The Falcons have certainly found a few weird ways to win this season.
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-21 on Monday night to complete a season sweep of their NFC South foe. Patrick Murray missed a 54-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Falcons the win.
However, it was what happened one play before that caught everyone's attention.
The Bucs were frantically moving down field to try and score or get in field goal range and send the game to overtime. Jameis Winston completed three passes, but his receivers couldn't get out of bounds, and they were out of timeouts.
After Winston found Cameron Brate, the referee went to spot the ball with the clock running. While running to spot the ball, the ref tripped and fell on his face. It ate up a couple seconds, and the Bucs spiked the ball with five seconds left, taking away any chance for one more play before the field goal.
It likely didn't have that big of an effect, but some on social media found it comical while others were infuriated.
Bucs might be questioning referee training program after slow stumbling ref costs them crucial seconds at the end of the game.— rob simpson (@rubsimpson) December 19, 2017
Anybody else just see that referee eat it in the Bucs-Falcons game 😂— Chase Hartman (@c_hartman2) December 19, 2017
Ref falls, costs Bucs precious seconds vs. Falcons, killing the Lions. Surprised there wasn't an automatic 10-second run-off after the fall.— Graham Couch (@Graham_Couch) December 19, 2017
As a ref right there your ONLY job is to NOT trip and fall while tryna spot the ball 😂😂😂😂— Thurgood🇰🇪Jenkins (@aFooLio) December 19, 2017
Incomplete pass. Failed to survive the ground. 😂 pic.twitter.com/VXUnmtDFnm— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) December 19, 2017
How does the ref fall? Did he get tripped or something? How does this kinda craziness always happen to the #Bucs ?— somebody watch me do my thing (@rant_diva) December 19, 2017
Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron couldn't believe it. Lions fans were watching closely, needing the Falcons to lose to improve their playoff chances.
Are You Serious Ref?! U gone fall?! He should be fined— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) December 19, 2017
The real controversy was De'Vondre Campbell holding down Brate after the catch as the clock was winding down. A defensive delay of game could have been called.
But the Falcons snuck out of another city with a win, and they are now one win away from clinching the postseason.