|Date of game: 11/9/2014
Recap: Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Ryan's touchdown pass to Roddy White in the fourth quarter helped the Atlanta Falcons to a 27-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Ryan went 20-for-31 for 219 yards, while Steven Jackson added 81 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries for the Falcons (3-6), who snapped a five-game losing streak and won for the first time since a 56-14 victory over Tampa Bay on Sept. 18.
White had six catches for 72 yards and Julio Jones caught eight passes for 119 yards in the victory.
"This was a team win across the board because everyone contributed to this," said Atlanta head coach Mike Smith. "We still have some ground to make up, but it starts with this victory."
Josh McCown, returning to the starting quarterback role for the first time since the September loss to the Falcons, was 27-for-43 for 301 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Buccaneers (1-8), who have lost their last five games. Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins each caught a touchdown pass in defeat.
"You want to give everybody better than that, and this just hurts," said McCown. "I have to look at the tape, but it doesn't matter because we lost. It starts with me and I have to be better. It's disappointing."
Trailing by a point in the fourth quarter, the Falcons took the lead back with a 10-play, 65-yard drive that Ryan finished with a 5-yard score to White on a crossing route. Harry Douglas caught a pass on the 2-point conversion and it was a 24-17 game with 9:18 to play.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Falcons got a 27-yard run from Jackson to set up a 33-yard field goal by Matt Bryant for a 10-point lead with 4:10 left.
Tampa's final two possessions ended in McCown interceptions.
McCown suffered a thumb injury in the first game against the Falcons and was replaced by Mike Glennon, who led the Bucs to their only win the following week at Pittsburgh. Glennon remained the starter until this week, even though McCown was healthy the last two games.
Tampa began the game with the ball and held it for over 8 1/2 minutes. Despite running 17 plays, though, the team managed just 47 yards and a 51-yard field goal from Patrick Murray.
Atlanta answered with a successful drive of its own, moving the ball 78 yards over 11 plays, with Jackson running it in from a yard out for a 7-3 lead with under a minute to play in the opening quarter. White had three catches for 41 yards on the drive.
Forcing a punt on Tampa Bay's next touch, the Falcons got the ball back at their own 39 and were able to get a 37-yard field goal from Bryant for a 10-3 lead with just over seven minutes to play in the first half. The big play of the drive saw Jones haul in a 39-yard reception on 3rd-and-12.
After an exchange of punts, the Buccaneers tied the game inside a minute to play in the half as McCown tossed the ball into the left corner of the end zone where Evans came down with it for a 22-yard score.
Devin Hester, though, returned the kickoff to the Atlanta 42 and a 22-yard catch from Jones helped set up a 43-yard field goal by Bryant as time expired to give the Falcons a 13-10 lead at the break.
The Falcons began the second half with the ball, moving 56 yards over 10 plays and taking a 16-10 lead on a 44-yard field goal from Bryant 4 1/2 minutes in.
Tampa drove into Atlanta territory on its next touch, but a fumble by Charles Sims was recovered by the Falcons.
Atlanta was unable to take advantage of the turnover and quickly went three- and-out, and Marcus Thigpen gave his team excellent field position with a 53- yard punt return.
On the second snap of the fourth quarter, McCown used play action to find a wide open Seferian-Jenkins in the end zone on a 1-yard score and a 17-16 lead.Game Notes
The Bucs outgained the Falcons, 373-322 ... Atlanta has won three of the last
four against Tampa Bay ... Evans finished the game with 125 yards on seven
catches ... Tampa plays at Washington next Sunday ... Atlanta visits Carolina