Game Ball: This notation is intended for a Buccaneer player in each game; otherwise, it would go to Atlanta Falcons WR Devin Hester. Hester scored two of the Falcons' eight touchdowns, and the second one was a 62-yard punt return that made him the NFL's all-time leader in return TDs. Among the Buccaneers, we'll go with backup linebacker Danny Lansanah. No player is eager for an individual award on such a difficult night, but Lansanah did score the Bucs' first defensive touchdown of the season on a fourth-quarter pick-six and he added four solo tackles, including one for a loss.
Play of the Game: There isn't much difference between the Falcons' eight touchdowns since the game was out of control early, but the most impressive one was probably WR Julio Jones' 40-yard catch in the third quarter. Jones somehow twisted around at the last minute to make an acrobatic over-the-shoulder grab just as he was crossing the goal line.
Turning Point: Atlanta came out hot and was looking to build on a 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a second quick scoring drive. On second-and-10 from the Bucs' 36, QB Matt Ryan hit TE Levine Toilolo on a 13-yard pass but CB Alterraun Verner poked the ball out of his hands after a few steps. S Mark Barron caught the loose ball on one hop and was on his way towards the opposite end zone when Hester hit him from behind and forced another fumble. Hester also recovered the fumble, and the Falcons scored again eight plays later. Had Barron held onto the ball – or even scored – the night might have unfolded differently.
It Was Over When: Hester took an end-around 20 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. The Falcons already had a 21-0 lead after the first period, but the Bucs could have conceivably climbed back into the game with a score or two before halftime. Instead, Hester made it 28-0, and then he scored again seven minutes later on his punt return.