Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 12/30/12

The Bucs wanted to end the season with a win and snap a five-game losing streak. After beating the Falcons on Sunday 22-17, they did just that and gave some sense of optimism for 2013. The Falcons put their starters in for the entire game even though they had the number one seed locked up for the NFC playoffs. On the other sidelines, Tampa Bay played their best football in all three phases this season. Atlanta rushed for 65 yards against Tampa Bay’s best run defense in the league. The Bucs defense held Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan to 238 yards passing, one touchdown, and sacked him two times. By the way, if the Bucs gave up 251 yards through the air, they would have been categorized as the worst pass defense in yards given up. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. Josh Freeman, aside from the interception which Asante Samuel had a good read on, had his first decent game in weeks. His 222 yards passing yards on Sunday put him over the 4,000 yards mark for the first time in his career. Also makes him the only quarterback in franchise history to have that accomplishment. Freeman’s touchdown pass to Mike Williams also puts him at the top of the team’s record books with 78 touchdown passes. He passed Vinny Testaverde’s record of 77. The rookies showed up as well. Running back Doug Martin rushed for 142 yards, including a 40 yard touchdown run. Linebacker Lavonte David made five tackles including one for a loss, a sack, and two quarterback hits.But arguably the biggest play out of the rookies was safety Mark Barron breaking up what would have been a fourth down conversion for Atlanta in the fourth quarter when he knocked the ball out of tight end Tony Gonzalez’s hands after what would have been a completion to seal the game for the Bucs. Tampa Bay ends their season with a 7-9 record with hopes on building onto that in 2013. (Photo Credit: AP) The post Bucs end the season on a high note appeared first on The Bay Cave.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Geno Smith laughed at being ranked last in QB poll

Penn State trash talks Notre Dame Twitter over 'Rudy'

Report: Aroldis Chapman unlikely to be traded

Mets’ trade for Carlos Gomez called off despite reports

Report: Rangers to acquire Cole Hamels from the Phillies

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Tulo hits first home run with Blue Jays

NFLPA officially files Brady lawsuit, wants QB to play Week 1

Mariota’s lack of red flags was a concern for NFL teams

Tigers 'rebooting,' make David Price available in trade

Jerry Jones backs Roger Goodell amid Deflategate controversy

Brady, agent contacted AT&T in attempt to retrieve deleted texts

Texas QB commit has great anti-Oklahoma T-shirt

WATCH: Tim Tebow does monster leg workout

Farrell: Sandoval's conditioning 'continues to be addressed'

Revis won't wear Super Bowl ring around Jets teammates

Former NBAer Vin Baker now works at Starbucks

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Mike Leach compares Deflategate to Kardashians

All Panthers home games will also be broadcast in Spanish

Giants owner calls Pierre-Paul debacle ‘very disappointing’

Panthers WR cited for marijuana paraphernalia, had child in car

Bruins-Canadiens Winter Classic details announced

Jay Bruce and Carlos Gonzalez: Twin trade chips

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker