Sure the Falcons beat the Cardinals 23-19 despite Matt Ryan’s terrible day (5 INTs, zero touchdowns), but that’s only because Arizona’s quarterback situation may be the worst in the league. It surely isn’t their defense, especially when you see them making incredible plays like this one.
Falcons RB Jason Snelling, after a short pass from Ryan, turns upfield but has the ball punched out by LB Sam Acho. As the football begins to make its way out of bounds, Cards safety Rashad Johnson—using a combination of heads up play and excellent hustle—chases the ball down and somehow manages to throw it back in bounds as he himself is flying out of bounds, and ends up tossing it right to teammate Greg Toler.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith attempted to challenge the play, but because he didn’t wait until the booth reviewed the turnover, he was dinged with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty and the play was not reviewed. Chances are that Smith would have lost the challenge anyway, and besides, who would want to see a marvelous play like this overturned because of a toenail on the line?
Nobody, that’s who…the Falcons and their fans notwithstanding.
[H/T to Black Sports Online for the video]