The Atlanta Falcons lost in excruciating fashion (again) Sunday, falling to the Detroit Lions when Matt Prater's extra point sailed through the uprights with no time remaining.
The only reason the Lions even had a chance to secure the game-tying touchdown — Matt Stafford connecting with tight end T.J. Hockenson with triple-zeros on the clock — was due to a clock blunder by Falcons running back Todd Gurley.
Detroit was out of timeouts and leading by two when Gurley burst through the line on first-and-goal from the 10-yard line with 1:12 to go. Atlanta could have killed the remaining time and kicked a field goal to win by one as time expired. Instead, Gurley lurched toward the end zone and, despite a last-second effort to prevent himself from scoring, he broke the plane of the goal line.
[email protected] crosses the goal line to give the @AtlantaFalcons the lead!
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The Falcons got the two-point conversion, but that returned the ball to Stafford and Co. down 22-16 with 1:04 to go — enough time to win the game in regulation.
Gurley was not pleased with himself postgame.
"I was mad as hell," Gurley said of scoring the touchdown. "I was trying not to (score). My momentum took me in. It's kind of crazy; the last time I played Detroit, I went down and this time I end up scoring. It's like what goes around comes around.
"It's one of them unfortunate situations. I've been in plenty of those situations since my rookie year, about six or seven. I've always got down, just an unfortunate one right there."
Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley scores a touchdown (even though he was trying not at the last moment) in the loss against the Detroit Lions. (Photo: Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports)
The game Gurley was referencing was a 2018 contest between the Rams and Lions. In that game, with his Rams team up 23-16, he broke a long run just north of the two-minute warning but did not go into the end zone to force the Lions to use their final timeout and eat up more clock.
In Sunday's game, he said going down before reaching the end zone had been discussed.
"We talked about it in the huddle, probably a couple plays prior to that," Gurley said. "And I know that, like I said, I've been in multiple situations over my years in the league. Just one of those unfortunate ones."
He declined to place the blame on anyone but himself, despite the defense giving up a 75-yard drive in just over a minute.
"I'll man up, take the responsibility. Tried to go down but I didn't," Gurley said. "Trying is not good enough, so just got to do better on my behalf."
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