We welcomed the weekend joyfully and what a weekend it was. But listen, I’m sorry if you had other commitments that prevented you from watching sports, because boy oh boy did you miss some insane finishes. This weekend will be one for the books. So to re-cap in case you had a Zoom wedding or baby shower to attend or a kids sporting practice to monitor here’s what you might have missed…
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tenneesee Titans, 27-24
In the battle of the AFC unbeatens the Steelers were able to contain Derrick Henry and what has been a surprisingly strong Tennessee team early. But that wouldn’t last long as the Titans were able to come back from 20 points down and put the chance to tie at the feet of veteran kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Let’s just say it didn’t end well for Gostkowski, who went wide on the right side from 45 yards out.
This wasn’t the first miss for the former New England kicker, who has had a less than stellar run in his short time with the Titans. The look of surprise on the Steelers faces was similar to those of many of the fans who dealt with technical difficulties and may have missed seeing Gostkowski’s big miss. Terrible Towels were being swung around homes across the country and hot takes about Gostkowski’s job status were flying onto twitter.
Detroit Lions vs Atlanta Falcons, 23-22
Speaking of veteran kickers…let’s talk about my best friend and Lions fans’ best friends for the last 2 decades or so. Seriously though, whether it be Jason Hanson or Matt Prater, our kickers have been the only thing that we’ve been able to depend upon for as long as I can remember. In the battle of Matt’s on Sunday, it was the go to gut punch of Stafford and Prater who would come out victorious over Ryan and the Falcons. I didn’t think I’d ever live to see a team that could out Lions the Lions, but between the Jets possibly becoming the second team to go 0-16 and the Falcons just finding new and inventive ways to lose at the last minute it would appear that that day has finally arrived. And what a glorious day it is.
Down by 1 in the red zone with just over a minute to go, all Atlanta had to do was not make it into the end zone and run down the clock, thereby setting them up to kick the game winning field goal and walk off into victory.
Seems fairly simple, right? Well, if it does then you clearly haven’t watched enough Falcons football this season. Or last season. Or since they blew their 28-3 lead in the 2017 Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.
Enter Todd Gurley. What was his one job to do at this point? NOT SCORE. What did he do? HE SCORED. Which means the Lions get the ball back with a whole minute to go. And if there’s one thing you should never do it should be to doubt the gunslinging magical unicorn arm of Matthew Stafford. The guy literally grew up playing baseball with Clayton Kershaw. So it’s probably not a good idea to set him up to start throwing straight fire down the field to try and win the game.
Victory looked, (who I am kidding? I was too nervous to actually look), like it might be snatched from their fingers once again but a sidearmer from Stafford into the cradling arms of 2nd year tight end TJ Hockenson tied the game at 22 as the clock expired. And unlike in the Tennessee game this time it was indeed the kicker that delivered the dagger. Matt Prater hit a beaut from 48 yards out and I and my fellow Lions fans felt a sense of relief that was otherwise unfamiliar to us. God Bless you Matt’s. Well, Stafford and Prater at least.
Penn State vs Indiana, 35-36
So if Todd Gurley’s accidental stumble into the end zone looked familiar it’s because you might have witnessed almost the exact same situation in the Nittany Lions loss to the Hoosiers on Saturday night. With just under 2 minutes left in regulation, Penn State running back Devyn Ford couldn’t stop himself from crossing the goal line and gave Indiana an opportunity to come back and tie and force overtime. Spoiler Alert: The Hoosiers did it and went on to win it in OT.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Tampa Bay Rays, 7-8
Baseball wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t be outdone by all the excitement of two days packed full of football. It is the World Series after all, and Game 4 on Saturday night figured it would pop in to say hello and make sure that you were still paying attention to what has been a fantastic Championship series thus far. The Rays were down by one run going into the 9th and in danger of going down 3-1 in the series when a bizarre chain of events was set off. Honestly I’m not going to go into too much detail because the reactions below pretty much sum it all up. Enjoy…
All I could think when I watched that ball go past home plate was the penultimate moment in A League of Their Own when Dottie drops the ball as Kit runs into her at home plate.
Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals
I won’t keep you long for this one. It’s almost midnight on Sunday as I sit and write this and I’m tired. The Seahawks have a history of making things interesting on Sunday nights and this was not the night that that tradition would be broken apparently. As if Sundays weren’t already stressful enough or something. After leading for basically the entire game they let the Cardinals hang around too close and stay in the game which resulted in a game tying 44 yard field goal as the clock ran down in regulation.
Seattle did absolutely zilch on their first drive and so in the interest of kickers keeping it interesting this week the Cardinals had a chance to win it with a field goal in OT but you may be able to guess what happened next. It was wide. But for the feel good story of the night Gonzalez got another chance to win it with a big boot. This time he did not disappoint though and knocked a 49 yarder for Arizonas first lead of the night and the win. Finally.
Our own Matt Branigan predicted that this would be a fun weekend of watching and he was not wrong. It’s hard to imagine that another weekend will be able to top this one but in this the year of our lord 2020 the opportunities to constantly one-up ourselves are always just around the corner.
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