Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Game Awards: Buccaneers vs. Falcons

Who got this week's game ball?


Game Ball:** Jameis Winston gave an early indication that he will indeed take another big step forward after a very promising rookie campaign. With the Bucs trailing, 10-3, in the second quarter, Winston led proceeded to lead four scoring drives in his next five possessions, all of them covering at least 75 yards. Each one in a scoring pass to a different target, as he found TE Brandon Myers, RB Charles Sims, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and WR Mike Evans on TD passes of ever-increasing length and difficulty. After a slow start, Winston completed 21 of his last 29 passes to go 23-33 for 281 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. His four TD tosses represent the second-highest single-game mark of his career and he finished with a passer rating of 122.6.


Play of the Game:** It's an early candidate for play of the year, at least in terms of one player's individual effort. Trailing 13-10 in the second quarter, the Bucs took over at their own 25 with 1:45 to go before halftime. Winston completed six passes to get the team into scoring range with 25 seconds left, then dumped off a seventh one over the middle to RB Charles Sims. Sims looked as if he would get a nice 15-yard gain to the Falcons' 10 as he was approached by four Atlanta defenders. Instead of ducking into that pile, Sims made a sudden cut out to the right that got him around the entire group. DT Jonathan Babineaux rushed in from behind to hit Sims in the legs but the Bucs back was able to spin out of Babineaux's grasp and continue on to the end zone, where he ran through one more defender to score standing up. Honorable mention to the awesome diving TD grab by Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the Bucs' very next possession.


Turning Point:** In a roundabout way, it was the coin flip. Trailing 13-10 with 1:45 left in the first half, the Bucs put together a perfect two-minute drive ending in Sims's aforementioned touchdown. The Falcons kneeled to kill the last few seconds of the half and then, because the Bucs had won that coin flip and deferred, had to kick off to start the second half. Winston took the opening possession of the third quarter and wrung another seven points out of it, marching his team 75 yards on four plays, the last one Seferian-Jenkins's diving catch. Those 14 points in the span of about four game minutes took the visitors from three points down to 11 points up and they held on for the victory.

It Was Over When: DT Gerald McCoy tipped away Matt Ryan's pass on fourth-and-10 from the Falcons' 28 with 1:10 to play. The ball fell to the ground and all the Bucs had to do at that point was kneel. Though that tip ended the Falcons' threat, the Bucs' ability to run the clock down to 1:52 on their final possession put McCoy in position to seal the win, and that came about through sharp plays from Winston, Sims and Doug Martin against a stacked defensive front.

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