Matt Ryan to Todd Gurley before TD: “Don’t score, get the first, get down”

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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.

51 responses to “Matt Ryan to Todd Gurley before TD: “Don’t score, get the first, get down”

  1. Guaranteed he purposely scored that TD. If I get paid millions for every TD I score it would be difficult not to do the same thing… Just saying

  2. It was clear as it could be… Inside the NFL had him mic’ed up and you hear it… and immediately after Ryan says to him as they are walking off. “Its not your fault, you were doing what your taught to do”… Just a mental mistake in a flash of a moment.

  3. Gurley deserves a break. His entire life he’s been told to run everything out and reach the end zone. His instincts just took over.

    In any case, the Atlanta defense still had an opportunity to stop Detroit and they failed miserably. This loss is on them, not Gurley.

  4. Get the first? Get the first?

    Why would Matt Ryan say, “Get the first, get down” when it was 1st and Goal from the 10? There was no way to get a first down there. Not excusing Gurley, but that actually may have caused confusion.

  5. I don’t recall specifics, but wasn’t there a game a few years ago when (I think ) Gurley purposely fell short on a run to the endzone and there was an uproar in the fantasy football world?

  6. The Falcons could have played that entire situation better rather than running it. As for Gurley, it happens. For the average person ten yards may seem like a lot but as somebody that does track, and is moderately fast but not as fast as these guys, ten yards is really short. Something that is evident when you realize he spent about 80% of it trying to break a tackle.

    Either ways its still silly to blame Gurley. The Falcons could of took a knee and ran the clock down, or even better and just hear me out cause this is a radical idea…their defense could have played defense.

  7. Seemed like a genuine mistake. I remember when that Giants RB did the same against the Patriots in the SB, tried stopping but momentum put him in.

    Unlucky loss for Atlanta (again)

  8. Obviously it was lacking situational awareness to score a TD. Gurley made a mistake. Why is no one even mentioning the fact that the Lions scored a TD on the ensuing drive. They went 75yds in 1 minute with zero timeouts… That to me is far worse.

  9. Two hands on the football, low center of gravity, maybe even drop a shoulder to slow you down and make it easier to fall over sideways. That being said, it’s easy for me to say because I’m not on the field. He’s been told to try and score every time he touches the ball and with only a yard of space, Gurley had a tough job. Blame the awful Falcons defense, not the RB that put his team ahead.

  10. It was already 1st and goal. Blame the coaching for not kneeling 3x and kicking the ball. Blame Ryan for not recognizing that there was nothing to be gained by doing more than just falling down at the line of scrimmage.

    The Falcons have a burning passion to lose from top to bottom.

  11. That is only half of it, I don’t blame him, I blame the defense for allowing them to march down the field.

  12. As far as I know, there’s nothing in the rule book that said Atlanta’s defense was forbidden from stopping Detroit from scoring in the remaining moments of the game.

    Telling a player not to score is a loser’s mindset.

  13. This is 1000% not Todd Gurleys ffault. If you want to run out the clock, take a knee, your kicker needs to make a 30 yard field goal. If you run and his momentum carries him in, the defense needs to make a stop.

  14. “It was already 1st and goal. Blame the coaching for not kneeling 3x and kicking the ball. Blame Ryan for not recognizing that there was nothing to be gained by doing more than just falling down at the line of scrimmage.”
    Exactly. Unreasonable to expect a player who is focused on preventing a ball takeaway while resisting being tackled, to also be calibrating in his mind exactly where he is. Just take a damn knee. Even if you only do it once with a minute to go, you leave only about 20 seconds on the clock after the FG kick which is not enough to go length of field, and of course you can take a knee twice without affecting kick distance to run down clock all the way. And why can’t the QB apply some game IQ and override the OC’s stupid play call?

    Sheer blockheadedness.

  15. Worth noting that the often maligned Matt Stafford led Detroit to that winning score at the end of the game.

  16. Funny, in 2018 when Gurley was with the Rams, he beat Detroit falling down, to the dismay of Sean McVay, until McVay realized how smart a move it was by TG.

    As someone mentioned above, what about the defense?

  17. Plays like that are funny because even the defenders knowing they’re letting the guy score look unsure of themselves. You’ll see guys shadow the ball carrier clearly because that’s what they’re used to doing.

  18. People really blaming Gurley when it was the Lions defender who made the great play. Gurley was pushing for the first down and the defender was fighting him hard and right when Gurley got about at the marker the defender let go and Gurley fell into the endzone.

    Gurley is known for multiple times, stopping before the endzone so let’s not act like he’s a dumb player or anything. He’s just an lucky, cursed Falcon now.

  19. He messed up but jeez, leave it alone. They are not a good team and they should be tanking anyway. Instinct took over and he scored. And how bad is Atlanta’s defense?

