Thank you, refs

Now the Bucs just have to keep their focus despite inferior opponents.

click to enlarge Thank you, refs
Photo via Buccaneers
In a solid performance from TB12, that saw him cross the 200 yard threshold in the first half (351 yards for the game), the Bucs were able to sneak away with their first home win of the 2022-2023 season Sunday afternoon by beating the banged up and lowly Atlanta Falcons 21-15.
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The Bucs’ defense flexed its muscles for the majority of the game, limiting Falcons QB Marcus Mariota to an abysmal game where he threw for 147 yards and a TD on 14 for 25 passing, symptomatic of the Falcons’ struggles to get anything going offensively as they were shut out through three quarters, clearly missing weapons such as running back Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Kyle Pitts.

The biggest story from this game will undoubtedly be the roughing the passer call that secured the victory for the Bucs in the fourth quarter that… well, you can see for yourself.
That, uh, for lack of a better word, interesting roughing call aside, the Falcons struggled in almost every facet of the game until the fourth, with their lone productive offensive possession of the first half ending in a missed 52-yard field goal that led to a six-point swing, with the Bucs able to take advantage of the favorable field position and kicking an end-of-the-half field goal to make it 13-0 going into the second half.

However, things changed in the fourth quarter. The Falcons went on a 15-0 run up until that Bucs drive, where they were bailed out by a holding call on the Falcons’ secondary and the aforementioned roughing call on defensive lineman Grady Jarrett.

Focusing back on Tampa Bay, Bucs running back Leonard Fournette had quite a game himself, with 139 yards from scrimmage and two combined TDs, arguably his best game of the season to this point.

The Bucs now have a pretty easy stretch of schedule, with games against the struggling Steelers and Panthers coming up. We could be talking about a 5-2 Bucs team when the Rams and Ravens come to town in Weeks 8 and 9, which will certainly allow Tampa Bay to relax a bit more, especially considering that Ravens matchup being on a short week.

Now the Bucs just have to keep their focus despite inferior opponents. They can’t have anymore fourth quarter meltdowns and expect the refs to continue to be on their side (actually, they have Tom Brady, maybe they can).

With some tough games against some quality opponents in the middle of their schedule, they need to take advantage of the gimme games. The division is never going to be in question, but home-field advantage in the playoffs is still huge.

Fire those cannons.
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