Eleven seconds to glory
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
If you're fan of statistics or just a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, you'll enjoy this. Our research department just sent me a fascinating e-mail that puts the crazy ending to Atlanta's victory over Chicago into historical perspective. Here it is:
The Falcons' 22-20 win over the Bears on Sunday is the third game since the merger (1970) in which a team won despite the fact their opponent took the lead with fewer than 15 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter... the amazing thing is that each of the three teams that lost took the lead with exactly 11 seconds remaining.
November 8, 1970: Saints 19, Lions 17
The Saints get their final win of a 2-11-1 year in Week 8. The Lions kicked a FG with 11 seconds left to take a 17-16 lead at Tulane Stadium. The Saints received the ensuing kick and stepped out of bounds immediately and then completed a pass to set up a 63-yard FG attempt by Tom Dempsey. Dempsey would kick the walk-off FG (setting the NFL record for longest FG ever made) and the Saints win 19-17.
September 15, 2003: Cowboys 35, Giants 32 (OT)
The Giants, on Monday Night Football at the Meadowlands, got a 30-yard FG with 11 seconds remaining out of Matt Bryant to take a 32-29 lead. Then Bryant booted the kickoff out of bounds, and Quincy Carter hit Antonio Bryant for a 26-yard gain with 4 seconds left. Billy Cundiff then forced overtime with a 52-yard FG for the Cowboys. Cundiff would then hit the game-winning 26-yarder in OT to give the Cowboys the 35-32 win.
October 12, 2008: Falcons 22, Bears 20
The Bears, with 11 seconds remaining, take a 20-19 lead at the Georgia Dome with a 17-yard TD pass from Kyle Orton to Rashied Davis. The ensuing kickoff is a short one, and returned to the Falcons 44-yard line. Much like Quincy Carter-Antonio Bryant, Matt Ryan hooks up with Michael Jenkins for a 26-yard gain to set up a potential game-winning FG. Jason Elam (who in 1998 tied Tom Dempsey's record with a 63-yard FG of his own), connects from 48 yards away to give the Falcons the walk-off win.