In an game that was advertised as a “tack meet”, meaning there would be plenty of running up of the scoreboard, the start of this contest was as advertised. On their first drive, the Buccaneers, led by quarterback Jameis Winston, took the ball 75 yards on eight plays for a touchdown. A big 28-yard run by running back Peyton Barber was the catalyst in the middle of that drive, and it was topped of by a touchdown pass to tight end Cameron Brate, who has now scored in three straight weeks after not recording a catch in the first two games. The Bucs missed the extra point, so their lead was just 6-0.

But the Falcons, with plenty of offensive fire power themselves, answered the Buccaneers touchdown with one of their own on even less plays. On the Falcons’ 75-yard, 6-play touchdown drive, quarterback Matt Ryan did not have a single incomplete pass. Big passes to wide receivers Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohammed Sanu marched down the field easy for six points. The Falcons made their extra point, so they took the lead 7-6.

The Bucs got a first down on their next drive, but not much after that, as they were forced to punt after going 30-yards in six plays. When Atlanta took over for their second drive after that, however, they did not slow their attack down and were able to take it 86 yards in 14 plays for another score. They extended their lead to 14-6.

The Bucs offense came to a screeching haul on the following drive, as they only went three yards in three plays before punting. And just like they did on their previous drive, the Falcons answered by going 58 yards in seven plays for yet another touchdown. They extended their lead then to 21-6.

On the Bucs next drive, they finally started to get it into gear. A long pass to DeSean Jackson to start the drive off gave the team momentum, but a forced throw by Winston over the middle was easily picked off by Damontae Kazee of the Falcons.

The Bucs defense finally held firm after that, forcing the Falcons into their first three-and-out of the game, and that gave the Bucs offense new life.

On a drive that included a 10-yard pass to Ronald Jones, a 10-yard pass to Mike Evans and a 10-yard pass to O.J. Howard, the Bucs were able to answer one of the Falcons touchdowns with one of their own, bringing the score to 13-21 just before the half.

However, 25 seconds left on the clock proved to be too much, as the Falcons drove the ball quickly into field goal range to extend their lead by kicking three points right before the half for a score of 24-13.

The Falcons started off the second half very slow with a three-and-out. When the Bucs took over, a long 51-yard pass and catch from Winston to wide receiver Adam Humphries brought the ball all the way to the 2 yard line. But just as you thought luck was on their side, Winston threw a pass to the end zone that went off the helmet of a defender for an interception by Atlanta.

Thankfully for the Bucs, the Falcons couldn’t do much with their next drive off the turn over, as it ended in with a Jason Pierre-Paul sack, his fifth of the season. When the Bucs took over, Winston and company drove it 43 yards in seven plays and were able to kick a field goal and get the game back to a one-score contest at a score of 16-24.

The Bucs defense really seemed to be getting the better of the Falcons offense in the second half, and that continued with another small drive by the Falcons that ended in a punt. When the Bucs got the ball back, they did settle for three points and instead punched it in via a throw from Winston to Godwin that got them within a tie. However, after missing the 2-point conversion, the Bucs then trailed 22-24.

But that woke the Falcons’ offense up, and Matt Ryan and his guys went right to work. The Falcons burned over five minutes of game clock on their 10-play, 75-yard drive, which resulted in another seven points and an extending of the lead to 31-22. Bucs defenders Gerald McCoy were injured on the drive, and the depleted depth chart was overwhelmed by that of Tevin Coleman, Julio Jones and Austin Hooper.

But the Bucs weren’t done yet. When they got the ball back, then down two scores, they were determined to climb back. Winston led a long 9-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a short touchdown pass to running back Peyton Barber. The big catches on the drive were to DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard with a crazy bobbled catch to Chris Godwin in between. That brought the score to 31-29 with Atlanta getting the ball with just under four minutes to go.

The Falcons started their next drive with an 18-yard pass to Julio Jones. A few more passes and runs after that put them right around mid-field, but the Bucs defense held firm there. However, a long 57-yard field goal by Matt Bryant extended the lead even more. to 34-29.

The Bucs got the ball with a minute left needing a touchdown.

The drive started with a long pass to DeSean Jackson, then to Mike Evans, then to Adam Humphries…

But that’s all they could get, and the game ended 34-29 in favor of the Falcons.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: trevor@pewterreport.com
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Buc76
3 years ago

Complete garbage! This team is crap. Not prepared. You go down 21-6 on the road you lose. FIRE KOETTER and LICHT!!!!!! I am sick of watching this crap and paying money to see it live. This team has been losing for 10 years!!!!!! Clean house!!!!

fredster
3 years ago

Let me recap. I predicted close loss by Bucs and a shootout in prediction thread. Nailed it. Defense was hot garbage again. Blitzed some second half and had success. Wow incredible right? O line was crap again. Winston ran for life and scrambled a lot. O line couldn’t run block again most of game falcons were in back field. Catanzaro can be counted on to miss an extra point every game. He sucks. You also can count on Evans to miss an easy 3rd down critical catch every single game and he didn’t break that tradition today. Evans looked out… Read more »

scot pederson
3 years ago

J.Winston still can’t hit D. Jackson on the deep balls, throws 2 picks, defense still giving up huge yards. The holes are so deep. And this was against a Falcons defense missing 2 starting safeties and a starting LB and no Devonta Freeman at HB.

Not saying Fitz is the answer. Looks like neither is the answer but at least we gave the QB time to throw.

Dave
Reply to  scot pederson
3 years ago

Neither are the answer? God I am so sick of dumb ass Bucs fans. Let me say this for the 700th time. QB is NOT the friggen problem. If your QB throws for 400 yards, 4 TD’s, completes 73% of his passes for 9.6 YPA, and has a 115 QB Rating, leads his offense to 29 points( should have been 31 with a competent kicker) and over 500 yards of offense on the road, that team should win 95 times out of 100. Winston is NOT the problem. The ball in the end zone went off a players helmet. That… Read more »

fredster
3 years ago

We gave Winston time to throw? Go back and watch how my times Winston was flushed from pocket and forced to scramble vs Ryan. Non Sense

geno711
Reply to  fredster
3 years ago

Maybe Trevor could take a closer look at this time to throw issue. It seemed to me that Jameis was taking more deep drops that Fitz did in the 1st few games (not in the 1st few drives but later in the game). If that is true, was that a change in design or a quarterback preference? If there are deeper drops well then of course there is going to appear to be more pressure on the quarterback because plays take more time to develop. Does Jameis on his shot gun snaps take a hop back everytime before then taking… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  fredster
3 years ago

+1

BucRy
3 years ago

Looked like the same old bucs from the last 3 years..close games but can’t finish them. It’s time to clean out the front office after this season. No faith in koetter and co.

BucRy
3 years ago

Let’s see what excuses dirk comes up with next..sick and tired of these clowns running the team.

bensez
3 years ago

Fire Somebody…Anybody!!! Dont care I’m over it. What’s the excuse this time? They had 2 weeks to prepare for a 1-4 falcons. Pathetic!!!

BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

Same old /Same old/ same team as last year, Falcons are not a great team and have big issues with there Defence How ever Bucs are worse. Yes Fredster is right we will bring up the 2 Int You know why Fredster each Int took away the crucial points needed to win! However big issue is the way Falcons ran the ball for big gains In the first half Defence line had 2 tackles and backfield had 12 that is huge problem I give Gerald McCoy the pass because they ran away from him all day long and on pass… Read more »

fredster
3 years ago

Yeah the two int’s took away points but in the end we scored 30 on the road (minus the extra point the Catanzaro missed) That’s not enough? Nope not with this defense but you go ahead and blame Winston you idiot. Or How about trashing JPP the only DE that’s played consistently well all year on the line? You are an asshat. How many ints did Fitz throw against Steelers and Bears? Your a Moron.

BUC-ASS-BOB
Reply to  fredster
3 years ago

Wow you calling people names, maybe you should look at the film and look at JPP looking like dear in the headlights when Ito Smith blew by him for long TD , Why Falcons and Pittsburgh running away from McCoy and right at JPP ???? Average yards per carry is why Fredster, if you can get big plays and get tackled after making 4-5 yards- teams will run at JPP all day long and he will show up in stats with most tackles. And people with no understanding of football will think it is good JPP 3 got tackles and… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

You’re a complete tool dude. So you literally bring up 1 of the only 2 halfway decent runs the Falcons RB’s got the entire game. Outside that “long run” by Ito Smith( which was a whole 14 yards btw. Doubt anyone besides you considers that a “long run” seeing as the NFL considers a long run 20 yards or more) the Falcons RB’s had a whopping 43 yards on 20 carries. Yeah JPP was getting gashed left and right huh?

