The Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs share the most depressing championship stat ever

For Atlanta-area sports fans it has been a really, really rough 12 months. In February of 2017, the Atlanta Falcons were riding high, mowing their way through opponents with the best offense in the NFL and holding a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI, right before a modern NFL dynasty led by the greatest coach and quarterback in NFL history stormed back to steal the victory from them.

On Monday night, the Georgia Bulldogs were riding high, having mowed through opponents with a devastating rushing attack, a stud freshman quarterback in Jake Fromm and a suffocating defense. They held a 20-3 lead in the College Football Playoff Championship Game ... right before a modern college dynasty led by the greatest coach in college football history stormed back to steal the victory from them. 

If you're going to lose a football game, I guess at least lose it to Bill Belichick/Tom Brady and/or Nick Saban? That's but a slight condolence for having a double-digit lead in a title game and not closing things out. 

The real pain for both teams comes from this statistic: neither the Falcons nor the Bulldogs trailed for a single second of their respective championship games.

Think about that. They both lost their title games, and they never trailed once. 

Both games started in similar fashion. The Falcons and Patriots didn't score in the first quarter, and it took a LeGarrette Blount fumble in the second quarter to help set up an Atlanta drive that was ultimately capped off with a five-yard touchdown run from Devonta Freeman. The Falcons took a 7-0 lead at that point and would be up 21-3 at halftime. They would score first in the third quarter to push the lead to 28-3, with the Patriots adding six more points in that quarter to enter the final frame 28-9. 

New England would rip off 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to tie things up and send it to overtime. The second Brady got the ball in the extra period, everyone knew what was happening. And it happened: the Patriots marched down the field and scored a touchdown run by James White with 11:02 remaining on the clock. 

The touchdown was reviewed and White was ruled to have crossed the goal line. The second he did, the game was over. The Patriots won and the Falcons lost. Atlanta never trailed for a single second of Super Bowl LI and still lost. 

Overtime was in play for the Bulldogs against Alabama as well, thanks in large part to the missed field goal from Bama's kicker on Monday night and Saban yanking Jalen Hurts for true freshman Tua Tagovailoa, who helped spark the Crimson Tide's offense.

It was Tagovailoa who delivered the high and the low in overtime, taking a horrendous sack on first down to set up a second-and-26, putting the Tide out of field goal range and potentially ending their comeback bid in overtime. Then he looked off a safety and delivered a strike:

The second Devonta Smith crossed the goal line -- and there was no question about the score and no need for review -- the game ended. It was over and Alabama won. Georgia didn't trail for a single second of the national championship game.

And just like the Falcons, they still lost. They say it's better to have loved and lost, but don't try explaining that rationale to any Georgia sports fans you see at your office on Tuesday.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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