Buccaneers 22, Falcons 17 in Final Bucs Game of Season

After forcing the turnover-on-downs, the Buccaneers got possession with just over two minutes left, in great field position at the Falcon 33-yard line.

On first down, the Falcons were called with too many men on the field, giving the Bucs another first down and running the clock to the two-minute warning.

On the next play, fittingly, it was Doug Martin to seal the game for the Buccaneers. Martin took the handoff for 24-yards, battling his way to the five-yard line. The run brought him over 1,900 yards from scrimmage on the season, a phenomenal feat for the rookie running back.

Two runs later, the final whistle of the game blew and the Buccaneers were ready to head back to Tampa with a 22-17 victory.

The Bucs end the season with a 7-9 record, 3-3 in their division. It was the Falcons’ first homefield loss of the season. The Falcons played their starters throughout the game.

Josh Freeman ended the game with 19 completions on 35 passes. He has one touchdown, one interception and 222 yards.

WR Mike Williams led the team in receiving with 65 yards, just four short of 1,000 on the season. He had six catches, one of them for a touchdown. WR Vincent Jackson had three second-half catches for 50 yards. TE Luke Stocker had three for 50 as well.

Doug Martin had 142 yards on the ground on 28 carries. He also ran one in from 40 yards out. With 18 yards receiving, he ended the day with 160 yards from scrimmage.

K Connor Barth hit on three field goals, from 48-, 22-, and 42-yards out.

Defensively, Mason Foster led the team with 12 total tackles. Lavonte David had six and one sack. Daniel Te’o-Nesheim added the other Buccaneer sack. On special teams, Dekoda Watson registered a blocked punt that set up a Connor Barth field goal. It is his second block of the season.

For the Falcons, Matt Ryan ended the day with 238 yards passing and one touchdown. He completed on 28 of 44 passes.

WR Julio Jones led the team with 56 yards receiving, followed by RB Jacquizz Rodgers who had 50 yards on eight catches. WR Harry Douglas caught the touchdown pass on a fourth-and-goal attempt.

Rodgers also led the team rushing with five carries of 28 yards. RB Michael Turner had six carries for 18 yards, one of them a 17-yard touchdown.

Matt Bryant connected on a first-quarter field goal from 28-yards out.

Defensively, the team was led by Sean Weatherspoon with eight tackles. The Falcons did not register a sack in the game, but Asante Samuel did come down with an interception that set up the Turner touchdown run.

The Buccaneers end the season on a high note, snapping their losing streak and ending the season with a 7-9 record. Stay tuned for a complete list on all of the records that were also snapped in this game, including passing records from Josh Freeman and totals for the entire Buccaneer offense.

Buccaneers Make Big Defensive Stand

With seven minutes left in the game, with a five-point lead, the Buccaneer took over at their 20-yard line. They converted on one third down, but were forced to punt the ball back to the Falcons with 3:44 remaining in the game.

A big third-down conversion for the Falcons moved the chains, getting the Falcons to their 33-yard line with 2:24 left.

Two incomplete passes later it was another third-down attempt. Matt Ryan took a shot for Harry Douglas that fell incomplete. The Falcons went for it on fouth-down, knowing that just one series earlier they were able to score on a fourth-down play.

Ryan dropped back and let it go to his reliable tight end Tony Gonzalez. S Mark Barron was able to get a body on the tight end and a hand on the ball, forcing the incompletion and giving the Buccaneers the ball back in Falcon territory.

The Bucs have the ball at the Falcon 33-yard line with 2:02 left in the game.

Harry Douglas Fourth Down TD Makes it 22-17

The Falcons set up on their drive from their own 48-yard line after a Michael Koenen punt.

The Buccaneers and Da’quan Bowers got off to a great start on the drive. Bowers dropped Michael Turner for a loss of five on the drive’s first run. On the second play, Bowers got into the backfield and hit Matt Ryan for a seven-yard sack. That play was nullified by a defensive holding call on Ronde Barber, giving the Falcons a first down at the 48.

From there, Ryan completed four straight passes to bring the Falcons to the Buccaneer eight-yard line.

The defense stood call forcing an incompletion before dropping RB Jason Snelling for no gain. On third down, Ryan was pressured and the pass went over the head of intended receiver, Tony Gonzalez in the end zone.

The Falcons opted to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the eight. Ryan dropped back and hit a wide open Harry Douglas who caught the ball and took it in from the three-yard line.

The Buccaneers will get the ball with just over seven minutes left, still holding on to a five-point lead.

Turnover and Touchdown Make it 16-10, Bucs Lead

On a Buccaneer third-and-seven from their own 28-yard line, Falcon Asante Samuel cut off a Josh Freeman pass, picking it off and returning it 11 yards to the Buccaneer 21-yard line.