Dave
Reply to  fredster
3 years ago

Thank you Fredster. It’s the same jackasses every game that no matter what, just blame everything on Winston. If a QB throws for 400 yards, 4 TD’s, completes 73% of his passes, has a 115 Rating, leads his offense to 29 points( should be 31), and 500+ yards on the road, he should win 95% of the time. If that was Brees, Brady, or Rodgers, everyone would be saying that the QB did his job, defense let him down. Winston is NOT the problem. Not even friggen close. Nor was he the problem last year when he had a 16… Read more »

cgmaster27
3 years ago

This defense is just God awful. We won’t win many more games with this unit. Mike smith needs to be canned and fast. After this game the offense will still be top 6 in scoring on offense with the number 1 passing attack in the lead. Jamie’s played pretty damn good outside of that throw to DeSean. The int in the red zone was big but can we at least pretend that linebacker wasnt mailing Godwin and not even looking at the ball? Oh and the 15 yards missed when jameis got leveled on the sideline. That fg before the… Read more »

Eric
Reply to  cgmaster27
3 years ago

we ALL need to give credit to TODD MONKIN, forget about Koeter….new OC and the offense is finally taking advantage of the weapons

cgmaster27
Reply to  Eric
3 years ago

Oh if I had a choice between the two, I’d go with Todd monken all day. Hes much more a risk taker than koetter.

mwestdominguez
Reply to  Eric
3 years ago

Eric, unfortunately we have a defense where Monken and our offense will have to put up 48+ every week to ensure a win

Hdotb18
3 years ago

Another game given away by poor defensive coaching….another season being wasted by poor defensive coaching. Another reason to make a change in the defensive coach.

pinkstob
3 years ago

Like most people this is the exact outcome I expected so not much to say on this one. How the Bucs played today is exactly who they are and the outcome reflects that.

TheTruth
3 years ago

Kicking and Defense, 2/3 of the game are going to be the death of us and not getting better anytime soon. I stated this prior to the season starting that have not addressed the D through the draft, other than mid to late round picks, and it is coming back to bite us in the ass big time. I don’t count drafting Vea as a positive for the D as our secondary is just terrible.

P.S. Why did we not keep Bryant and that would have solved the kicking problem a long time ago.

cgmaster27
Reply to  TheTruth
3 years ago

Bryant is amazing. The guy blows his leg out and still drills a 57 yarder. Huge mistake ever letting him go

BucRy
Reply to  cgmaster27
3 years ago

It wasn’t a mistake to let him go at the time cgmaster, I like Bryant and he was great for us, but he was going through a bad slump when he lost his child while he was with the bucs..I think the man needed a change of scenery and it has benefited him well.

Horse
3 years ago

Mike Smith lost his game in the first half by playing his vanilla defense until the 4th time the Falcons got the ball he finally blitzed and guess what; they had to punt. I don’t want to hear any more BS about its the players; it’s mostly Mike Smith vanilla scheme in the first half that lost this game. At least get Mike Smith down on the sideline so he can talk two other coaches and players. On a positive note V that looked good. Bring JPP said after the Chicago game “this is not us”; you’re right it’s Mike… Read more »

cgmaster27
Reply to  Horse
3 years ago

I said the same thing horse. Sorry dancing on the sideline after forcing a 3 and out. Sad that constitutes celebration.

Horse
Reply to  Horse
3 years ago

Sorry my grammar was bad because I talked the text and didn’t write the text and forgot to check the grammar and wording.

TheTruth
3 years ago

We could have things worse, please keep all of those that got hit by Michael in your thoughts and prayers and donate and help out those fellow Floridians that need our help at this time. Tampa has been very lucky through the years so let’s pay it forward.

sunshineben
3 years ago

clear out coaches ,Licht and trade Winston for a more accurate long ball qb

Eric
Reply to  sunshineben
3 years ago

so unlike the majority of the people who voted on this comment, i completely agree. Lets evaluate a QB by the most important factor….WINS who cares if we have 400plus yrds, turnovers equal LOSSES and that is what we have

cgmaster27
Reply to  Eric
3 years ago

Problem is it’s a TEAM sport. This whole judging from wins makes zero sense. If this defense starts giving up just one less td a game, we dont lose. They are historically bad and you want to base the entire evaluation of wins on the qb. Makes zero sense.

