Connect with us

Sports

Lions stun Falcons 23-22 after letting Atlanta score late TD – TSN

Published

 on


ATLANTA — Todd Gurley saw a tantalizing path to the end zone and couldn’t help himself.

He tried to fall down, but it was too late.

Gurley landed on the goal line for a touchdown that, as it turned out, led to another stunning loss for the Atlanta Falcons.

Detroit let Gurley score with just over a minute remaining to get the ball back, giving Matthew Stafford enough time to drive the Lions to the winning TD as time expired Sunday.

Stafford connected with T.J. Hockenson on an ad-libbed, 11-yard scoring pass and Matt Prater, pushed back by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, nailed a 48-yard extra point kick to give the Lions a 23-22 victory.

“Just an amazing game,” Detroit coach Matt Patricia said. “Unreal.”

All too real for the Falcons (1-6), who fired coach Dan Quinn on the heels of becoming the first team in NFL history to lose back-to-back games after leading by at least 15 points in the fourth quarter.

This one only added to the misery.

“Usually you have one or two of those games,” Gurley said. “Not multiple games.”

Trailing 16-14, the Falcons were positioned to run down the clock and kick a chip-shot field goal for the win when they picked up a first down at the Lions 10 with just over a minute remaining.

Detroit had used up all its timeouts on the drive, so there was no further way to stop the clock. Knowing their only chance was to allow a quick TD, the Lions made no attempt to stop Gurley after he took a handoff from Matt Ryan.

“It was great situational defence awareness right there,” Patricia said, going on to praise his defensive players for NOT doing what is normally their job.

Gurley burst through an intentionally gaping hole, with only one defensive player, safety Will Harris, even putting a hand on the runner. Gurley realized what the Lions were doing and tried to fall over, but he landed on the goal line with his ball-carrying hand.

The Lions (3-3) held up their hands to celebrate a touchdown.

By the other team.

“I thought it was perfect,” Patricia said. “Give the players credit. They executed it great. It was a great job by them.”

Gurley knew he had messed up.

“I was mad as hell,” he said. “I was trying not to (score), but my momentum took me in. It’s kind of crazy.”

The Falcons converted a 2-point conversion to make it 22-16, but the Lions still had a chance — especially with a quarterback like Stafford who has led so many comebacks in his career.

“I had my helmet on, thinking the game was probably going to be over,” Stafford said. “They let them score and gave us another chance.”

He drove his team 75 yards in eight lightning-quick plays, connecting with Hockenson on a 13-yard pass, Danny Amendola for 22 yards and Kenny Golladay for a 29-yard gain to the Falcons 11. The game was briefly halted to allow the replay booth official to take a look at Golladay’s catch, which the Falcons argued had been trapped against the turf.

But the call was upheld and the Lions lined up quickly, spiking the ball with 2 seconds left to set up the final play. Stafford was pressured in the pocket, rolled to his left and spotted Hockenson breaking free across the end zone.

Touchdown, Lions, who have won two straight games for the first time since early in the 2019 season.

“Hock did a nice job of kind of getting lost,” Stafford said. “I was able to find him.”

Adding one last bit of drama to a bizarre final quarter, Detroit was penalized 15 yards for its raucous celebration. That backed up the extra-point attempt to the 30-yard line, but Prater knocked it through to win the game.

Stafford finished 25 of 36 for 340 yards. Golladay had six catches for 114 yards.

Ryan was 31 of 42 for 338 yards and a touchdown, while Gurley ran for a pair of touchdowns.

He’d love to have that second one back.

“My job is just going down,” Gurley said. “I’m taking all the responsibility.”

MATTY COMEBACK

Stafford has now led 30 fourth-quarter comebacks and 36 game-winning drives in his career.

He also became the second player in the Super Bowl era to throw two game-winning touchdown passes with no time on the clock.

The other was Tim Couch.

“I love this game. I love competing,” Stafford said. “There’s no more competitive, pressure-packed situation than … no time left.”

INJURY REPORT

Falcons WR Russell Gage appeared to be seriously injured when Detroit’s linebacker Reggie Ragland pinned his left leg making a tackle on a short pass play in the first quarter. Gage had to be helped off the field with a knee injury, but he was able to return to the game in the second half.

UP NEXT

Lions: Will be seeking their first win of the year at Ford Field when they host the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday. Detroit is 0-2 at home.

Falcons: Face a short turnaround heading into Thursday night’s game at Carolina. Atlanta lost to the Panthers 23-16 when the NFC South rivals played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Oct. 11.

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Raptors smoothly mix present and future in pivoting from Gasol and Ibaka to Baynes, Len – Toronto Sun

Published

 on


Article content continued

The Bucks, finalist Miami, Raptor-beaters Boston, a more balanced Philadelphia squad and Brooklyn should all be solid and another team or two usually are a lot better than expected, but this Raptors group should be in the mix in the East.

Of course getting back to where they want to be, contenders again for the NBA title, will take that second part of the plan paying off next off-season.

