The Detroit Lions incredible comeback never would’ve happened if veteran running back Todd Gurley hadn’t made one of the biggest mistakes of the game. The Atlanta Falcons were down 16-14 with the ball on Detroit’s 10-yard line and 1:12 remaining. The Lions had already used their last timeout, meaning Atlanta simply had to drain the rest of the game clock and kick a chip-shot field goal to win.
Instead, they handed the ball off to Gurley, and after passing the line of scrimmage, he barreled into the end zone, despite a last-ditch effort to stop himself short of the goal line. While the score—and subsequent two-point conversion—gave the Falcons a six-point lead, it gave the Lions over a minute left to retaliate and score the game-winning touchdown.
As we know by now, Matthew Stafford used of every single second to make that score happen, causing Gurley’s mistake to become the forefront of conversation at the end of the Lions’ win.
Gurley spoke to the media after the game and explained what happened.
How he felt after scoring the touchdown:
“I was mad as hell. I was trying not to (score). My momentum took me in. It’s kind of crazy, the last time I played Detroit, I went down, and this time, I end up scoring. It’s like, what goes around comes around.
It’s just one of those unfortunate situations. I’ve been in plenty of those situations. Since my rookie year, about six or seven. I’ve always got down, this is an unfortunate one right there.”
Was he afraid the Lions were going to score and win the game after his mistake?
“Yeah, that’s the point of going down. Not being able to put the ball in the hands of—especially someone like Matt Stafford. He’s known for comebacks, and once again, he showed why he’s an elite quarterback in this league.”
Did coaches and players discuss the strategy of going down before scoring?
“Yeah, we talked about it in the huddle, probably a couple plays prior to that. And I know that. Like I said, I’ve been in multiple situations over my years in the league. Just one of them unfortunate ones.”
Was there any discussion about taking a knee?
“No there wasn’t.”
You can watch Gurley’s entire post-game presser here: