Huddle Up: In a game between the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans, the play started off with a pass interference call that resulted in a Falcons’ touchdown.
As a result, Houston’s Ryan Griffin hit quarterback Matt Schaub with a hard hit.
Griffin’s head spun, and a helmet-to-helmet hit by Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer followed.
It was a play that was clearly flagged as intentional, but Houston was awarded a touchdown anyway.
Griffin had a few seconds left to throw, and the Falcons would have gone on to win the game.
However, as the game progressed, the Texans would force a punt, and Houston would get a chance to get back into the game, only to be tackled by the Falcons’ J.J. Watt.
Watt, as he had done earlier in the game in the first quarter, drove the Texans to the Houston 21.
Watt hit linebacker Jonathan Babineaux with a vicious hit, and Babineaus’ helmet was sent flying into the end zone, resulting in a safety.
It would be the first of five tackles for loss for Watt in the second half.
Houston would not lose again in overtime.
As the game wore on, the Falcons continued to push Houston’s offense and the Texans were able to get a few more yards on the ground.
The Texans were eventually able to convert a fourth-and-1 at their own 22, but the Falcons were able the get a first down on the ensuing kickoff.
With 3:35 remaining in the third quarter, the teams’ field goal percentage would have been a mere 34.3 percent.
On the Falcons’, opening drive, they ran a play action pass to tight end Austin Hooper.
Hooper, who had already been targeted four times, was in the right place at the right time, and with the Falcons looking to make a big play in the red zone, he took a quick route.
The play was a perfect pass by Julio Jones to Jones, who was wide open in the flat.
The Falcons’ defense was well prepared for the big play, as safety Earl Thomas had already lined up to tackle Hooper in the backfield.
Thomas made the tackle, and Hooper was carted off the field with a knee injury.
He would not return.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan would score on a 4-yard touchdown run with 7:27 remaining in overtime to put the game out of reach.
With the game tied, the game would be decided on a field goal attempt.
The game would have turned into a blowout, as both teams would be awarded points on fourth-down conversions.
Houston, however, would take the field again with 3:38 left in the fourth quarter.
Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan would have to come up with a way to win on fourth down, and he would come up empty.
Houston quarterback Matt Leinart was sacked four times and was pressured seven times, while the Texans’ quarterback Ryan Mallett finished with 19 total pressures.
Mallett would throw a pick six and fumble, but it was the last of the game for the Texans, who would lose by a score of 27-20.
Houston’s Matt Schaubs threw an interception for a touchdown with 4:37 remaining in regulation, and after a delay of game penalty, the score would remain a tie, 21-21.
Schaubs would score again in the final minute of regulation, this time on a third-and–16 play, to put Houston up 20-20, as they would go on to score a touchdown on the next drive.
The second quarter would be an emotional one for fans of both teams, as fans of the Falcons and Texans could see the same team that had been battling for the playoffs in the past would go to the Super Bowl.
Houston kicker Ryan Switzer made his first field goal of the night in overtime, setting up a game-tying field goal in the waning seconds of regulation.
However the Falcons, who were able get on the board with a field goals attempt on fourth and one with 3 minutes left, would get the ball back in the end zones with just over five minutes to play in overtime with the score tied, 21.5-21 Houston.
The final minute was crucial for both teams.
Houston was able to extend the lead on fourth downs with 3 yards to go, but had to settle for a field-goal attempt, which would be blocked by Falcons cornerback Ricardo Allen.
The two teams would go into the locker room with the same score, and would be separated by a flag.
With no timeouts remaining, the two teams had to go for a game winner.
After the final play, Schaubs took a knee to end the game with Houston up 30-30.