In the meantime, expect a competitive, fundamentally sound, reasonably deep Toronto Raptors team to take the court in Tampa Bay in 2020-21.

Considering who has exited, that doesn’t sound too bad.

BOOSTING THE BENCH

The Raptors should have an intriguing bench after adding centre Alex Len and guard/forward DeAndre Bembry to the mix.

Len, a 7-footer who split last season with Atlanta and Sacramento, was once highly-regarded enough to be in contention for the first pick of the 2013 draft by Cleveland. He ended up going fifth to Phoenix and has averaged eight points and 6.3 rebounds in 467 games. Injuries have been a major factor for the Ukraine native, but when he plays he has shown he can defend, rebound, score inside and step out with mixed success.

He’ll backup fellow newcomer Aron Baynes, with Canadian Chris Boucher likely to split time between power forward and centre.

Bembry, 6-foot-5, is known for his effort level, defence and athleticism. He can handle the ball a bit and create, but has struggled to shoot from everywhere on the floor aside from right at the rim, where he’s a good finisher. Bembry has shot just 27% from three in 189 career games, but with the status of two other potential Nick Nurse options uncertain, could be in the mix for some playing time.

Guard Terence Davis is facing legal issues and the Raptors will make a call on whether to cut or keep him by Nov. 29. Nurse favourite Patrick McCaw has not played since March due to a knee issue.

@WolstatSun

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Memo details updates to NFL's COVID-19 protocols; masks required for players on sidelines – NFL.com

Published

 on


Major updates to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols were sent to all clubs on Monday in a memo obtained by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Among the updates are a mandate for players to wear face coverings on the sideline if they are not wearing a helmet or entering a game starting with games played this Thursday. Those who do not subject to discipline.

The memo delivered a particularly pointed message noted by Pelissero: “Players who fail to wear masks on the sidelines will be subject to discipline. Clubs are required to enforce these rules. Violations by players and/or staff will result in accountability measures being imposed upon the Club.”

As coronavirus positive cases rise throughout the country, it is another step taken by the league to aid in combatting the spread of COVID-19 and it altering the 2020 season.

Some additional points of note:

  • Beginning Week 12, the maximum number of players able to travel to road games will be reduced to 62. To ensure equity, teams must submit a list of players designated as eligible to attend and/or play by 4 p.m. ET the day before game day to the league office.
  • Play-callers will no be required to wear a face mask or double-layered gaiter in addition to a face shied to be consistent with all other coaches who choose to wear face shields.
  • Postgame interactions between players and/or staff will be limited.
  • Starting Nov. 30, access to club facilities will be limited to those designated as “Essential Football, Essential Support or Other Medical/Special Services.” All others must now work remotely or a separate facility.
  • Beginning with Week 13 games, all members of teams’ traveling parties must wear N95 or KN95 masks on the team plane and on the team bus.

The memo was sent on a day in which notable NFL players such as Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen, Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson and multiple Baltimore Ravens were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

All 32 NFL teams currently are operating under the league’s COVID-19 intensive protocol for the remainder of the 2020 season.

The full updated protocol can be viewed below.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Raptors sign Alex Len to help fill void created by Ibaka, Gasol departures – CBC.ca

Published

 on


On the heels of losing their two championship centres, the Toronto Raptors shored up their frontcourt by signing Alex Len on Monday — and also some maintained some financial flexibility toward their ambitious 2021 off-season goals.

Len signed a one-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal said. Financial details weren’t released. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been publicly announced.

The 27-year-old Ukrainian was selected fifth overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2013 draft. He played five seasons with the Suns then two with Atlanta. He was acquired by the Kings in a trade last February along with Jabari Parker.

The seven-footer averaged 8.0 points and 4.8 rebounds with Atlanta and Sacramento last season, and shot 59.3 per cent from the field in his 15 games with the Kings. He scored a career-high 33 points against the Milwaukee Bucks in 2019 and grabbed 19 rebounds versus Minnesota in 2017.

Len’s signing is more good news for a Raptors team that lost NBA championship centres Marc Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers) and Serge Ibaka (Clippers) over the weekend. Their departures worried Raptors fans. Among the social media jokes: a suggestion that Toronto’s centre this season would be Fred VanVleet standing on Kyle Lowry’s shoulders.

But the Raptors responded by adding Aron Baynes on Sunday night, and then re-signing Montreal centre Chris Boucher to a two-year deal worth US$13.5 million — the richest contract for an undrafted Canadian.

The fact that the second year of Baynes’ two-year deal is a club option, while Len signed for just a season allows the Raptors plenty of wiggle room next off-season.

It’s no secret that Raptors president Masai Ujiri covets Milwaukee’s star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, although he could sign a five-year extension with the Bucks that would pay him a whopping US$228 million. He has until Dec. 21 to do so.

The Raptors newcomers, meanwhile, won’t have long to get adjusted to their new team as training camp opens on Dec. 1. The season tips off Dec. 22.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending