With the Panthers trailing 28-34 as the game clocked ticked down to the final seconds, Moore caught a 62-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Panthers quarterback PJ Walker to tie the game.
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However, Moore was unable to contain his excitement and emotion after the miracle play, removing his helmet and leaping into the stands to celebrate with Panthers fans.
Under NFL rules, removing your helmet carries a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
As a result, the potential game-winning extra point attempt was moved back to the 48-yard line, instead of the usual 33-yard mark.
With a more difficult kick awaiting him, Panthers kicker Eddy Pineiro could only pull his attempt wide left of the uprights.
To make matters worse, Pineiro missed a 33-yard attempt in overtime, as the Falcons eventually secured victory through a Younghoe Koo kick from 41 yards.
Panthers kicker Eddy Pineiro missing the PAT.
Panthers/Falcons are now in OT.pic.twitter.com/BzBr5qAqpP
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 30, 2022
EDDY PINEIRO MISSES AGAIN AND THE FALCONS STAY ALIVE 😱pic.twitter.com/dZ8p1Ih9WQ
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 30, 2022
DJ Moore cops it from NFL fans over 'boneheaded' play
Unsurprisingly, Moore came in for heavy criticism for his brain fade from NFL fans and pundits on social media.
Moore was seen sitting alone on the sideline after the game while he contemplated the consequences of his mistake.
“(I was thinking about) what would have happened if I didn’t take my helmet off, going back to what happened. That was about it,” Moore explained to reporters post game.
“It was a natural reaction, but you still have to know you can’t do that.”
Look, obviously DJ Moore was a bonehead, but it had been SO long since the Panthers had anything like that to celebrate, it's kind of hard to blame him for wanting to live in that moment.
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) October 30, 2022
DJ Moore took off his helmet. Got a penalty and they missed the extra point. Unacceptable. SMH.
— Peak Work Archie (@JoshHarris25) October 30, 2022
And all of that work DJ Moore took his helmet off and made his kicker try the extra point from Athens, Georgia instead of 35 yards away.
Got this man job on the line because you can’t make it to the sideline with your lid. Dang
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) October 30, 2022
The DJ Moore unsportsmanlike penalty leads to a missed 48-yard PAT. Goodness.
— Nick Carboni (@NickCarboniWCNC) October 30, 2022
DJ Moore takes his helmet off after potentially catching gm winning TD. Will get unsportsmanlike conduct penalty now gm winning PAT isn’t a sure thing. Guys never get it.
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) October 30, 2022
One a scale of 1 to Dwayne Rudd, how dumb was the DJ Moore penalty?
— Brandon Warne (@Brandon_Warne) October 30, 2022
Can’t believe DJ Moore had a boneheaded penalty like that. They should teach him a lesson and trade him to a bottom feeder like The Jaguars. Really stick it to him
— Josh Collier (@J_Collyay) October 30, 2022
Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks said the incident would prove to be a learning moment for the 25-year-old.
“We’ve got to do better as a team,” Wilks said.
“DJ is smart enough to understand that that’s something to learn from. Very talented player. Glad he’s on our team.
"But moving forward, that’s something we’ll learn from and won’t make that same mistake.”
Moore’s error immediately drew comparisons to one of the most infamous taunting penalties in NFL history, committed by Cleveland Browns linebacker Dwayne Rudd in 2002.
Rudd tossed his helmet to celebrate what he thought was the final play of the game, only to cop a 15-yard penalty that allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to kick a game-winning field goal.
The victory saw the Falcons move to the the top of the NFC South division with a 4-4 record, while the Panthers now sit in last place of the division with a 2-6 record.
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