Buccaneers rally from 17 down to stymie Falcons
Tom Brady threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown with 6:19 remaining and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 31-27 on Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.
Brady completed 31 of 45 passes for a season-high 390 yards and tossed two touchdowns, with most of the production coming in the second half. The winning points came on Brown’s first touchdown since joining the team last month.
Matt Ryan threw for three touchdowns, but the Falcons failed to put a dent in the Buccaneers’ bid for a playoff spot. Instead, it was another lead that Atlanta (4-10) didn’t protect.
Ryan finished 34 of 49 for 356 yards in the first of two meetings scheduled across the final three weeks of the regular season. Atlanta ended its home slate with a 2-6 record.
The Buccaneers (9-5), who improved to 5-2 on the road, scored on their first five second-half possessions before punting, giving Atlanta the ball at the Falcons’ 12-yard line with 2:40 remaining. Four plays later, the Falcons were stopped on downs after picking up only 7 yards.
Tampa Bay wiped out a 17-0 halftime deficit in less than 19 minutes, tying the game at 24 on Ryan Succop’s 27-yard field goal with 11:15 remaining.
Younghoe Koo’s 52-yarder put the Falcons back on top. Barely more than two minutes later, the Buccaneers held their first lead as Brown broke free from the Atlanta secondary.
The Buccaneers rallied within 24-21 on the strength of Leonard Fournette’s two 1-yard touchdown runs and Chris Godwin’s 4-yard touchdown reception from Brady in the third quarter. Amid those touchdowns, the Falcons struck on Ryan’s 7-yard pass to Hayden Hurst.
The Falcons scored on the game’s first possession on Ryan’s 5-yard pass to Russell Gage. Atlanta doubled its lead on Ryan’s 12-yard pass play to Calvin Ridley in the second quarter, completing a 10-play drive that covered 65 yards.
Koo’s 32-yard field goal with 15 seconds to play in the opening half capped a 13-play, 75-yard possession.
In the first half, Brady was 10-for-16 passing for 70 yards and sacked twice. The Buccaneers had 60 yards of total offense by the break compared to Atlanta’s 261.
–Field Level Media