Dan Quinn Hopes Falcons Will Learn From Super Bowl LI Play-Calling Gaffes

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The Atlanta Falcons suffered one of the most heartbreaking defeats in sports history, but Dan Quinn isn’t hiding from it.

Speaking Wednesday on ESPN’s “First Take,” the Falcons coach admitted he has rewatched his team’s brutal Super Bowl LI loss to the New England Patriots a number of times and that he’s using it as a teaching tool.

“I think you have to to gain some of the lessons that you want to learn,” Quinn said. “We won’t know all those lessons until you go through the season again. You have to go through some of those experiences again to prove that you’ve learned those lessons. Now that the team’s back, all of the attention and focus is on our own improvement to see how good we can get.”

A Super Bowl victory was well within Atlanta’s hands, but some questionable play-calling down the stretch allowed the Patriots to get back into the game en route to a comeback win in overtime. Quinn regrets his decision not to run the ball in hindsight, but he noted his team’s pass-first attack had paid dividends up until that point.

“Given a shot to throw it to our best player at that time, that turned out well a bunch of times for us, and on that one, it didn’t,” Quinn said. “Those are the lessons you learn. If I knew the end result, I would have done things differently.”

Quinn was asked if coaching against Bill Belichick affected the Falcons’ decision-making, and while he admires the Patriots coach, he claims he wasn’t concerned with what was happening on the opposing sideline.

“He’s a G, we definitely recognize that with Coach Belichick,” Quinn said. “But during the game, you’re just thinking about your own team and the matchups as you go. We tip our hat to him, but during the game, it’s all about your team.”

Quinn and the Falcons will try to avenge their Super Bowl LI loss when they meet the Patriots on Oct. 22 for a Week 7 matchup at Gillette Stadium.

Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images

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