111812 ATLANTA: ----BABINEAUX TOUCHDOWN-- Falcons defensive end Jonathan Babineaux recovers a Cardinals turnover during 2nd quarter action and runs it into the endzone for a touchdown to cut the Cardinals lead to 13-10 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Falcons defensive end Jonathan Babineaux learned that little league rule about playing until you hear the whistle.
After defensive end John Abraham sacked Arizona quarterback Ryan Lindley and knocked the ball loose, several players stood around because they thought it was an incomplete pass.
Abraham, on the key play in the 23-19 win over the Arizona Cardinals, went ballistic. He was screaming to his teammates to “pick up the (bleeping) ball.”
“When a ball goes forward, a lot of people stop running because they think it’s a knocked down pass or something,” Abraham said. “But I know I hit it before he threw. Dunta (Robinson) had a perfect shot. He could have caught it and gone right into the end zone… .
Babineaux hadn’t heard the whistle, but thought it was incomplete, too.
“I glanced at the ref and he just looked at me,” Babineaux said. “So, I knew it was a live ball.”
Lineabacker Stephen Nicholas was in coverage.
“Some guys were just standing around,” Nicholas said.
Babineaux picked up the ball and Abraham led him into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown. Matt Bryant’s extra point made it 13-10.
With the offense struggling, the Falcons needed the touchdown to stay in the game.
“I felt like it was a slow-action play,” Babineaux said. “Some people didn’t know that the ball was still alive. I guess it was just a heads up play.”
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