A 31-23 Atlanta victory in the Georgia Dome on Sunday put the all-time series between the two teams at 20 wins apiece and at the same time kept the Buccaneers winless on the season. Despite a strong outing by rookie QB Mike Glennon in his first NFL road start, the Buccaneers (0-6) couldn’t keep up with the Matt Ryan-led Falcons (2-4), who got a near perfect performance (152.0 passer rating) from their red-hot quarterback.
Glennon threw a pair of touchdown passes to WR
Ryan, who completed 24 of 26 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns, was forced to carry the Falcons’ offense because Tampa Bay’s defense completely shut down the Atlanta rushing attack. Led by rangy linebacker
Mistakes plagued the Bucs early: An underthrown deep ball on their first offensive play; dropped passes by Jackson and Crabtree a false start on third-and-six and another one third-and-four; a roughing the passer penalty on DE
The Bucs, who were plagued by penalty problems early in the season, drew 11 flags for 103 yards on Sunday against the Falcons.
“Unfortunately, penalties were a big issue again,” said Head Coach Greg Schiano. “Certainly, we’re frustrated about that. It’s been a long time since a team that I’ve coached has had this kind of issue. Put it on me. We’ve got to figure out a way to get that fixed because we had 11 penalties today, six of them in Atlanta territory and four of them in the red zone.”
Still, it was only 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. That changed quickly in the second period, when Ryan found RB Jacquizz Rodgers on a third-down swing pass that turned into a 19-yard touchdown and a 14-0 Atlanta advantage. The Bucs answered with Glennon’s 59-yard touchdown pass to WR Vincent Jackson, but Atlanta responded with 10 quick points on a 23-yard Matt Bryant field goal and a 37-yard Ryan-to-WR Harry Douglas TD pass. Glennon led one more extended drive just before halftime to set up
The Bucs pulled to within a touchdown in the third quarter thanks to their first takeaway of the game. CB Robert Alford’s fumble on a punt return was recovered by LB
LB Lavonte David knifed right through the line on the first play from scrimmage to drop Rodgers for a loss of four. Two plays later, on third-and-10, the Bucs double-covered Gonzalez and Ryan settled for an underneath throw to Douglas that came up three yards short, leading to a punt. A 41-yard punt and a good 13-yard return by
The Bucs brought in a jumbo set on the first play of scrimmage, with T
The Bucs’ second possession faced an early third-and-11 situation but Glennon stayed patient in a collapsing pocket and eventually found TE
The Falcons’ offense got its initial first down of the game on the next drive when a big Buc blitz failed to get to Ryan before he could get off a 12-yard completion to Douglas. A holding penalty erased a nine-yard run by Snelling and led to a third-and-20 from the Atlanta 24 and Ryan settled for a short pass over the middle to WR Darius Johnson that came up well short. WR Eric Page was hit hard as he fielded Matt Bosher’s 50-yard punt but held on to give the Bucs a first down at their own 14.
A pass interference call drawn by Williams against Samuel gave the Bucs a quick 18 yards to start the next drive, and a fine reaching catch by Jackson for 12 yards converted a third-and-four and put the ball right on the midfield stripe. However, a second false start created a third-and-nine moments later and Jackson did well to prevent a near-interception by CB Robert Alford.
Two outstanding chase-down plays by David set up a quick third-and-11 on Atlanta’s next drive but an incompletion was erased by a roughing-the-passer penalty on DE Trevor Scott. Ryan then hit on strikes of 26 yards to Douglas and 20 to Gonzalez to put the ball at the Bucs’ 24 as the first quarter came to an end. The Bucs’ defense forced a third-and-five at the 19 but Ryan converted that and added seven points with a pass to Rodgers that the diminutive back turned up the left sideline and into the end zone.
The Bucs needed only three plays to answer. After two strong runs by Martin put the ball at the Bucs’ 41, Glennon went deep down the right seam to Jackson, who got just one hand free around Samuel but was still able to haul in the pass, shove off the defender and walk into the end zone for a 59-yard touchdown.
Douglas made a dazzling catch of his own around CB
An unnecessary roughness flag on C
Tampa Bay’s next drive started with a holding penalty on the Buccaneers but two consecutive catches by WR
The Bucs got the ball first to start the second half on a touchback, but the Falcons defense was all over a running play up the middle, hitting Martin from both sides before he could get back to the line of scrimmage. Martin got six on his next carry but a third-down pass to Jackson was broken up by Samuel. On the ensuing punt, RB
Martin got five yards on a run up the middle but was then shaken up trying to make a spectacular catch on a wheel route near the goal line. On third-and-five, Glennon hung in long enough to wait for Jackson to clear on a crossing route, hitting him for a gain of six and a first down at the Atlanta 12. With Martin on the sideline, James ran for eight yards to make it third-and-two, but got just one more on the next play. The Bucs elected to go for it on fourth-and-one and James burrowed up the middle to the one to earn a new set of downs. Two plays later, Glennon threw a perfect fade pass to Jackson that the receiver easily plucked out of the air over the defender’s head.
The defense came right back with a three-and-out and the resulting punt was fair caught by Page at the Bucs’ 35. A late-hit flag on DE Malliciah Goodman for roughing the passer gave the Bucs 15 free yards and Glennon kept the drive alive with a heady 13-yards scramble on third-and-12 into Atlanta territory. The Bucs ended up punting from the 39, however, and CB
WR Drew Davis made a stunning one-handed catch on the sideline to get 24 yards and get the ball into Buccaneer territory. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Gonzalez got 10 yards on a short pass and another 12 was tacked on by an unnecessary roughness call on S
The Bucs crossed the 50 on their next drive but appeared to stall on a third-down incompletion before a defensive holding call on DeCoud rescued the drive. After misfiring on a third-and-two at the Atlanta 33, the Bucs went for it on fourth down with 11 minutes left in the game. Glennon’s short pass to WR
That made it first-and-goal at the five, but a holding call on
- Prior to Sunday’s game, the Buccaneers declared the following seven players inactive: WR
- The Falcons declared the following seven players inactive: S Kemal Ishmael, RB Steven Jackson, G Harland Gunn, T Sam Baker, WR Roddy White, TE Chase Coffman and DT Travian Robertson. Jackson, Baker, White and Coffman were out due to injury.
- TE Tom Crabtree recorded his first catch as a Buccaneer in the first quarter, a 14-yarder that converted a third-and-11.
- WR Vincent Jackson’s 59-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter completed a three-play, 80-yard drive. That was Tampa Bay’s first TD drive of 80 or more yards in 2013.
- Jackson later scored again on a one-yard catch in the third quarter, giving him two touchdowns for the second straight week. That marks the first time in his nine-year career that Jackson has posted consecutive two-TD games.
- Jackson is only the second Buccaneer ever to have two consecutive games with at least two touchdown receptions. The first was WR Horace Copeland in 1993, against Green Bay on Oct. 24 and at Atlanta on Oct. 31.