The players were shaking hands, wishing each other pleasantries.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan found Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman on the field, shook his hand, said something like "Good to see you, man."

Other players would have looked at Sherman and walked away- or worse- considering what had happened moments earlier.

But Ryan was cordial despite the fact that Sherman had interfered with Julio Jones on a 4th-and-10 pass play, forcing an incomplete pass and ending the Falcons' chance at a victory.

No flag was thrown.

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Head coach Dan Quinn went ballistic on the sideline, screaming at officials over the blown call that allowed the Seahawks to hang on to a 26-24 win at CenturyLink Stadium on Sunday. He even had to be held back by assistant coaches.

Yes, Quinn was fired up. The relatively level-headed coach was furious, and you would have thought that anger would have extended into the post-game press conference, right? With the NFL's ridiculous celebration penalties and inconsistent calls on what a catch is this season, Quinn was finally going to let loose and draw a fine, right?


Quinn's furry vanished somewhere in-between Quinn nearly popping the vein in his forehead on the sideline after the play and him stepping up to the podium. The worst thing he said was no comment about the refs.

"We certainly had other opportunities to go out and capitalize in the game," Quinn said. "It was a 50-50 ball that we certainly had an [opportunity] to get. Never comes down to one play."

Coach speak.

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But what he said is also true. The Falcons had an awful first half that consisted of Ryan taking hit after hit, a fumble, a lack of success on the ground, penalties, and a blown opportunity that led to a field goal rather than a touchdown.

But Atlanta stormed back thanks to Ryan, who threw three touchdown passes in the second half to lead the Falcons to 21 unanswered points. He threw an interception, the Seahawks took a 2-point lead, but Ryan had a chance to put together a game-winning drive with two minutes left.

It went to 4th down, and Ryan knew Jones could make a play on the ball if he threw it to him. He could have, but the Seahawks cheated.

Yes, cheated.

People don't like cheaters. People want to yell about cheaters. If Odell Beckham Jr. had been interfered with, he would have gone ballistic, and sports pundits would be discussing it for days.

What did Jones say? Did he think he was interfered with?

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"I do. Before I took off, he grabbed by right side and spun me around before I jumped up. It was just a missed call. It's over with. It's done. We on to the next one right now," Jones said.

He said that with no intensity or disgust in his voice. What about Ryan?

"I haven't seen the replay, but our job is to play. That's all you can focus on. I thought Julio did a hell of a job going out and being aggressive to try and make a play on the ball," Ryan said.

Once again, the Falcons took the high road. They could complain, they could moan, point fingers, complain about officials changing the outcome of the game.

But they won't, and that angers some fans who feel the Falcons don't get the respect they deserve.

So why won't they kick and scream? For one, the Falcons see it as good PR. They don't want any sort of media storm around them. The second reason is they see themselves as professionals- nothing they can do about it now, so might as well move on.

"The most important part of being a professional is being able to put this one behind us and move on," Ryan said. "Whether it's good or bad, I believe that. You have to put that one behind you and start focusing on the next one."

No one would have blamed the Falcons for racking up fines for calling out the refs on another blown call. If anything, fans would have set up a GoFundMe to pay for those fines.

But heaven forbid an Atlanta sports team put the coach speak on pause.

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