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Matt Patricia reveals how he tricked Falcons’ RB Todd Gurley into scoring boneheaded TD

Generally, when you score a touchdown in the NFL, it is a cause for celebration.

But on Sunday, Atlanta Falcons RB Todd Gurley scored a touchdown that will haunt him for the rest of his life. (Though I hope he is able to put it behind him and have a great career)

http://gty.im/1229282202

The touchdown I am referring to, of course, came with just over a minute to play in Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.

The Lions held a 16-14 lead but the Falcons had just picked up a first down and with the Lions not having any timeouts remaining, all Atlanta had to do was run the clock down and kick a short field goal to win the game. In fact, the only way the Lions would have any chance at all to come back and win would be if the Falcons scored a TD to take the lead.

That is when the craziness happened.

Gurley took a handoff from Falcons QB Matt Ryan and instead of going down well short of the goal line, he ended up going just a hair too far, and by the time he realized it, it was too late and he had crossed the plane for a touchdown. The score (and then the 2-point conversion that followed) put the Falcons up 22-16 with 1:04 left on the clock.

As you know by now, 1:04 was just enough time for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to lead the offense down the field for the game-winning touchdown.

http://gty.im/1282193206

Following the game, Lions head coach Matt Patricia explained that what had happened was an exact situation that he and his coaches have gone over in practice. Patricia even said he has a ‘one-word call’ for that exact situation.

From Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated:

So really, Detroit’s only hope was to block the field goal or just let the Falcons score a touchdown. As short as the field goal was going to be, the latter option made much more sense. So Patricia called it, and Gurley easily broke through the line at the snap. Then, Lions safety Will Harris grabbed him, as if to tackle him, and influenced him toward the goal line. Before Gurley realized what was going on, it was too late.

“It goes all the way back to the Super Bowl [in 2011],” Patricia said, on his way to the airport. “It’s something that we’ve always had in our defense.”

Patricia’s reference point there was from his time as Patriots defensive coordinator in Super Bowl XLVI. The play was a second-and-goal with less than a minute left, and the New England defenders let Ahmad Bradshaw go through the line, then influenced him into the end zone. By the time Bradshaw figured it out—as was the case with Gurley—it was too late and he’d scored.

In that case, the Giants took the lead 21–17, and the Patriots couldn’t come back with the 53 seconds they had left. In this case, the Lions did come back.

For as much as Matt Patricia is ripped for his coaching abilities, he can chalk this one up a big victory and maybe even a turning point for the 2020 season.

 

 

 

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W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

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