Bucs pound floundering Falcons for second straight win
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Glennon completed 20-of-23 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 41-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Bobby Rainey carried the ball 30 times for 163 yards and scored three touchdowns, while Vincent Jackson had 10 receptions for 165 yards and a score for Tampa Bay (2-8), which has won two straight after finally breaking into the win column just six days ago with a Monday night triumph over Miami.
"The thing that Bobby has a benefit of is when he played at Western Kentucky, this is the stuff that he ran, power, inside zone those plays that we run," Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said of the success Rainey had. "So he was very, very comfortable seeing them and feeling them but to answer your question I don't think anyone thinks a guy is gonna come out and rush for, what, 163 yards."
Matt Ryan was 19-for-36 for 254 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Atlanta (2-8), which has lost four straight since a 31-23 win over Tampa Bay on Oct. 20. Antone Smith had two carries for 88 yards and a touchdown, while Harry Douglas caught six passes for 134 yards and a score in defeat.
Tampa Bay began the scoring with just under two minutes left in the first quarter, as Rian Lindell kicked through a 30-yard field goal at the end of a 15-play, 73-yard drive.
The Falcons answered on their next drive, moving the ball 53 yards on 10 plays before Matt Bryant tied the game with a 46-yard field goal.
The Buccaneers came right back with a score of their own. Jackson made a spectacular one-handed catch for 47 yards over Asante Samuel on first down to put the ball into Atlanta territory. Three snaps later, Rainey found a hole created by his right guard and ran 43 yards for the touchdown.
Following the touchdown, Tampa kicked off with a disguised onside kick that Michael Koenen placed perfectly for a recovery by teammate Erik Lorig.
Glennon found Jackson for 17 yards on the following drive, then targeted him again in the end zone moments later. However, Samuel had position this time and Jackson was called for offensive pass interference to save a possible interception. Three plays later on 4th-and-9, Tampa faked a field goal attempt but Koenen overthrew Brian Leonard.
On the ensuing drive, Ryan was heavily rushed on first down and Tampa linebacker Dekoda Watson affected the pass on the release. Mason Foster came up with the interception and took it 37 yards for a touchdown to bring the score to 17-3 in the Buccaneers' favor.
"It's just a tough loss. We didn't play nearly as well as we needed to, to be competitive," said Ryan. "I thought guys fought and played until the end, which you like to see that, but at the same time very disappointing."
Atlanta's offense came back on the field with a purpose. After a Steven Jackson run, they went no huddle the next four plays. Ryan found Roddy White at the Buccaneers' 47-yard line, but Dashon Goldson jarred the ball loose and Mark Barron recovered the ball for Tampa.
The Buccaneers then took five plays to travel 53 yards before Rainey ran three yards up the middle for his second touchdown.
Bryant knocked through a 49-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half to cut Atlanta's deficit to 24-6.
With 56 seconds left in the second quarter, Tampa Bay took the ball from their 20-yard line down to the Atlanta 37-yard line. However, Lindell missed wide right on a 55-yard field goal attempt to end the half.
Following the break, the Buccaneers drove 67 yards in four plays -- highlighted by a 53-yard Vincent Jackson reception -- to extend the lead. The drive culminated with Glennon's 4-yard touchdown pass to Rainey to make the score 31-6.
"We obviously didn't play good enough football to win in any phase of the game today," said Atlanta coach Mike Smith. "The way that we played was unacceptable, the way that we coached was unacceptable."
The Falcons began to drive downfield on their next possession, but the drive stalled just as they made it to their 44-yard line. Matt Bosher then had his punt blocked by Watson, giving the Bucs the ball at the Falcons' 20-yard line.
Tampa took seven plays to move the 20 yards into the end zone. Glennon found Vincent Jackson on a fade in the back left corner for a 3-yard score that made it a 38-6 game.
Atlanta answered right back in less than a minute, as Ryan hit Douglas for an 80-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.
Goldson intercepted Ryan on the second play of the fourth quarter, with the turnover leading to a 46-yard Lindell field goal.
The Falcons then drove 80 yards on six plays, capped off with a 50-yard touchdown run up the middle by Smith that brought Atlanta within 41-21 with 7:15 left.
After a Tampa three-and-out, the Falcons inched closer after a scoring play was challenged. Ryan found White at the 1-yard line and as the wide receiver tried to muscle his way into the end zone, Tampa forced a fumble which the Falcons' Levine Toilolo recovered. The call on the field was overturned and White was awarded the touchdown after the ball was ruled to have been jarred out after he crossed the goal line.
The Buccaneers then took possession with 1:45 left to play and ran the clock down to 34 seconds left while eating up the remaining Atlanta timeouts. The Falcons then ran just one play after receiving the punt to end the game.
Steven Jackson carried the ball 11 times for 41 yards ... White had three catches for 36 yards ... Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez now has 16 consecutive seasons with 50 catches or more after coming up with six in the loss ... Tampa Bay leads the all-time series, 21-20 ... Glennon has thrown a touchdown pass in eight straight games ... The Falcons are 0-5 on the road this season ... The Buccaneers had lost eight of their last 10 matchups against the Falcons prior to Sunday's win.
11/17 20:20:34 ET