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Kyle Shanahan has become a scapegoat for Falcons Super Bowl collapse

Kyle Shanahan has become a scapegoat for Falcons Super Bowl collapse
Published On: Thu, Feb 16
Jan 22, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) speaks with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan after the game against the Green Bay Packers in the 2017 NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta defeated Green Bay 44-21. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports



Former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan had a prolific year in Atlanta, orchestrating an offense that put up historic scoring numbers in the 2016 season - but in the span of one game, he became one of the least popular people in Atlanta after the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the second half of Super Bowl LI and lost to the Patriots in overtime.

After the game, many analysts and fans were fiercely critical of Shanahan's playcalling late in the game, when Atlanta seemed to have a championship all but sealed. The Falcons ran the ball just four times after opening a 25-point lead, and didn't score on a crucial drive with just a few minutes left despite having the ball on the Patriots' 22-yard line. Former Falcons wide reciever Roddy White went as far to say earlier this week that he would have fought Shanahan on the sideline.

On Thursday's episode of Undisputed, Cris Carter explained why solely blaming Shanahan for the loss is misguided.

Roddy White: "I would have fought him"

Im glad I wasnt a part of that team because I probably literally would have fought him. Like, you destroyed a dream for a city. Its way bigger than me. The city of Atlanta needed that championship, and they had it. It was right there. Arthur Blank needed that championship. He deserved to win that game. Through everything that hes been through, it was finally our time to win. It just hurt me that we didnt get it done.

Nick Wright: Shanahan hasn't received enough criticism

Im not sure if theres enough [criticism]. This was an all-time both these things are true: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots put together an all-time great comeback, and Kyle Shanahan and the Atlanta Falcons put together one of -- if not the biggest -- all-time gag jobs weve seen. I dont like to say guys choked. I dont like to throw that word around, but from a playcalling perspective, what Kyle Shanahan did was so irrational. Someone needed to grab him and shake him and say we have the game won!

How about with four minutes left? Its one thing [when] youre up 16, theres eight minutes left, you have 3rd-and-1 and you decide you know what, were going to do a five-step drop, were gonna trust Devonta Freeman to block, were going to try to keep the offense moving. That didnt work. Donta Hightower comes around, forces the fumble, all of a sudden before you know it its an eight-point game."

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