Atlanta can point to big plays on offense, a surprisingly game defense, and even the occasional quality special teams play for their four wins this season. They can also thank the ten second runoff rule, in part, for two of those victories.
The Jets were going to need to take one final, desperate shot at the end zone with two seconds left on the clock, thanks to a final drive that saw them mostly pick up chunk yardage and fail to make the big plays they needed for a win. Chances are the that play wouldn’t have worked out, but it certainly helped that Josh McCown got hit with a false start penalty on a spike with those two seconds left. The automatic ten second runoff on the play evaporated those last two seconds, ensuring a 25-20 Falcons victory.
You’ll recall this also happened in the Detroit Lions game, when Golden Tate fell just short of the end zone, the play had to be reviewed and the touchdown they initially called was overturned, and the ten second runoff ended the game when the officials determined he had fallen short. In both cases, the Falcons pulled off victories by less than a touchdown, and both of those victories have been vital ones, as they’ve kept the Falcons from falling way out of the NFC South race.
If the Falcons somehow win the rest of their games on ten second runoffs, you won’t hear me complain, though you’d probably hear fans of other teams doing so. For now, rule or no rule, Atlanta is back above .500 and hopefully on their way to a resurgent back nine.