The Atlanta Falcons may be out of playoff contention in the NFC, but they’re still making huge plays on the football field.
Surprisingly, their best play of the day during their game against their NFC South rivals in the Carolina Panthers came from the unlikeliest of players on the field, their own punter.
The play occurred as the Falcons were kicking off after just scoring a field goal to tie the game at 10-10 with just over five and a half minutes to go in the second quarter.
Falcons punter Matt Bosher was kicking the ball downfield on the kick off after the field goal towards Panthers kick returner Kenjon Barner.
Barner received the kick just outside of the endzone and began to make his way downfield and past the 30-yard line.
However, Barner was met by Bosher at the 35-yard line, who took him to the ground with a crunching tackle. The punter had a great reaction to the hit too, as he was fired up as he made his way to the sideline.
Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu said to ESPN about the hit after the game: “It was pretty cool. I jumped out of my seat. I was looking at the tablet and I saw it and was like, `Oh!’ I had to go congratulate him. It was a big hit.”
The Falcons may be missing out on playoff action for the first time since 2015, but they did manage to win this game against their NFC South rivals 24-10, moving to a 6-9 record on the season.
They were able to win this game thanks to the performance of their quarterback, Matt Ryan, who completed 15-of-26 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns. Brian Hill was the Falcons’ top performer on the ground, as he rushed eight times for 115 yards in Sunday’s win.
The Panthers did have something to shout about by the end of the game, as Christian McCaffrey rushed 21 times for 101 yards and caught 12-of-13 targets for 77 yards, resulting in him breaking Matt Forte’s all-time record for receptions by a running back (103) in a single season.
He also joined Forte and LaDainian Tomlinson as the NFL’s only players to log both 100 catches and 1,000 rushing yards in the same year.
Atlanta will travel to Tampa Bay next week to take on the Buccaneers, while the Panthers will travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints.