ATLANTA -- Most people call it a 'Hail Mary' pass. The Atlanta Falcons call it the 'Big Ben' play.
Whatever. The San Francisco 49ers aren't sure whether it was divine intervine or they just got their clocks cleaned. Either way, they lost 17-14 to the Falcons Sunday when Michael Haynes came down in the end zone with Billy Joe Tolliver's 44-yard desperation heave with one second left.
'Yes, I was very lucky but I was concentrating on the ball the whole way,' Haynes said. 'We were in a tip set, where the ball comes down, and I tip it to one of the other receivers. But the way the ball came down, it just plopped down in my hands, and then I just hung on for life.'
Tolliver entered the game when starter Chris Miller left in the second quarter with a rib injury. Tolliver practices the 'Big Ben' play every Friday in practice.
'He gives it about one shot,' Atlanta Coach Jerry Glanville said. 'It was the ultimate in just not quitting.'
Atlanta's two wins over San Francisco this year marks the first time since 1980 the Falcons have swept the season series from San Francisco. Atlanta climbed to 5-4 for the year and the 49ers are 4-5.
San Francisco appeared to have won the game with 53 seconds to go when Steve Bono, substituting for the injured Steve Young, hit John Taylor with a third-down, 30-yard touchdown pass.
It was Taylor's second touchdown catch of the day, having grabbed a 97-yard scoring pass from Young in the second quarter for the only score of the first half.
But Atlanta pulled the game out with two key plays, the first of them a brilliant catch by Andre Rison on fourth down that kept the winning drive alive.
With time running out, Tolliver simply heaved the ball downfield and it came down about four yards deep in the end zone. A crowd of players from both teams went up for the ball and Haynes came down with it.
Tolliver's 3-yard TD pass to Andre Rison tied the score 7-7 with 8:23 left in the fourth quarter. The Falcons went ahead 10-7 with 2:39 left on a 29-yard Norm Johnson field goal, which was set up by Tracy Johnson's recovery of Sanjay Beach's muffed punt at the 49ers' 17.
Young left the game in the first half with a sprained knee and Bono's touchdown throw was his first in two years.
San Francisco not only allowed a cheap field goal late in the game and surrendered the bizarre touchdown at the end, 49ers kicker Mike Cofer missed four field-goal tries.