Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 11/25/12

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers battled with one of the league’s best on Sunday. Unfortunately they would be unable to capitalize in certain situations resulting in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons. After holding the Falcons to a field goal on their first drive, the Bucs would answer back with an impressive 10 play, 81-yard drive that was capped off by a Doug Martin one yard touchdown. Two big passing plays from Josh Freeman to Dallas Clark and Tiquan Underwood allowed Tampa Bay to move down field. In the second quarter, Matt Ryan would convert two third downs on their second possession in the game. The drive would end on a third down, five yard touchdown run by Falcons’ running back Jacquizz Rodgers, giving Atlanta a 10-7 lead. Two drives later, Bucs’ veteran Ronde Barber would intercept a Matt Ryan pass on third down in Atlanta territory. However, the Buccaneers would only come away with a field goal (even after a trick play which consisted of a Mike Williams pass to a wide open Vincent Jackson), tying the game 10-10. In the third quarter, after the Bucs took a 13-10 lead, Matt Ryan would throw a deep ball to Julio Jones which allowed him to out run the Bucs secondary and take a 17-13 lead. The Bucs would regain the lead in the fourth quarter when they went 82 yards down the field to go up 20-17 after another Doug Martin touchdown. On the Falcons’ ensuing possession, E.J. Biggers would come off a corner blitz and hit Matt Ryan, forcing a fumble that would be recovered by the Bucs’ Gerald McCoy. The Bucs would only come away with a field goal after just three plays on the Atlanta 36 yard line, extending their lead 23-17. That lead would be short lived as the very next play for the Falcons would be a dump off pass to Rodgers from Ryan resulting in a 32-yard gain. Later in the drive, as Atlanta was inside the five yard line, a questionable holding penalty on the Bucs Ahmad Black on third down would lead to new life for the Falcons. On the very next play, running back Michael Turner would run it in for the touchdown giving the Falcons all they needed to come away with the victory, 24-23. The Buccaneers’ pass rush was unable to get to Matt Ryan on several occasions. But the inability to get touchdowns instead of field goals, especially from three yards out after the Barber interception, would eventually seal the Bucs fate. Notes Josh Freeman finished the game 19/30 for 256 yards with a rating of 90.4. He was sacked twice. Doug Martin rushed 21 times for 50 yards and two touchdowns. Julio Jones caught six passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. Matt Ryan was 26/32 for 353 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a fumble off a sack. He finished with a rating of 110. Rookie Linebacker lead the Bucs again in tackles with eight, seven of which were solo. (Photo credit: Getty Images) The post Bucs squander opportunities in loss to Atlanta appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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