Atlanta Falcons outlast Buccaneers to win 3rd in a row

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Julio Jones
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Julio Jones /

Atlanta Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today to receive their first division win of the season.

Don’t look now but these Atlanta Falcons are starting to heat up. It wasn’t an easy game today. But with key defensive stops and an offense that is getting stronger each week, the Falcons beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-20 to win their third game in a row.

The game started off slow with both teams managing a combined six points after the first quarter. Then, in the 2nd quarter, Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian opened the playbook up in spectacular fashion.

With 12:36 left in the quarter, Atlanta wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, threw a pitch perfect 51-yard bomb to fellow wide out Julio Jones to score the game’s first touchdown. This gave Atlanta a 10-3 lead. Later, with 7:26 to go in the second quarter, Jones scored on an acrobatic 25-yard touchdown pass from Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan to give the Falcons a 17-3 lead.

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After Halftime, the Falcons marched down the field again on Tampa Bay’s defense, finishing off the drive with an Atlanta running back Tevin Coleman touchdown run to give the Falcons a 27-6 lead. Then, in what has become a normal habit and incredibly frustrating, the Falcons allowed 14 unanswered points by the Buccaneers to make the game really interesting early in the 4th quarter.

What could’ve been a disaster after a fumble by Atlanta running back Terron Ward in the red zone, the Falcons defense picked the perfect time to make a key stop to give the ball back to Ryan and the offense. The game was then put out of reach when Coleman scored on 14-yard scamper to give the Falcons a 34-20 lead.

Ryan finished the day with 317-yards and a touchdown pass and Jones was absolutely sensational finishing with 12 receptions 253-yards and 2 touchdowns. In the same game, Julio became the first receiver to have more than one 250+ yard receiving game in their career and the most receiving yards by a wide receiver (8,649) in his first 90 games in NFL history.

Next: How the Atlanta Falcons can still win the NFC South

Up next for the Falcons is crucial match up against the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday at Mercedes Benz Stadium.