Falcons beat Bucs in overtime

AP The Falcons managed to pull out a close game at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 13-10 in overtime. The Falcons got out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but their offense’s inability to score allowed the Bucs to get back into it. Jason Elam hit his second game-winning field goal this year with a 34-yard with 4 minutes to go in overtime to win the game, and to keep them ahead of the curve in the NFC wildcard chase.

Matt Ryan led the team completing 15 of 23 passes for 206 yards with 2 interceptions. He also rushed for 19 yards on 6 carries. Michael Turner had a big day on the ground rushing for 152 yards on 32 carries and a touchdown. Roddy White led receivers with 4 grabs for 61 yards. Michael Jenkins had 3 catches for 55 yards. The Falcons had three turnover. Two of them coming at the goalline, the first of which was a Ryan interception on 33-yard attempt to Roddy White, and the second was a Jason Rader fumbled after a 26-yard reception. After Turner’s first quarter touchdown run, the Falcons were unable to score on their next ten offensive series.

Defensively, the Falcons played tough against the Bucs. The Bucs only converted 3 of 14 third down attempts. Lawyer Milloy led the team with 12 tackles. John Abraham (3 tackles, 3 sacks), Jonathan Babineaux (4 tackles), Keith Brooking (10 tackles), Erik Coleman (7 tackles), Chauncey Davis (3 tackles), Dominique Foxworth (3 tackles, 1 interception), Chris Houston (7 tackles), Grady Jackson (6 tackles), Curtis Lofton (6 tackles), and Coy Wire (9 tackles) all had noteworthy games.

Jason Elam connected on two field goals, with a 26-yarder along with the game winner. Michael Koenen had 5 punts for an average of 45 yards and put 2 inside the 20. He had one blocked, which led to the team’s game-tying field goal that sent the game into overtime. Harry Douglas returned 4 punts for an average of 9.3 yards while Jerious Norwood averaged 18.7 yards on 3 kickoffs.

Next week the Falcons will travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. The Falcons have won 2 of their last 3 against the Vikings on the road, with both wins coming in overtime including their dramatic win over Minnesota in the NFC Championship game in January 1999. The Falcons have split their last six games with the Vikings.

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Aaron Freeman
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