The Atlanta Falcons have arrived in Atlanta following a devastating loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
SKYFOX 5 flew overhead as the team's motorcade traveled to Flowery Branch on Monday. Fans greeted them as their buses pulled into their training facility.
Heartbreak. pic.twitter.com/pINPYEvnYM— Justin Felder (@Justin_FOX5) February 6, 2017
Meanwhile, Falcons fans are trying to cope with the heartbreaking loss.
"We have been battling for the Super Bowl for so long," said Falcons fan Rachel Shwartsman late Sunday night. "It's been pretty rough, but we'll come back next year and that's the way to do it."
In Buckhead, Michael Cochan told FOX 5 it was the worst loss.
"We have a great team," Cochan said. "I feel pain right now. It's unbelievable. We gotta come back in the next five years and finish the job."
Mayor Kasim Reed issued the following statement congratulating the Falcons on a well fought season:
"On behalf of the best fans in the league, I would like to congratulate our Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank, Coach Dan Quinn, and President and Chief Executive Officer Rich McKay. The Atlanta Falcons had an incredible season and played a terrific game in Super Bowl LI, and we could not be prouder.
The team and its coaching staff had an outstanding record of achievement this season, including being named NFC Champions and our quarterback Matt Ryan earning recognition as the NFL's MVP. The entire Atlanta Falcons organization has always been committed to our city and gives back to our neighborhoods every day. Now it's our turn to proudly support them.
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The Atlanta Falcons begin a new era this fall, playing in the world-class Mercedes-Benz Stadium. I look forward to attending the first game in their new home and cheering on our NFC Champions.
Congratulations to the City of Boston and to the New England Patriots on a hard fought Super Bowl victory."
The Patriots capped an historic comeback with a touchdown on the opening drive of overtime, defeating the Falcons 34-28 in Super Bowl LI. Before this year, no team had come back from a deficit of more than 10 points to win a Super Bowl. The Patriots scored 31 straight points to close the game, behind quarterback Tom Brady's 43 for 62 passing performance, good for 466 yards and two touchdowns.
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"We all brought each other back. We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle, Brady said after the game. "They have a great team. I give them a lot of credit. We just made a few more plays than them."
"There's nothing you can really say, it's a tough loss," said Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. "It's hard to find words."
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"I think for sure we ran out of gas," Falcons Coach Dan Quinn said. "But, I can tell you how hard these guys battled for it."
To make the loss even harder, a number of Atlanta stores were forced to remove the Falcons victory shirts from mannequins, and championship hats from store shelves. Boxes of merchandise now has to go back, and will not be sold.