The Carolina Panthers pulled off what looked like the comeback of the season on Sunday before it was rudely ripped away from them. Down 34-28 to the Atlanta Falcons with 12 second left, PJ Walker hit D.J. Moore with a 62-yard miracle strike for a touchdown. It appeared a win was secured, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty killed those dreams.
Here's the play:
The Panthers celebrated that incredible touchdown and, according to the officials, they went a little overboard. Carolina was hit with a 15-yard penalty, forcing kicker Eddy Pineiro to attempt a 48-yard extra point. He missed and the game went to overtime tied at 34. It was, without a doubt, the craziest sequences of the 2022 NFL season.
Moore took his helmet off on the field which, by rule, constitutes an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. It was the correct call and also a bone-headed move. That said, the Panthers had just pulled off an absolute miracle. Expecting them not to lose their minds in celebration is foolish. I don't love the helmet rule, but it exists and Moore had to be smarter than that.
In overtime, Pineiro shanked a 33-yard field goal to make the wound even worse.
Then, the inevitable happened. Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo nailed a 41-yard field goal in overtime to win it 37-34.