Tuesday, March 21 2023

Things already had a potential to get crazy when the 2-5 Carolina Panthers took on the 3-4 Atlanta Falcons on Sunday — with first place in the NFC South on the line. But after a back-and-forth affair, the Falcons led 34-28 with under 30 seconds remaining and seemed poised to close out the victory as long as they kept Panthers quarterback PJ Walker from completing a 62-yard Hail Mary.

About that.

DJ Moore, the star Panthers receiver who’s had an up-and-down season as Carolina navigates a possible rebuild after firing head coach Matt Rhule and trading star running back Christian McCaffrey, came down with the catch to tie the game and put the Panthers an extra point away from a win.

Moore ripped off his helmet during his celebration and received a penalty for doing so, backing up the extra point attempt 15 yards. That meant that Panthers kicker Eddy Pineiro had to kick from the 48-yard line — and Pinero missed the ensuing kick to send the game into overtime.

FOX Sports analyst Shannon Sharpe ripped Moore’s decision to take off his helmet, while others including FOX Sports’ Jason McIntyre said that Moore should be allowed to celebrate such a major moment.

The Falcons got the ball to start overtime, but Panthers cornerback CJ Henderson intercepted a Marcus Mariota pass and returned it to the Falcons’ 20-yard line, giving Pineiro a chance at a much easier 32-yard kick for a game-winning field goal — only for Pineiro to again miss the kick.

That gave the Falcons the ball back — and this time, Mariota marched Atlanta down the field for a game-winning kick by their own kicker, Younghoe Koo. The Falcons are now 4-4 after their 37-34 victory and are alone in first place in the NFC South.

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Source: FOX Sports


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