking about rolling over or anything. We just
started talking about being on our job, being more positive, having fun
out there." Because they had to stop the RBs short and force the
field goal at all cost.
and 11, and this was a coach choke. "It’s 28-20 and you are now in
cold field goal range," Francesa said. "You’re going to go up
two scores. You don’t have to do anything except ice the game now.
It’s over. That play should’ve ended the game if you’re a thinking
coach. Instead, two plays later, they have had a guy run out of bounds, a
holding call and a sack and they’re out of field goal range." A
little harsh, but not wrong.
Falcons lined up in a 3-Wide Winged shotgun. They win the game if they run
here. The Pat matched up in a little confused in a 2-4 Nickel, with both
safeties creeping up into the Box. The Pats knew the Falcons needed to run
to win the game, but everything they did screamed pass. The Falcons knew
that the Pats knew that they had to run to win the game.
went out in a pattern, and the H-back Hooper stayed in to block. "To
be honest, we expected it. And I’m glad to have him as my
teammate," Hightower said. "I honestly don’t think it mattered
if Trey wanted it (the Sack) or not. Because we were going to give it to
him." Then friggin' Flowers burst right up the middle.
flushed Ryan as he was being Held. This actually helped, as Ryan ran
backwards. "We got the play called," Branch said. "We had a
stunt on that. Someone was supposed to stunt on that play. Trey stepped
up. He was like, 'Look, let me do the stunt.' He went in there. I just
went in there and covered him and let him do work." It took Flowers a
second longer to hit him.
lost four yards moving backwards. "We knew then it was just one play
away," Flowers said. "Now we just need one stop, one big-time
play and we were able to get it. We were able to get the stop and put our
offense out there with a lot of time left, and they marched the ball down
the field and got the two-point conversion." They spotted the ball at
35 instead of the 40, but it still made it a tougher field goal.
would just like to say that someone said that Trey Flowers was a
"rising star" this Preseason. "Trey Flowers is one of the
better players in the league," Branch said. "He’s definitely
going to have a lot of people paying attention to him next year because
that guy’s a monster. I think he’s one of the better pass rushers and
one of the better all-around defensive linemen in the league. I give him
all of the credit in the world. To me, he’s one of the best." Oh
yeah, that was me who called him rising star Trey Flowers.
and 23, can you call a call from the refs as a do or die play? Sure! Super
Bowl sure! The Falcons lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun, Stack left. The
Pats matched up aggressively in a 2-4 Nickel with all six guys on the line
and Chung and McCourty skirting the box. The Pats get a good rush, but
Ryan threw quickly to Sanu. To get them into field goal range, and win the
"It’s crazy," Flowers said. "I still can’t believe it.
It’s going to be amazing waking up tomorrow because this is like a
dream. It feels like a dream." The shot heard round the world.
saw a tear fall from Matty Ice's eye as the little yellow flag hit the
ground just beneath Jake Mathews strangling Chris Long to the ground.
"Huge!" BB said. "That pushes it back to a two-score game.
That was a huge defensive stop. We got the sack (Flowers). We got the
holding penalty [on Long], and we were able to push them back out of field
goal range. So that was a huge defensive series for us." That flag
was unequivocally the 20th do or die play of the greatest NFL game ever
think about this: the Falcons got themselves in range to kick a field
goal, and the Pats knocked them backwards on three straight plays, to make
it 3rd and 33 at the 45. "The thing that makes a champion? It's not
about shutting everybody out, making everything easy," Logan Ryan
said. "It's about getting knocked down and getting back up and how
you respond. That's what this team did all year. We kept getting knocked
down. We kept responding. We kept coming to work and no one in that locker
room. Not one person lost faith in the play-calling, and how we were
playing. We all knew we were going to win. We never lost faith. We kept it
going." Simply incredible.
and 33, the Falcons motioned into a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. The Pats matched
up in a 2-4 with all six guys on the line of scrimmage again. The Falcons
really need at least 10-yards here to get back into field goal range.
Matty Ice dropped. The Pats stunted on both sides. Ice had time, and threw
a timing pattern to Gabriel on an Out.
had him blanketed. "It’s been great to watch him develop and mature
and really grow his knowledge of the game and become a football player
that’s playing more than just within his own position," Patricia
said. "He understands the concept of what we’re doing from a scheme
standpoint, understanding how we can change things, or how we can switch
up game plans from week to week. I think that’s the growth that we’re
really looking for. And that’s been the best part about it." The
only place Ice could throw the ball was uncatchable out of bound.
forced the punt. "I'd bet on Julian in a lot of critical
situations," McDaniels said. "He's a clutch guy. He’s a clutch
player. He wants the ball when the pressure is at its greatest. It
doesn’t surprise me at all that he made the play." Edelman caught
it at the Nine.
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