Falcons coach Raheem Morris may be blaming himself for Todd Gurley‘s mental error of scoring a touchdown when he should have gone down at the 1-yard line in Sunday’s loss to the Lions, but Gurley knew what he was supposed to do.
That’s because Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told him in the huddle, just before the play. NFL Films footage shows Ryan reminding Gurley that the Falcons did not want to score because then they’d have to kick off to the Lions and give Detroit a chance to come back and win.
“Don’t score. Don’t score. Get the first, get down,” Ryan said.
Gurley said, “Yeah,” and seemed to understand that the goal was to run the ball to the 1-yard line, stop, and then let time run out until the final seconds, when the Falcons would call timeout for a game-winning chip-shot field goal.
But in the heat of the moment, Gurley messed up. He realized it just as he was reaching the end zone and tried to stop, but his momentum carried him into the end zone and the Lions celebrated the Falcons’ touchdown. The score and two-point conversion gave the Falcons a six-point lead, but it also left enough time on the clock that after the Falcons kicked off, the Lions marched down the field and scored the game-winning touchdown and extra point.
Matt Ryan to Todd Gurley before TD: “Don’t score, get the first, get down” originally appeared on Pro Football Talk