Tampa, Fla- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers maintain a ten-game winning streak after an impressive win over the Falcons. Matt Ryan rallied in the third quarter to make it a three-point game and the Buccaneers answered with Brady’s 5th touchdown and two pick sixes to slam the door on Atlanta.
“These Are professionals”, explained Falcons Head coach Arthur Smith. “The margin of error is very small”
The Falcons went cold in the 4th but only after scoring 15 points with a diving catch in the endzone by Calvin Ridley and a 7-yard toss to Cordarrelle Patterson following a 46-yard drive to end the third quarter. Matt Ryan dove for a two-point conversion to end the third quarter 28-25.
“They did a good job in the fourth quarter putting us way”, admitted Matt Ryan. “Credit to them, they changed the tide.
Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh recorded his first sack of the season taking down Matt Ryan for a 7-yard loss in the second forcing the Falcons to punt it. Shaquil Barrett caught an interception early in the third quarter while DT Vita Vea rushed Ryan out of the pocket all game and recorded three tackles. Falcon’s receiver Calvin Ridley had seven receptions on 10 targets off veteran Ross Cockrell who filled in for CB Sean Murphy-Bunting.
Chris Godwin connected for a twelve-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady and the Buccaneers pulled away in the 4th quarter. Safety Mike Edwards scored two pix-sixes in the span of 4 minutes to take a 48-25 lead and seal the deal for the Falcons in week two. Edwards joins Ronde Barber as the only two players in Buccaneers history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in a single regular season game.
“First one, I was playing nickel, we had good pressure, he got rid of the ball quick and I just jumped the route,” explained Edwards. “It kind of got tipped out of my hands a little but I concentrated and took it back for a big play. The second one, ‘C.D.’ (Carlton Davis III), we were both blitzing off the edge and he got the tip. I didn’t see him tip the ball, but I saw it up in the air and came down with it.”
Tom Brady at 44 years old completed 24 out of 36 attempts for 276-yards. He threw for 5 touchdowns and leads the league with nine in the first two weeks of the regular season. Tom connected with Rob Gronkowski for two touchdowns in the first half, including a deep ball into the endzone to cap of the opening drive. Gronk averaged ten yards a carry and is on track for a pro- bowl caliber season with already four TDs; most importantly he is healthy.
Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans got a piece of the pie after a quiet week 1, connecting with Brady 5 times for 75-yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s a long season,” expressed Brady. “It’s a marathon for all of us- It’s two games in, there’s so much football to be played. We’re going to have to play really consistent, smart, tough and dependable.
“Obviously happy with the outcome”, said Bruce Arians. “Loved the start, then we get lackadaisical. I liked the start of the second. Then we get lackadaisical. That’s not going to work next week. I think we got a lot to learn from. It’s always better to learn it from winning. I liked the way we finished the game.”
The Buccaneers embrace their 10th straight victory extending an all-time franchise record and keeping the Bucs tied with the Carolina Panthers for the top of the NFC South. Tampa now stands with nine consecutive 30+ point games and there’s no sign of slowing down.
The Buccaneers travel to the west coast to face Matthew Stafford and the Rams (2-0) Sunday September 26th 4:25 pm ET
Atlanta Falcons travel to MetLife stadium to face the Giants (0-2) Sunday @1pm