Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons outlasted the Seattle Seahawks 34-31 on Monday Night Football. They had an 11-point lead with 3:49 left in the game, though, and nearly lost it. Seattle Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh had a chance at a tying field goal but missed.
The Falcons are familiar with having a big lead and seeing it slip away, after losing to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in February. After the Seahawks game, Ryan was asked about the similarities and whether he felt nervous the same thing was going to happen a second time.
“To me, I try not to let those things creep in,” he said, per NBC’s Josh Alper. “You can ask guys on the sideline, I’m always thinking situationally, so what is going to happen if they do this, if we do that. So you try not to let those things creep in and think about it and, again, I’ve played long enough to know that you have no idea how things are going to shake out.”
You do have no idea. The Patriots, statistically, never should have won the Super Bowl. No one had ever come back from 25 points down to do it. The fact that those thoughts are creeping around at all shows that the Falcons have struggled to shake the memory.
That said, the win on Monday night pushed them to 6-4 this season. They trail the Carolina Panthers (7-3) and the New Orleans Saints (8-2) in the NFC South race. They still play the Saints twice and the Panthers once, though, and they have five of their last six games in the division — starting with a home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
They can make up some ground quickly, so Ryan was happy to get the win Monday night — and the momentum that goes with it.
“Yeah, I mean, it beats the alternative,” he said. “You don’t have momentum going into it. So it is good for us. Obviously, winning games, finding ways to win, that is huge. Getting back is going to be great for us.”