Posted November 25, 2012 on
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Atlanta Falcons stumbled into a hole, only to find a way to escape again.
Matt Ryan threw for 353 yards and overcame two critical turnovers by leading another late touchdown drive to rally the Falcons to a 24-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on an 80-yard TD midway through the third quarter, but the NFC South leaders found themselves trailing 23-17 after the Bucs marched for a touchdown, then forced a fumble by Ryan to set up a field goal that put the Falcons in catchup mode with 10 minutes to go.
Michael Turner's 3-yard TD run put Atlanta ahead for good with 7:55 left. Connor Barth missed a 56-yard goal for Tampa Bay (6-5) in the closing minutes, and the Bucs' four-game winning streak ended when Josh Freeman's desperation pass fell incomplete in the end zone with no time remaining.
The win enabled the Falcons (10-1) to keep pace with Houston for the NFL's best record. Turner also scored a fourth-quarter TD that helped the Falcons overcome six turnovers to beat Arizona 23-19 last week.
Doug Martin scored on a pair of 1-yard run for the Bucs, however the rookie who began the day leading the NFL in total yards from scrimmage was limited to 50 yards rushing on 21 carries.
Barth kicked field goals of 22, 42, and 48 yards, the latter giving the Bucs their six-point lead after cornerback E.J. Biggers sacked Ryan to force a fumble. Ryan threw a second-quarter interception - his sixth pick in two weeks - that led to Barth's field goal that made it 10-10 at the half.
Ryan completed 26 of 32 passes, including four straight on the drive that Turner finished with his TD run. Jacquizz Rodgers had a 5-yard TD run in the first quarter, and Jones finished with six receptions for 147 yards despite playing on a sore right ankle that limited him in practice.
Ryan started the game with 10 straight completions before Ronde Barber's interception and 28-yard return to the Atlanta 31 led to Barth's first field goal.
The Falcons drove to the Tampa Bay 4 in the closing seconds of the half, but wasted an opportunity to regain the lead when Matt Bryant hooked a 22-yard field-goal attempt wide left as time expired. The Atlanta kicker missed a 48-yarder with 8 seconds left, giving the Bucs one more chance to pull out what would have been their first signature victory under first-year coach Greg Schiano.
Atlanta struck quickly after Barth's second field goal put Tampa Bay up 13-10. Ryan found Jones racing up the right sideline, and the receiver broke free from cornerback Leonard Johnson to continue into the end zone. The Bucs regained the lead when Martin scored his second TD on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Freeman finished 19 of 30 for 256 yards. Vincent Jackson had five catches for 96 yards.
Atlanta converted six of eight first downs and outgained the Bucs 239 yards to 105 in the opening half, yet it was 10-10 at the break because the Falcons settled for a field goal after holding the ball for more than seven minutes of its first scoring drive, Ryan's interception and Bryant's missed field goal.
BEST OF MAXIM
TAMPA, Fla. -- Matt Ryan threw for 353 yards and overcame two big turnovers by leading another late touchdown drive to give the Atlanta Falcons a 24-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on an 80-yard TD in the third quarter, but the NFC South leaders found themselves trailing 23-17 after the Bucs marched for a touchdown, then forced a...
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Matt Ryan threw for 353 yards and overcame two big turnovers by leading another late touchdown drive to give the Atlanta Falcons a 24-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on an 80-yard TD in the third quarter, but the NFC South leaders found themselves trailing 23-17 after the Bucs marched for a touchdown, then forced...
Atlanta receiver Julio Jones and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon are active for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay after being limited in practice because of ankle injuries.
Jones has been bothered by a sore right ankle for the past two weeks. Weatherspoon returns for the first time since spraining his right ankle four weeks ago at Philadelphia.
Quarterback Dominique Davis, receiver...
Leading the NFC with a 10-1 record isn't nearly enough to satisfy Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith.
His team is playing too many close games and still making too many mistakes for Smith to say that Atlanta is one of the NFL's few elite teams.
He will only say that if the Falcons keep winning, they will put themselves in position to earn a top playoff seed.
With just three...
The Atlanta Falcons expect wide receiver Julio Jones to start today against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a key NFC South divisional matchup on Sunday, although he may be limited. It is being reported that Jones is likely to be active, although the number of snaps he plays is a giant question mark.
One report said that Jones may play as needed. If Atlanta can build a lead or keep things...
The Atlanta Falcons have listed wide receiver Julio Jones as
questionable for today’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he continues
to deal with a lingering ankle sprain. The amount of playing time he receives
and the role he plays in the contest may depend on the pace of the matchup,
reports Jeff Darlington of NFL Network.
NFL Network's Jeff Darlington reported...
The Falcons (10-1) are one step closer to the playoffs and the NFC South title after winning yet another close game. This one was against the rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) on Sunday. The Falcons again struggled on offense running the ball in this match-up. Michael Turner yet again was held to under 20 yards on more than 10 carries. This makes three straight game for Turner...
The Falcons extended their NFL-best record to 10-1 with a win in Tampa Bay on Sunday. But while the standings may tell you Atlanta is the team to beat in the NFC, some glaring flaws could keep them from realizing their championship dreams.
Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ passing attack rebounded from the five-interception performance of a week ago, airing it out for 353 yards on the...
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who has a sore right ankle, started Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The ankle has been an issue for two weeks but Jones played through it during last week's win over the Arizona Cardinals. Jones has 47 catches for 736 yards with five touchdowns this year. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon returned after missing four games because...
The Falcons have not performed in the playoffs with Matt Ryan at QB. This is the season to show what this team is really made of.
After going a red hot 13-1 in week 11, I went 2-1 on Thanksgiving day. For the season that makes it 106-57. I'm still in striking distance of .750 for the season.
Let's take a look at week 12.
Minnesota at Chicago - The Vikings...
If week 11 in the NFL had one name assigned to it, it would be Houdini. The smoke and mirrors used by Houston, Dallas, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta to magically pull victories out of strait jackets is nothing short of miraculous. The top suicide picks all managed to inch out wins in dramatically late fashion: Matt Ryan throws five interceptions yet the Falcons fly passed the Cardinals...
Some Atlanta players seem uncertain about who gave the Falcons' their lone loss of the season.
Did the Saints beat Atlanta, or did the Falcons beat themselves in their 31-27 loss at New Orleans on Nov. 11?
Receiver Roddy White was dismissive of the Saints after the game when he said, ''It's not like they came out here and won a game.''