Being 0-6 is a terrible place to be. That’s where the Bucs are right now. The Falcons beat the Bucs 31-23 at the Georgia Dome on Sunday to drop Tampa Bay to 0-6 on the season. Greg Schiano has now dropped 11 of his last 12 games and is 7-15 as Bucs head coach.
The Bucs defense forced a three and out on the opening possession. The Bucs offense got the ball in great field position but on 3rd and 10, Mike Glennon was sacked by William Moore on a safety blitz to cause a fumble. Safety Thomas DeCoud returned the fumble 30-yards for a touchdown to put the Falcons up 7-0. The Bucs had 3 dropped passes in that first quarter, two by Vincent Jackson.
Bucs linebacker LaVonte David made some big tackles early. But he was victimized on a 19-yard touchdown pass by Jacquizz Rodgers to make it 14-0 Falcons early in the second quarter. Matt Ryan had big completions to Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez to set up the score. The Bucs came right back when Glennon hit Jackson on a 59-yard TD pass to make it 14-7. Jackson made a ridiculous one-handed grab over Falcons CB Asante Samuel on the play.
The Falcons added to their lead on a 23-yard FG by Matt Bryant to make it 17-7 Atlanta midway through the second quarter. The big play on the drive was a 54-yard catch and run by Douglas as he beat Leonard Johnson. Douglas went over 100 yards receiving on that play. Bucs punter Michael Koenen had a terrible 20-yard punt later in the 2nd quarter and the Falcons made the Bucs pay. On the first play of the drive, Ryan found Douglas on a 37-yard TD pass to make it 24-7 Atlanta. The Bucs were able to get a Rian Lindell 36-yard FG as time expired at the half to make it 24-10 Atlanta. Douglas had 6 catches for 140 yards in the first half.
The Bucs began the second half with a 3 and out. But on the punt, Robert Alford was hit by Brian Leonard and fumbled the ball. Dekoda Watson recovered it for the Bucs at the Atlanta 23. Doug Martin was drilled by Moore on a pass play nar the goal line. Martin left the game with a shoulder injury. The Bucs converted a 4th and 1 when Mike James scampered up the middle for two yards. Glennon then hit Jackson on a 1-yard TD pass to pull the Bucs within one score at 24-17. That was the first offensive touchdown scored by the Bucs in the second half this season.
The Falcons scored again early in the fourth quarter when Ryan found Rodgers on a middle screen for an 8-yard TD reception to give Atlanta a 31-17 lead.
The Bucs went on a nice drive midway through the 4th quarter which included two 4th down conversions. But a holding penalty on Donald Penn pushed back the Bucs. One play later, Jackson was called for a personal foul which killed the drive. Bucs settled for a Lindell fied goal to make it 31-20. Curious move since the Bucs needed two touchdowns to tie with five minutes left and they’re settling for field goals. Lindell hit a 35-yard FG to make it 31-23 with 1:54 left.
News & Notes:
- Bucs QB Mike Glennon was impressive, completing 26 of 44 passes for 256 yards and two scores. He also added a 13-yard scramble for a first down and 3rd and 12. He was not helped with 5 dropped passes.
- Bucs WR Vincent Jackson had another big game with 10 catches for 138 yards and two scores. Jackson has four touchdown catches in his last two games with Glennon at quarterback.
- Bucs WR Mike Williams (hamstring) started but didn’t seem to be completely healthy. Williams finished with 3 catches for 21 yards.
- The Bucs tweaked their offensive line with Ted Larsen starting at center and Jeremy Zuttah moving over to left guard.
- Penalties continue to haunt the Bucs. They committed 11 of them for 103 yards, including three personal foul calls.
- Bucs safety Dashon Goldson injured his knee during the first quarter but he was able to return.
- Bucs DT Akeem Spence left the game with a shoulder injury but also returned.
- Falcons head coach Mike Smith is now 5-1 coming off the bye week.
- The Bucs have short week as they welcome in the Carolina Panthers to Raymond James Stadium on Thursday night. You can catch that game on 620 WDAE & 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs. Our coverage begins at 3pm with Steve Duemig.