It's tough to lose a Super Bowl, but it's tougher to recover from that loss ... and you can look it up.
The last team to reappear in the Super Bowl after losing it the season before was the 1993 Buffalo Bills. Since then, there have been numerous disappointments, failures and fizzles -- with 11 of the past 22 Super Bowl losers failing to reach the playoffs the following season.
Call it a Super Bowl curse, or call it a Super Bowl hangover. Something is going on, and Carolina coach Ron Rivera acknowledged it when he appeared on the Talk of Fame Network earlier this year.
But Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan isn't so certain. What the reigning NFL MVP does know, however, is that maybe, just maybe, the Falcons can use that "curse" to their advantage -- mainly because another pro team just did.
"I think every organization, every team is different," he said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast. "And each game affects everyone differently. You talk about Super Bowl 'hangover' or anything like that, you look at the NBA championships. If any team had a reason for a hangover last year it was the Golden State Warriors. And to see how they played this season ... I think that serves as really good inspiration for us.
"We know it's going to be really hard. There's no question about it. It was really hard last year to get there. But I think part of it is embracing that -- embracing that it's going to be difficult; the grind is really, really difficult. But that's what's going to make it so great, and that work and embracing that and really thriving on how hard it is ...
"But we've got the right people to do it. And so I think we'll be OK. Our mindset is right, and we've got the right people in leadership positions to guide us in the right direction."
One of those leaders, of course, is Matt Ryan. But this just in: He's the second quarterback in two years from the NFC South to win the MVP and lose a Super Bowl, and look what happened to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers a year ago. They finished 6-10, and he suffered through a disappointing and injury-plagued season.
To his credit, Ryan is taking no chances. Unlike others, he not only watched videotape of Atlanta's Super Bowl meltdown following their overtime loss to New England; he watched it several times. And then he put it away ... for good.
"I've definitely moved on," he said. "I wanted to watch it to make the corrections (and) take a look at what we did well and what we didn't do well -- as I would every week that we play.
"The big thing was just making sure that I got it out of my system as fast as I could so that I could focus on finding a way to get better this offseason and finding a way to help our team improve. I think if we dwell too much on that from last year it's going to affect what we do moving forward.