Atlanta Falcons Turnover Prone, Lose to Bucs 23-20 in OT


The Atlanta Falcons drop their second game of the season, 23-20 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in overtime. Turnovers in division games are hurting Atlanta.

The Atlanta Falcons lose a close one in overtime at home to division rival Tampa Bay at home in Week 8, 23-20. Atlanta turned the football over four times in the first three quarters. Ball security has not been a theme for this football team since annihilating the Houston Texans in Week 4.

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Julio Jones had a fumble. Matt Ryan threw an interception. Mike Person slid a snap across the ground. Ryan and Devonta Freeman could not execute the zone read, at all. Miraculously down 20-3, Atlanta clawed their way back in this game, forcing overtime with 17 seconds remaining in regulation.

Tampa Bay orchestrated a long drive that resulted in a Connor Barth field goal to make it 23-20 in overtime. Atlanta would run a handful of plays before turning the football over on downs to end the game.

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This was a poorly played football game for the Atlanta Falcons. I’ll give Tampa Bay credit in getting 20 points off the countless Falcons turnovers in this game. Their porous secondary and a recharged Atlanta Falcons offense made this game interesting, but ultimately the better prepared team won today.

The shame is that the offense was looking fantastic today when they weren’t too busy fumbling the ball at home. Matt Ryan completed 37 of 45 passes for 397 yards, 2 touchdowns and the interception. Both Julio Jones and Jacob Tamme had over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown reception. Though Devonta Freeman didn’t break the century mark on the ground, he still had 88 yards on 21 carries for 4.2 YPC average.

While I enjoyed the offense coming together in this game, the turnovers were especially egregious. Julio Jones’ fumble was a lack of awareness and was easily preventable had he held the ball anywhere near his body on the run after the catch. Mike Person’s snap (if we want to call it that) looked like a trick shot in air hockey. This is the Georgia Dome, not a video game arcade from your childhood.

I’ll attribute the Ryan pick to quicksand and bad play design on the fumbled exchange between Ryan and Freeman. Ryan nearly fumbled the game away and the pocket was non-existent on that overtime drive. Devonta Freeman’s heads up recovery could have been a game saver had the offensive line not regressed to 2013 form on that drive.

Dan Quinn can win games, but still hasn’t cracked the NFC South enigma just yet. I’d be cool if the Atlanta Falcons had a bizarro season in 2015 from last year, by finishing the year at 10-6 and making the NFC Playoffs, despite going 1-5 in the NFC South.

Next: Atlanta Falcons Host Division Rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Atlanta Falcons don’t lose at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but this is a year full of new and exciting things in Flowery Branch. Perhaps lackluster divisional play is a part of it. Wild Card here we come. Rise Up!