Atlanta Falcons don’t collapse in fourth, sweep Bucs with 27-17 win


48. 27. 44. Final. 17

The Atlanta Falcons, somehow, avoided a total second-half collapse, and swept the season series with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after putting up 11 points in the fourth quarter and winning by a 27-17 final score.

The Bucs would strike first with a 51 yard field goal, and the Falcons would respond with 10 straight points – a one-yard touchdown rush from Steven Jackson and a field goal of their own, this one from 37-yards. A 22 yard touchdown pass from Josh McCown to Mike Evans would tie the game, and the Falcons would again score on back-to-back occasions; a 43-yard field goal to go into halftime up by three, and then a 44-yard field goal, for the only score of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter saw Tampa take their first lead since 3-0, when McCown recorded his second TD pass, this ome to Austin Seferian-Jenkins from one-yard out. The lead would be short lived, and the Falcons wouldn’t allow what happened in London against Detroit happen again, as Matt Ryan threw his only touchdown pass of the day to Roddy White (and then a two-point conversion to Harry Douglas) to regain the lead, and a 33-yard field goal would all but seal the deal, and keep the Falcons out of the NFC South cellar.

Ryan was, statistically, out performed by McCown – as the Atlanta signal caller completed 20 of 31 passes for 219 yard and only one touchdown, while McCown threw for 301 yards and completed 27 of 43 passes. However, the Bucs’ offensive line proved to be worse than Atlanta’s (if you can believe it), and gave up four sacks (the most Atlanta has had in a game all year) while Ryan only went down a single time.

Julio Jones caught eight balls for 119 yards, but other than that, no skilled-position Falcons player had more than 81-yards.

Sure, the Bucs are the Bucs, but this could be a huge turning point in the season for the Falcons. Jackson lead the team in rushing and didn’t do too shabby of a job with the ball in his hands, and the Falcons found away to not only regain the lead, but regain control of the game.

It’ll be another divisional game staring them in the face next week, as the Falcons and Carolina Panthers will tango for the first time in 2014 from Charlotte.