ATLANTA — Somehow, in a meaningless Week 17 game between two teams closing out dud seasons, there were not one but two bizarre history-making moments.
The first was a touchdown reception by Ty Sambrailo - notable because Sambrailo is not a receiver... or a tight end... or even a running back. He's a 311-pound offensive lineman.
The 35-yard reception was the longest touchdown ever by an offensive player over 300 pounds.
(Beautiful picture, isn't it?)
The second was Atlanta's pick-six to win the game in overtime, which left Tampa quarterback Jameis Winston with 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions for the year - the first quarterback ever with 30 of each in one season.
The win brought Atlanta to 7-9 to complete the 2019 campaign, finishing on a 6-2 run after they started 1-7. Oh, what might have been if they'd caught a few more breaks and played a bit better out of the gates.
After looking like a lock for a top-10 pick earlier this season, they'll wind up picking at No. 16 in the next NFL Draft.
Here's what they're saying about the game:
- Darin Gantt, NBC Sports Pro Football Talk: Writing primarily about Winston's, uh, achievement, Gantt also notes that the Falcons in this game "were clearly trying to have some fun." Yeah, winning yet again further sank their draft standing, but you know what? Whatever. You play to win the game, right?
- Dave Choate, SB Nation's The Falcoholic: In between Sambrailo's magical touchdown and Winston's hilarious history-making, there was mostly "just another deeply frustrating game from an uneven team." The writer didn't see it as a super encouraging sign with Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff back on board for 2020.
- Vaughn McClure, ESPN: In an overview of what went wrong for the league's non-playoff teams and a look ahead to next season, the writer asks, "will the Falcons make the necessary adjustments to be contenders next season?" The most pressing needs, McClure says, are on the offensive and defensive lines - "the same areas that were the main focus last offseason."
- Cole McCauley, ClutchPoints: And, hey, speaking of the draft, McCauley writes UGA back D'Andre Swift would be an ideal fit for the Falcons. As it happens, recent mocks by both Newsday and Sporting News predict Swift will be available when the Falcons pick at No. 16. Maybe it's meant to be!