Last week, Matt Ryan raised a complaint about the Super Bowl collapse the Atlanta Falcons suffered that we hadn’t heard before. Kyle Shanahan, then the offensive coordinator in Atlanta and now the head coach of the 49ers, has received more than his share of blame for the aggressive playcalling when a more conservative approach probably would have won them the game.
But as Fooch noted, Ryan talked about Shanahan’s play-calling, and suggested that the plays were too complicated or, at the very least, too verbose in description. Ryan suggested that Shanahan’s play-calling gave them very little time to get to the line of scrimmage and snap the ball.
The only issue is that ... the Falcons kind of had plenty of time that entire fourth quarter. Matt Maiocco of NBC took a look at the plays in question, and the Falcons often got to the line with 15-plus seconds to go. And Ryan, a veteran signal caller, is always capable of making adjustments in that time.
Of the plays Maiocco looked at, the Falcons snapped the ball with 15, 13, nine, 14, 20, 13 and four seconds remaining, and he also notes that if they had taken the clock down to one second on all of those plays, they could have shortened the game by 1:07. Given how close the game was, that is devastating
The “majority” of their fourth quarter snaps came with 10 or more seconds to spare on the clock, according to Maiocco.
I don’t think Ryan is lying by any stretch of the imagination and Shanahan deserves his share of blame. But it seems that particular criticism doesn’t really hold water.
Maybe it’s something that was generally an issue for the Falcons but not in that fourth quarter. I say that because we, as 49ers fans, are fairly familiar with play clock issues. Jim Harbaugh, Chip Kelly and basically every other 49ers head coach in recent memory had troubles getting the plays in on time.
Delay of games have simply been a way of life for 49ers fans. Complete inefficiency in getting the play call in has been a serious problems. If that’s a problem with Shanahan, it will be more of the same and that would be hugely disappointing. But for now, Ryan’s accusation seems mostly unfounded.