Falcons survive scare from Lions 30-26

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Golden Tate /

The Atlanta Falcons move to 3-0 but just barely. The Detroit Lions lost on the last play of the game as they fall to the Falcons 30-26.

You knew coming that this would be a close game. Both the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions were unbeaten at 2-0.  With the winner of the game considered the top team in the NFC.  But it was the Falcons who came out on top.

Uncharacteristically, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw 3 interceptions as the Lions defense made plays to keep it close.  One interception was a pick six by safety Glover Quin, which made the 17-13 Falcons.

However, they did roll up a lot of yardage (428 yards) on the Lions in spite of the turnovers.  Running back Devonta Freeman had 106 yards rushing and 1 TD.  Ryan had 294 yards passing and 2 TD passes in addition to the interceptions.

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The Falcons opened up the lead in the second half to 23-13 on a 40 yard field goal by Matt Bryant.  Both kickers nailed all their field goal attempts.  The Detroit Lions Matt Prater hit three including two from over 50 yards.

Atlanta extended their lead in the fourth quarter on a 40 yard TD pass from Ryan to Taylor Gabriel, but the Lions roared back.  With the game at 30-26, Matthew Stafford drove the Lions 88 yards in 11 plays with time running out.  However, the Lions came up a half yard short.

A pass interference call in the end zone on the Falcons Desmond Trufant put the ball at the one yard line.  After two incomplete passes by Matthew Stafford, on third down he hit Golden Tate on slant for the touchdown with 8 seconds left to make it 32-30 Detroit Lions.

However, after the videotape review, it was ruled that Tate’s knee was down before the ball crossed the goal line. So according to NFL rules, there was a ten second run off, which ended the game because there was only eight seconds left.

This is the second game out of three this season that the Atlanta Falcons won with the opposing team failing to score a touchdown to win in the closing seconds.  In week one it was the Chicago Bears, but sometimes it’s best to be lucky than good.