The Atlanta Falcons were on the brink of their second victory of the 2020 NFL season against the Detroit Lions in Week 7. Down two points late in the fourth quarter, the Falcons had driven the ball into the red zone with under two minutes left. All the Falcons had to do was run down the clock and kick a short field goal for the win.
Instead, the Falcons scored a touchdown on accident. That left the Lions just enough time to march down the field and score the game-winning touchdown as the clock expired. Atlanta’s season has been defined by heartbreaking losses, but the 23-22 defeat against the Lions might be their worst yet.
The Falcons had the ball at Detroit’s 10-yard line with 1:12 left on the clock when Todd Gurley took a hand-off and broke through the defense. Gurley had a touchdown clearly in front of him, but he didn’t want it — he intended to down himself on the one yard line. Unfortunately, his body momentum carried him into the end zone:
The go-ahead TD for TG!— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 25, 2020
: FOX pic.twitter.com/hSAIQJ7eNI
After Atlanta succeeded on the ensuing two-point conversion, the Lions got the ball down six on their own 25-yard-line with just over one minute remaining.
Matthew Stafford would engineer an eight-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson. Matt Prater made the extra point to win the game.
Only the 2020 Falcons could lose a game like this. Atlanta became the first team in the last 20 seasons to blow multiple leads of 15 points or more in the fourth quarter, and they did it in back-to-back weeks with losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears earlier this season.
Losing a game because you scored a touchdown? The Falcons keep finding new ways to break their fans’ spirit this season.
The Falcons really lost because they accidentally scored a TD instead of running down the clock ♂️ pic.twitter.com/JrCJQi0eKI— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 25, 2020
The Falcons now fall to 1-6 on the season. Detroit has evened its record at 3-3.