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Falcons Ex Scott Pioli Recalls Super Bowl Meltdown vs. Patriots: 'I Was A Mess!'

Seven years later, the Atlanta Falcons blowing a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI remains as a scar on the franchise.

When any Atlanta Falcons fan hears the phrase "28-3," a flood of unpleasant memories are sure to follow.

The date was Feb. 5, 2017. The Falcons were playing in their second Super Bowl in franchise history, and dominating the New England Patriots to take a 28-3 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter. After that, though, Tom Brady and the Patriots would infamously come back to win 34-28 in overtime, winning yet another title and giving Falcons fans unfathomable heartbreak.

Seven years later, the Falcons' Super Bowl disaster remains a black eye on the franchise, and one could argue that they still haven't recovered.

Matt Ryan Tom Brady

With The Dynasty: New England Patriots an Apple TV documentary covering the team's dominance over the 21st century, in full swing, Super Bowl LI was inevitably going to come up sooner or later. In the show, former Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli recalled the feeling of watching his team collapse in real time.

“I’m watching the game, we had a suite for the entire personnel department," Pioli said, per WEEI's Mike Kadlick All the folks I’m working with, they’re high-fiving… it’s you know out of control. But I was a mess.

"I felt this nervousness. And as I’m sitting there someone slaps me on the back and says, ‘C’mon Scott lighten up, you’ve gotta enjoy this moment!’ And I just erupted.

"And I whipped around and I said, ‘You effin’ people don’t get it. That guy No. 12 across the field, is Freddy effin’ Kruger. He’s comin’ back, and he’s gonna get a bunch of us. I just hope he doesn’t get us all.”

If anyone in the Falcons organization knew how dangerous it was to count out Brady and the Patriots, it was Pioli. The 58-year-old worked in the Patriots' player personnel department from 2000-2008, so he knows from firsthand experience to not count chickens before they hatch.

The Falcons will always have that scar from the Super Bowl implosion, but as they move into a new era under Raheem Morris, they hope to make some good memories and fade out the bad one.