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Mohamed Sanu: Fourth quarter collapse won’t be our legacy

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Mohamed Sanu #12 of the Atlanta Falcons avoids a tackle by Logan Ryan #26 of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Shortly after the Super Bowl, former NFL coach Kevin Gilbride stopped by PFT Live and told us that it can take a long time for an NFL team to get over a playoff collapse.

Gilbride has first-hand experience on that front as he was the offensive coordinator for the 1992 Oilers when they blew a huge lead against the Bills. The Oilers struggled out of the gate the next year, something Gilbride attributed to an extended hangover from that meltdown.

The Falcons will have to guard against a similar fate come the start of the 2017 season. One way that wide receiver Mohamaed Sanu appears to be approaching that task is to resist defining themselves solely as the team that gave up a 25-point lead over the final 23 minutes of Super Bowl LI.

“I mean, it’s however you guys want to interpret it as. Us as a team, we know what we have and what we did throughout the whole season and I wouldn’t say the last quarter of that game is our legacy,” Sanu said on NFL Network. “We did what we had to do throughout the season to make it on the big stage and we played well. It just so happened it didn’t go our way.”

While Sanu said that the pain of the loss has “definitely gotten better” over the last couple of weeks and that he’s focused on moving forward to the 2017 season, he also admitted there are still days where he wakes up thinking about the missed opportunity. Channelling those feelings in the right way will be a must for the Falcons if they want to give themselves another shot to finish the job.