Lions rally to beat Falcons in London
The Atlanta Falcons should have won. Everything was in their favor to get a huge upset win over the Lions in London on Sunday.
And of course, in Falcons fashion, they choked away a three-touchdown lead to lose 22-21 to Detroit. It was about as bad of a loss as it can get.
With a 21-0 lead at halftime, everything was going the Falcons' way. But then Matthew Stafford led a furious rally in the second half and the Atlanta offense went cold in the final two quarters. Even so, the Falcons stopped the Lions on a late two-point conversion to keep the game at 21-19.
The Falcons then attempted to run out the clock and put the game away. But with under two minutes to go, and on a third-and-10, the Falcons called an otherwise safe receiver screen to Julio Jones. However, Jones dropped the ball, stopping the clock. The Lions got the ball back and immediately drove down the field, with Stafford hitting Golden Tate on a big play.
But with the incredibly horrible second half heading for a disastrous Falcons finish, Atlanta seemed to have caught a break. With four seconds remaining, Lions kicker Matt Prater pushed a field goal wide to the right. However, the play did not get snapped in time and a delay of game penalty was called. The ball was moved back five yards, with Prater kicking the game-winner from 48 yards away.
This is a rule that may need to be revisited this offseason. It's hard to justify the Lions getting a second chance at a game-winning field goal after messing up in that situation. But there was no 10-second runoff since the delay of game penalty came on a dead ball.
Regardless, this might be the game that forces Falcons owner Arthur Blank to make some wholesale changes to the Falcons this offseason. Smith had a good run early, but it may be time to shake things up in Atlanta with how the last two seasons have played out.
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