Dave
Reply to  cgmaster27
3 years ago

+100

Dave
Reply to  Eric
3 years ago

Evaluate him on wins? Well gee that might be a little tough to do considering they have the leagues worst defense, a horrible kicker, a horrible run blocking OLine, below average RB’s, and the worst DC in the league by a mile. 500+ yards, and 30 points on the road should be a win 95% of the time. Anyone that thinks Jameis is the problem, is a complete moron. You should take up lacrosse as a hobby

Dave
Reply to  sunshineben
3 years ago

And you sir are a complete moron! A more accurate deep passér. So completing 73% of his passes for 400 yards and 4 TD’s for a 115 QB Rating means we should trade him. Can we trade you as a fan to the Saints. Because you’re as dumb as a box of rocks

MWD
MWD
3 years ago

Groundhog day…..I feel like I’ve been watching the same team for 10 years as well like someone else put it! I seriously looked at my son in the first half and said, I’m going to mail all of my memorabilia to one buc place in a box because I’m so fed up with this team. For those who think Winston and Jackson are on the same page now, to me it still looks like their timing is off. I do wonder if Fitz would have played better but it really does not matter at this point other than another “play… Read more »

Eric
Reply to  MWD
3 years ago

so TRUE, teh Bucs WILL find a way to lose. Why in the hell do WE still follow this team??? These clowns are paid $$$$$$$$ millions of dollars to LOSE!!!!! Worst defense, 2nd worse turnover ratio from all QB’s
kickers that can’t freaking kick..etc

BucRy
3 years ago

GET RID OF MIKE SMITH ALREADY!

EastEndBoy
3 years ago

Austin F!@--#$ing Hooper, 9 catches, 71 yards and a TD…A-U-S-T-I-N F!@--#$ing H-O-O-P-E-R Let’s not kid ourselves….the reason our defense put up serviceable stats in the second half is because their receivers dropped several key passes for fist downs. Benenoch is irrelevant…might as well put a cone in there instead. Kwon Alexander….you want to be considered a pro-bowler, then you can’t lay an egg like you did today. Why is LaVonte David being asked to cover Julio Jones on crossing patterns? Justin Evans – you made 1 great play in the Steelers game (honestly, probably the most instinctual, athletic play a… Read more »

vtrantb
3 years ago

Ill prepared coaching. Players not making good decisions. I counted 16 secs on the replay that we lost by Evans not going out of bounds when he caught the ball at the 42 yard line on that last drive. Could have had at least time for 2 more plays.

martinii
3 years ago

I have been a die hard Buc fan for nearly thirty years. Held season tickets at old Sambraro and RJ. Tailgated with my kids when they were young but now in my mid 70’s I have lost my ability to Hope there is any chance that this team, coaches, and management will provide me with even basic quality football. All my life I have advised people “If you follow a loser, you will ultimately become a lose.” So first thing in the morning I’m headed to Good Will to donate years of Buc apparel to the needy. While my passion… Read more »

BucRy
Reply to  martinii
3 years ago

We don’t need fair weather fans, bye.

Eric
Reply to  BucRy
3 years ago

you ignorant JACKHOLE!!! can you even read….a nearly 30 year fan, what the fuck is YOUR definition of a fair weather fan???? DUMBASS

BucRy
Reply to  Eric
3 years ago

Quitting on your so called team is being a fair weather fan..win or lose I’ll stay a bucs fan like I have for over 30 years of my life. Unless the bucs do something significantly wrong as an organization, I’ll never quit being a fan.

Dave
Reply to  BucRy
3 years ago

+1

BUC 727
Reply to  martinii
3 years ago

Wish you would have given it to me.

Horse
Reply to  martinii
3 years ago

Martinii;, You and I are about the same age with about the same story with the Bucs since 1976. Us original Buc Fans from 1976 are now far and few. I like you are in a hurry to see a winning team again as our years are running out. That’s not a bad idea about giving all Buc stuff back to OBP as none of my Buc gear has brought any luck lately anyway. It use to be in the Tampa Bay area hundreds of thousand of Buc Fans would proudly wear some kind of Buc gear during the week;… Read more »

martinii
Reply to  Horse
3 years ago

Yeah Horse, I know you’re right. Would miss you and Scu and MAC and drdneast and Eric and-many others including BucRy. Problem is the past 2 years showed high expectations but low results. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

BucRy
Reply to  martinii
3 years ago

I honestly just hate seeing long time bucs fans leave, I already feel like our team doesn’t have a huge fan base behind the team, so yeah, I may have been out of line with what I said and for that I apologize.

TheBaron70
3 years ago

I’m waiting to hear from the Winston apologizers. Please tell me that the 2 pics weren’t his fault, that he’s a winner, and that this team will be great with him as the QB. LMAO! I’m not pinning the loss entirely on him, but he certainly is part of the problem….. America’s QB my ass!

Dave
Reply to  TheBaron70
3 years ago

Part of the problem? Yeah about 2% of it. They put up 500+ yards of offense, and 29 points on the road. While JW puts up 400 yards and 4 TD’s. So it’s his fault his defense couldn’t allow less than 34 points. It’s his fault that the kicker can’t hit an XP. Because if he did, that game would have gone into OT. Stop blaming every loss on the QB. God it’s mind numbing how dumb Bucs fans are. Half of you are as knowledgeable as the defense is bad. And btw, the pick in the end zone wasn’t… Read more »

Eric
3 years ago

great point, 2 weeks to prepare and the D still gives up over 30 points and 400yds. The FUCKING GLAZERS need to engage NOW.

Eric
3 years ago

Thats code for FIRE the DC

BUC 727
3 years ago

I saw improvement in the defense in the second half. Yet, much of the credit has to go to injuries to Sanu and Ridley. I was very excited when we got Smith as DC. It’s unfortunate, but his schemes are not working. Normally, I would be against firing him and blowing things up mid season, but at this point, what could it hurt?

drdneast
3 years ago

Wow, did you guys just watch the game of listen to the excellent analysis by Chris Spielman. He didn’t like the defense either but he also put some of the blame on the players. At one point, on a third and 9, Austin Hooper made an easy catch over the middle against a Tampa Two and Spielmen said the defense was playing timid. Other than JPP, I don’t think one of these guys could start on any other NFL team. Both Kwon Alexander and Levonte David pretty much stunk up the place in the first half and Alexander wasn’t much… Read more »

drdneast
3 years ago

Sorry you feel that way Martinii if what you say is true.
If you think you have had it bad look at the Bills, Browns and even Lions fan.. They have had it much worse than us yet they have hung in there.
I will do the same.

drdneast
3 years ago

I looked up the stats, McCoy didn’t have one tackle Vita Vea and Carl Hassib each notched one. Vea also had a pass deflection. McCoy limped off the field with a calf injury and I can’t see where it is going to hurt the team that much. Would someone please do something with Noah Spence for gods sake. Five games in and he is still pulling make believe splinters out of his butt. Vinny Curry is okay but lets see if Spence can do better. Come on, do something different. The Steelers had six sacks against Matt Ryan last week.… Read more »

BUC-ASS-BOB
Reply to  drdneast
3 years ago

They ran away from McCoy they ran right at Veta and JPP They run to weak link , Veta and Jpp missed big tackles they got blown off line several times Ito Smith ran right by them both for huge long TD run
They are bad broken losers. Stats do not tell story watch film they run at worst D lineman they run away from best D lineman.

cgmaster27
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

No YOU watch film vea and jpp the only ones on the line playing well. McCoy is a clown and soft as tissue. But you keep pretending to watch film and hammering your regurgitated crap home every post.

Dave
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

They missed big tackles and got blown off the line several times. That’s impressive considering outside that “long” 14 yard run, the Falcons RB’s ran for a whopping 43 yards on 20 carries(2.15 ypc). You’re about as dumb as a fan can possibly be. Fans can’t get dumber than you, they really can’t

scubog
3 years ago

As I’ve gotten older, I get far less emotional than in my youth and am able to look at things a bit more calmly. There are those here who want to blame Mike Smith and his scheme. There are those who will always blame Jameis Winston or any other QB the Bucs have ever had under center for any interception without ever considering the other 30+ throws. There are those who will blame the kicker and rightfully so when a routine PAT is missed. There are those who like to blame Gerald McCoy because he’s not #99. There are those… Read more »

fl0nase
3 years ago

On SNF I saw that QB’s facing a Bellichick coached team for the first time are 5-44 all time in that first outting. Smith has Trubisky throw 6TDs. Bellichick is playing chess and Smith is losing Tic-Tac-Toe.

Crack3rK
3 years ago

Seems like the headline should have read: Bucs Couldn’t Keep Up with a Depleted Falcons Team