Matt Ryan refused to accept the rationale for why the Falcons were not motivated for their last regular-season game.
Sure there was nothing for them to gain, having secured home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs. Yes, the opponent was Tampa Bay, which had lost five straight. Plus many fans - who knew all this - decided to stay home, leaving empty seats and a lack of pregame excitement.
Atlanta looked flat, especially early, and the Buccaneers seized the opportunity.
Josh Freeman threw a touchdown pass to Mike Williams and Doug Martin ran for 142 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown, in the Buccaneers' 22-17 victory over Atlanta on Sunday.
Defensive end Kroy Biermann said the Georgia Dome ''kind of had a little different feel to it.''
''But the bottom line, Tampa Bay came out ready to play and we came out a little flat,'' Biermann said.
Ryan doesn't want to hear it.
''There's no excuse,'' Ryan said. ''We're professional athletes and we have to prepare ourselves to come ...