The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled to Atlanta on a short week hoping to rebound from an 0-2 start and get a critical intra-division victory on prime-time television. Instead, they absorbed one of the most lopsided defeat in franchise history, falling 56-14 to the Falcons in a game the home team controlled from the opening snap.
An injury-depleted Buccaneers defense allowed 488 total yards, as Matt Ryan and the Falcons scored touchdowns on each of their first three possessions. An interception return for a touchdown by S Kemal Ishmael was added to that early onslaught, and Devin Hester returned a punt 62 yards for a score to make it 35-0 in the second quarter.
Atlanta's final 42-point edge stands as the Buccaneers' third-largest margin of defeat The record of 45 points was originally set in a 45-0 loss at Oakland on Dec. 19, 1999 and then tied in San Francisco on Oct. 9 2011 in a 48-3 outing.
Starting QB Josh McCown suffered a thumb injury shortly before halftime and was replaced by second-year man Mike Glennon, who started 13 games as a rookie in 2013. Glennon completed 17 of 24 passes for one touchdown and no interceptions, getting the Bucs on the board in the fourth quarter with a three-yard touchdown pass to WR Vincent Jackson.
The Buccaneers fell to 0-3 with the loss, including an 0-2 mark in division play. The team will travel to Pittsburgh in Week Four for a Sept. 28 game at Heinz Field.