  20. Flip Rhombus says:
    October 29, 2020 at 12:05 pm
    Worth noting that the often maligned Matt Stafford led Detroit to that winning score at the end of the game.


    Against Atlanta.

  21. Blame Ryan for not recognizing that there was nothing to be gained by doing more than just falling down at the line of scrimmage.
    Blame Ryan? He was running the play that was called. Blame Raheem or the OC if that’s you complaint. Last I checked Ryan did recognize everything that needed to be done that play, right up to telling Gurley “don’t score and get down.”
    From ownership to the front office to the coaches to the players; ATL is simply a mess.
    Ryan’s not perfect but he’s also about the only one worth a damn in that chump organization.

  22. Gurley’s error didn’t end the game. The Falcons defense’s inability to stop the Lions did.

    I am sure the Falcons defensive personnel and coaches are super happy that no one is talking about that.

  23. yet another example of the wimpification of America…SCORE THE TD and play some freakin’ defense.
    I don’t give a damn for a dude that says “yea lets not score a TD on purpose here and rely on the kicker cause there’s no way we can stop these guys (the lions by the way).

  24. When Gurley was with the Rams he did once stop at the 1 yd line to keep the clock running in a similar situation. He also stayed in bounds instead of stepping out to avoid a hit in other plays to run the clock in other games. In of the things I liked about him was his head was in the game. In this case I think it was just momentum carrying him forward.
    If his knees had held out another year the Rams could have beaten my Pats in the SB.

  25. riggo08 says:
    October 29, 2020 at 11:19 am

    The Falcons find ways to blow leads and lose games like few other teams in history.


    I’m a Viking’s fan. Hold my beer…

  26. Get the first? Get the first?

    Why would Matt Ryan say, “Get the first, get down” when it was 1st and Goal from the 10?
    What I’m hearing from local media is that the Matt Ryan audio you hear from the NFL was actually prior to the previous play when Gurley ran for the 1st down. IT WAS NOT FROM THE FINAL PLAY when Gurley scores.

    While it is confusing and somewhat deceptive it’s clear the message was given directly to Gurley in the moments leading up to the mistake.

    Again, does not excuse making the play call instead of just taking a knee and kicking the field goal, but wanted to point this out in the interest of accuracy.

  27. It wasn’t exactly a heady play, but seriously. All the blame gets tossed on him when the defense is putrid and can’t hold any lead at all? Why is this the story of the game? It should be “Atlanta Defense Hideous Again!”.

  28. If you watch the replay, the guy who almost tackled him wrapped him up but then let him go. I can’t tell if that entire action was intentional, but if it was, it was pretty brilliant and very well executed. It started off looking like a real tackle, then he released his arms. It was just enough contact that Gurley had to force his way out of it, and the force of that lunge is what put him off balance and carried him, through momentum, to the goal line.

  29. If the Falcons Defense let Matt Stafford come back on them late, then the blame is not on Todd Gurley.

  30. In defense of Matt Patricia, this is one of those games the Lions would have lost last year. I hope he gets one more year to try and right the ship. If he doesn’t have the Lions in the playoffs next, than adios Matt.

  31. The Falcons always seem to choke in spectacular fashion. I cant really blame Gurley for this, maybe if Detroit needed a FG to win, but with only one minute and no TOs left the defense has a job to do as well, Gurley at least did his.

  32. This is way to over discussed. No one is doubting what happened. It isn’t like Gurley didn’t try to get down, he did! Running soft to make a first down is pretty unrealistic and a great recipe to get injured. It wasn’t like the Detroit defense wasn’t pushing him as hard as they could to the end zone once he made the first down. I assure all, Gurley wasn’t thrilled about the goal line showing up when it did either.

  33. Someone called the play to cannonball Gurley toward the goal line into a defensive group that wouldn’t let him stop his momentum in any scenario given the choice. Sure, a 24 yard field goal is easier than a 30 yard field goal, but when adding in the possible scenarios of fumble or penalty shouldn’t there be enough confidence in the kicker to simply take the knee?

    I greatly respect the coach for being stand up about his culpability. But why are the fans and media so reluctant to accept his comments at face value?

  34. Let it go. No guarantee they make the field goal. Take the 7 gimmee points or wait and hope for 3? It’s a risk either way.

  35. I am shocked at all the comments either justifying Gurley or simply pinning the loss on the D. Gurley is 100% responsible for losing that game. He was told what to do, had it easy and failed. His loss. Stop justifying his action.

  36. So the guy scores a touchdown in the closing minutes of a game and the same team proceeds to give up a 75 yard touchdown drive that loses them the game when the other team had no timeouts and somehow, Gurley get’s the focus of the loss??

    Atlanta has given up 2nd half leads in virtually every game it has played this season, but Gurley made the mistake.

    Falcons??? Carry on…

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