Two plays later, RB Michael Turner found the end zone on a 17-yard run up the middle, cutting the Buccaneers’ lead to six points.

After just three carries for two yards to start the game, Turner got 21 yards on two plays and the score.

The Buccaneers will start with the ball at their 20-yard line with just under four minutes left in the quarter.

Josh Freeman First Bucs QB Over 4,000 Yards

On the first pass of the third quarter, Josh Freeman found Mike Williams down the sideline for a 23-yard gain.

That pass brought Freeman over 4,000 yards on the season, making him the only Buccaneer quarterback in team history to do so.

In the game, he has also become the Buccaneers career-leading touchdown passer with his 78th touchdown and the Buccaneers’ single-season touchdown leader with his 27th touchdown pass of the year.

Barth From 42 Makes it 16-3 in Third Quarter

The Buccaneers have scored on their opening drive in each quarter of this ballgame. Once again, this one has come on the foot of Connor Barth. Barth connected from 42 yards out to make it a 16-3 game.

The drive began at the 20 yard line after a touchback and the offense got things rolling quickly. Josh Freeman his Mike Williams on his first pass for a 23-yard gain. Williams is now just four yards away from having a 1,000-yard season.

Freeman converted a third-down pass to Doug Martin over the middle to bring them into Falcon territory and WR Vincent Jackson caught his first pass of the day for 15 yards.

The drive stalled at the Falcon 24-yard line before Barth knocked his third field goal of the day. The Falcons will take over, down 13, with 10:52 remaining in the third.

Bucs Closing in on Single-Season Marks

The most important numbers to come out of the first half of Tampa Bay’s season finale at Atlanta: 13 and three, the respective point totals for the Buccaneers and the Falcons.  A year ago, in a somewhat similar situation, the Falcons took a 42-7 lead into halftime, so Sunday’s game shows rather significant improvement in 2012.

Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on some numbers that individual Buccaneers are ringing up in the service of a potential season-ending victory.  Several Buccaneer records and milestones could still fall before Sunday’s game is over. Continue reading

Bucs Lead at Halftime, 13-3

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be taking a lead into halftime. Each team had a stop within the final two minutes of the half. The quarter ended on a Lavonte David sack of Matt Ryan. The Bucs lead 13-3.

Connor Barth has his two field goals on the day: a 48-yarder on the team’s first possession and a 22-yarder in the second quarter. The second field goal was set up by a blocked punt from special teams standout, Dekoda Watson.

On their first possession of the second quarter, QB Josh Freeman found WR Mike Williams in the back of the end zone for the only touchdown of the day.

Freeman has completed 12 of his 18 passes for 138 yards and the touchdown. Williams, who hauled in the touchdown reception leads the team with five receptions for 42 yards. TE Luke Stocker is the yardage leader with 50 on three catches. His two long receptions, one for 26 yards, helped to set up the touchdown pass. WR Vincent Jackson has been held without a catch so far in the game.

Defensively, Mason Foster leads the team in tackles with seven. The defense has had success rushing the passer with four QB hits. Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Lavonte David have each registered a sack. David’s came on the last play of the half as the Falcons set up for a long hail mary attempt.

For the Falcons, Matt Ryan has connected on 15 of his 22 attempts. Roddy White leads the team with five receptions and 42 yards. Julio Jones has added 38 yards on two catches. The Falcon running backs have been splitting time in the backfield. Jacquizz Rodgers had 24 yards rushing on three carries while Jason Snelling has 32 total yards.

The Falcon defense has deflected five Josh Freeman passes. Three Falcon defenders have tallied three tackles on the day.

The Buccaneers will have the ball first in the second half and look to pad their 10-point lead.

Bucs Go Up 13-3 With Second Barth FG of the Day

The Buccaneers added three points off the Dekoda Watson blocked punt.

The Buccaneers were able to get it down to the Atlanta four yard line on a third-down play, but were forced to go for the 22-yard field goal, Connor Barth’s second strike of the day.

The Bucs make it a two-possession game and the Falcons will get the ball back with just under three minutes left in the first half.

Dekoda Watson Blocks Second Punt of the Year

The Buccaneers ended another great defensive stand. Ahmad Black broke up a pass deep downfield before Lavonte David got another great pass breakup, nearly getting the interception.

Forcing a fourth down on the Falcon 37-yard line, Atlanta Lined up for the punt.

P M. Bosher fielded a very low snap and tried to get the ball away but Dekota Watson pushed his blocker all the way back. The punt was deflected off the Falcon’s back and flew out of bounds at the Falcon 26-yard line. Watson will get credit for the block, his second of the season.

The Buccaneers will take over and look to make it a two-possession game on the conference-leading Falcons.