Atlanta Falcons blow a sure win in final minute when Todd Gurley scores a touchdown instead of running out the clock

Tyler Lauletta
Todd Gurley touchdown
Todd Gurley scored a late touchdown to give the Falcons the lead, but he would have been better off just going down to the ground. FOX
  • The Atlanta Falcons lost to the Detroit Lions in shocking fashion on Sunday, thanks to a brutal mental mistake from running back Todd Gurley.

  • With the Falcons trailing 16-14 late in the game, Gurley took a run up the gut into the end zone to give Atlanta the lead.

  • Unfortunately, Gurley would have been better off going to the ground, as his touchdown gave an extra possession to the Lions.

  • Detroit drove the length of the field and scored a game-winning touchdown on the final play of the game.

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The Atlanta Falcons continue to find innovative ways to lose football games.

While it's tough to top their loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, the Falcons pulled off an even more heartbreaking loss on Sunday against the Detroit Lions when victory looked all but assured.

With just over a minute remaining in the game, the Falcons trailed the Lions 16-14, but had the ball deep inside Detroit territory facing first-and-goal.

After taking a handoff, running back Todd Gurley fought through traffic and wound up in the end zone for a touchdown.

 

While the score gave the Falcons a lead, it was actually the Lions defense that celebrated the touchdown, as linebacker Jaime Collins raised his hand to signal to the referees that Gurley had in fact crossed the goal line.

Jaime Collins celebrates
Jaime Collins has likely never been so happy to see a team score a touchdown against his defense. FOX

Detroit had reason to celebrate. The Lions were out of timeouts, so before the score, the Falcons were positioned to drain the clock and put through an easy field goal to win the game in the final seconds.

But thanks to Gurley's touchdown, the Lions got the ball back with just over a minute to drive the field for a potential game-winning touchdown.

The Lions made the most of the extra opportunity.

After a few big plays downfield, Stafford connected with tight end T.J. Hockenson for a touchdown as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Lions win.

It was a heartbreaking loss for the Falcons, who could have easily won the game with a chip-shot field goal if Gurley had simply refused to score.

Making the loss hurt that much more is the fact that Gurley has made the right play in this exact situation in the past. In 2018, when he was still with the Rams, Gurley went to the ground despite having an easy touchdown in front of him to keep possession and secure the win.

Unfortunately for the Falcons, Gurley didn't make the right play this time around, and it resulted in the team's sixth loss of the year.

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