Tony Gonzalez's drought has lasted much longer. The tight end struggled for perspective on Saturday night after a crushing end to his best chance for his first postseason win.
Gonzalez, a 14-year veteran who spent most of his career in Kansas City, has more catches than any tight end in NFL history, but he's now 0-4 in the postseason.
"Just kind of here we go again," Gonzalez said. "A great, great, great season. Unbelievable. A lot of fun, a lot of success for this team and this city. A lot of people shared in it and it's fun. A fun ride. It just ended abruptly. We didn't expect it to end this way, and definitely not in the style that it did."
Ryan is 20-2 as a starter at the Georgia Dome in his three seasons. The Falcons believed that record of home success, coupled with the team's No. 1 seed and home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs, would be their ticket to playoff success.
Instead, Ryan and the top-seeded Falcons fell flat in the lopsided loss, leaving the third-year quarterback 0-2 in playoff games with six turnovers.
Ryan threw two interceptions, including one that was returned 70 yards for a touchdown by Tramon Williams, and also lost a fumble. He finished with 186 yards.
"We moved the ball pretty effectively but we just didn't capitalize," Ryan said. "We didn't get points when we needed to get points. It's disappointing."
For Ryan, the postseason disappointment was painfully familiar. As a rookie in 2008, Ryan had three turnovers, including a fumble returned for a touchdown, and was sacked for a safety in Atlanta's 30-24 wild-card playoff loss at Arizona.
Atlanta's only losses in the regular season were in overtime at Pittsburgh, by two touchdowns at Philadelphia, and by three points to New Orleans on Dec. 27.
Eric Weems gave Atlanta a 14-7 lead with a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the longest scoring play in NFL postseason history, according to STATS LLC.
Perhaps most costly was Ryan's interception returned 70 yards for a touchdown by Tramon Williams on the final play of the first half.
"It just was not a very good decision on my part," Ryan said. "In that situation, understanding we're in field goal range at that point, I just need to throw the ball away."
Gonzalez limped off the field after injuring his right ankle with 2:03 remaining in the third quarter. He returned later in the game and said the injury was not serious.
By the end of the game, Green Bay fans had taken over the Georgia Dome, moving down to the front rows of the otherwise empty building.
Ryan said the loss shouldn't keep the Falcons from returning as a top team in the conference next season.
"We did a lot of things well this year and we've got a chance to build on some of the things we did this year," Ryan said. "We've got a lot of people coming back, a lot of talent and we certainly expect to be right back in this position next year and get a different outcome."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press