Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way.
As expected, the Bucs beat the Falcons quite handily Sunday afternoon, 48-25, pulling away in the fourth quarter with 3 touchdowns.
Tom Brady had a ho-hum 5 touchdowns with 276 yards and no interceptions, making some ridiculous passes along the way that only he could make.
But the most interesting part of the game was the fourth quarter.
The Bucs dominated the first half, coming out of it with a 21-10 lead. Tampa Bay looked shaky at best in the third frame, however, getting outscored 15-7, with the defense getting shredded by Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ “high-flying” offense.
But the fourth quarter was all Bucs. It started with Bradley Pinion pinning the Falcons inside their own 5 with a beautiful punt that took one of those wonderful bounces that makes you appreciate what a good punter can do for you.
The defense responded in kind, coming up with a three-and-out capped by a huge stop by the big interior lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches on a run up the middle by Cordarrelle Patterson that led to 4th down.
The Falcons booted it off to the Bucs and gave them excellent field position, with the ball going out of bounds at the Atlanta 43.
You probably know how the rest of this goes. Tom Brady easily drive down the field and found Chris Godwin for a TD.
After the Bucs’ TD, Matt Ryan and the Falcons came out and threw a pick-6 to Mike Edwards that effectively sealed the game. Then after a weird exchange of turnover-on-downs, the Falcons end up with the ball again in their own territory, and… Matt Ryan threw ANOTHER pick-6 to none other than Edwards, Matty Ice’s third interception for the game.
While it was overall a quality win, there were certainly some things that could be improved, as always, but in broad terms they continued to look like the team we all expect them to be; amazing offense, below-average pass defense, elite rush defense.
Tampa Bay cornerback Carlton Davis looked incredibly shaky, giving up 30 yards on 2 personal fouls alone. Ryan also threw for 300 yards, so interceptions aside, the Bucs did give up quite a few yards through the air.
But all in all, a solid Week 2 win for the Bucs.
Tampa Bay takes on the Rams next week in Los Angeles, the first actual test for the Bucs so far this season, with the Rams coming off 2 straight quality victories against some decent teams in the Bears and the Colts.
But for now, the Bucs look good.
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