Final Score: Atlanta 20, Tampa Bay 17
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Chris Redman took over for an injured Matt Ryan
and orchestrated a late touchdown drive to help the Atlanta Falcons take a
20-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ryan left the game in the first quarter with a right big toe injury and Redman
stepped in, throwing two scores on 23-of-41 passing with 243 yards for the
Falcons (6-5), who had dropped four of five coming into the game.
"It was a good win all around," said Redman. "We didn't want to come down to
the last second, but that's how it turned out and we showed great
determination. Everyone hung tough and no one quit. Everybody stepped up and
made some great plays and it makes me proud to be a part of this team."
Tony Gonzalez had nine catches for 83 yards, while Jerious Norwood and Roddy
White each caught a score. White's go-ahead TD came with 23 seconds to play,
helping Atlanta improve to 5-0 at home this season.
Falcons running back Michael Turner, who had just 33 yards on 12 carries,
aggravated a right ankle injury that had caused him to miss last week's game
and had his status as doubtful for Sunday's contest. He suffered the injury
in the third quarter and did not return.
"Bottom line is that we got the win," said Atlanta kicker Jason Elam. "I'm
really happy that we were able to pull it out. Chris played a great game
coming in for Matt. I can't remember the last time I came off the field
feeling really good about things. We have to just keep grinding."
Josh Freeman was 20-for-29 with 250 yards and two scores for Tampa Bay.
Antonio Bryant and Cadillac Williams each caught a touchdown for the
Buccaneers (1-10), who have dropped their last three games.
After Connor Barth missed a 51-yard field goal attempt that would have put
Tampa up by seven points, Atlanta got the ball back at its own 41 with 2:30 to
Short passes to Gonzalez and Eric Weems got the ball across midfield and an
11-yard catch from Gonzalez followed by a 10-yard catch from Michael Jenkins
gave Atlanta a first down at the Tampa 25.
Gonzalez then caught passes of nine and six yards for a first down at the
Tampa 10. A spike and an incompletion saw Atlanta faced with a third down and
a pass to Gonzalez fell incomplete, but Derrick Roberson was called for
holding to give the Falcons a fresh set of downs at the five-yard line.
The next three passes went incomplete, but on fourth down Redman lasered a
pass between traffic to White, who caught the ball in the end zone and the
extra point gave the Falcons a 20-17 lead with 23 seconds to play.
Tampa ran out of time with the last play, which consisted of a series of
laterals that ultimately fell short.
"I was trying to get it to seven," said Tampa coach Raheem Morris about the
51-yard field goal attempt. "Thinking about kicking off and thinking about
making them go the distance to beat us. They went to the short field and beat
us and it's a credit to them."
Driving with the ball to start the second quarter after a scoreless first 15
minutes, Atlanta took a 3-0 lead on an Elam 45-yard field goal with 10:44 left
in the first half to cap a 15-play, 53-yard drive that ate up almost 7 1/2
After a three-and-out from Tampa Bay, the Falcons added to their lead on a 22-
yard shovel pass from Redman to Norwood for a 10-0 advantage with 6:31 left in
However, the Bucs needed just two plays to get into the end zone on their
ensuing possession. On the first play, Freeman connected with Bryant on a 38-
yard catch. On the next play, Bryant hauled in a 42-yard bomb and went into
the end zone to make it a 10-7 game with 5:40 left in the half.
The Falcons were held to a three-and-out on their next touch and a 39-yard
field goal from Barth in the final moments of the half tied the game heading
into the locker room.
Tampa had to punt away its first possession of the second half, but then
blocked an Atlanta punt to give the team the ball at the Atlanta eight-yard
line. Two plays later, Freeman and Williams hooked up on an eight-yard score
for a 17-10 lead with 11:42 left in the third.
Atlanta answered with a nine-play, 50-yard drive that was capped on a 37-yard
field goal from Elam with 6:42 to play in the third to make it a 17-13 game.
The Falcons host the Philadelphia Eagles and former quarterback Michael Vick
next Sunday...Tampa plays at Carolina next Sunday...Tampa had won three of the
previous four games against Atlanta coming into the contest...Bryant finished
the game with three catches for 91 yards...Jenkins had seven catches for 80
yards...Tampa had six sacks in the game, with Stylez White recording 2 1/2.
11/29 17:31:45 ET
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