1:00 PM ET, November 7, 2010
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
ATLANTA -- With a powerful running back, a balanced passing game and a gutty goal-line stand, the Atlanta Falcons showed they're the best in the NFC South.At least for this week.The Falcons overcame a dismal display on special teams and the boasts of Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris, coming up with a huge defensive stop in the closing minutes to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-21 Sunday and take over sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
• Michael Turner had his eighth game with at least two rushing TDs. That is one shy of the most multi-TD games in Falcons history behind Gerald Riggs.
• Matt Ryan won his 13th straight game at home and improved to 17-1 in Atlanta for his career.
• Tampa Bay lost its first road game of the season, snapping a five-game road win streak that dated to last season.
• Josh Freeman threw a 58-yard passing TD, the longest by the Buccaneers since Week 17 of 2008.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
The Bucs came up on the wrong end of turnovers in a game for the first time this season because of Freeman's interceptions. Tampa Bay had been plus-8 in turnover margin, ranking second in the league. Atlanta didn't have any interceptions or fumbles. ... The Bucs converted 8 of 13 third downs, while the Falcons were 8 of 14. Atlanta also converted its only try on fourth down. ... Blount was held to 46 yards on 13 carries after totaling 192 the two previous games.
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.6||5.3|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-2||2-4|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||0|
|TD||8:10||Michael Turner 2 Yard Run (Matt Bryant Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 14 plays, 61 yds, 6:54
|TD||13:44||Michael Turner 10 Yard Run (Matt Bryant Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 99 yds, 3:59
|TD||12:18||Arrelious Benn 14 Yard Pass From Josh Freeman (Connor Barth Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 32 yds, 1:29
|FG||5:31||Matt Bryant 31 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 11 plays, 72 yds, 6:43
|TD||2:16||Mike Williams 58 Yard Pass From Josh Freeman (Connor Barth Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 90 yds, 3:21
|TD||10:34||Michael Palmer 5 Yard Pass From Matt Ryan (Matt Bryant Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 30 yds, 3:03
|FG||0:50||Matt Bryant 41 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 11 plays, 59 yds, 5:54
|TD||0:46||Micheal Spurlock 89 Yard Kickoff Return (Connor Barth Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 89 yds, 0:00
Josh Freeman wasn't able to rekindle the fourth quarter magic on Sunday against the Falcons. Freeman entered the game with a 134.9 passer rating and no interceptions against a five-or-more man pass rush in the fourth quarter when the game is within eight points this season. Trailing by six in the fourth, Freeman threw his first interception against a five-or-more man pass rush in a one score, fourth quarter situation and went just 3-for-6 overall in the quarter.
LaGarrette Blount couldn't convert on 4th-and-1 on Atlanta's two-yard-line with 2:44 remaining to effectively seal the win for the Falcons. The Bucs have been successful needing one yard for a first down this season, going 14-for-19 rushing and 3-for-3 on 4th-and-1. Blount was 4-for-5 picking up the first down needing one yard prior to his failed attempt.
Michael Turner was able to attack the Bucs defensive front regardless of how many defenders were thrown into the box. Against 8+ defenders in the box Turner averaged 4.3 yards per rush and against 7 or less he managed 4.6. Entering the day Turner had averaged 3.11 yards per rush against 8+ defenders in the box.
The Falcons used their big men well on Sunday, averaging 6.6 yards per play with two-or-more tight ends on the field, 2.3 yards per play more than when they used one or fewer tight ends. They also scored all three of their touchdowns with two or more tight ends in the game.
ESPN Stats & Information