A manageable Thursday Night Football game took a quick turn for the worse after celebrating the career of legendary Bucs safety John Lynch.

And it nearly got sickeningly bad for Tampa Bay fans when the game was well out of reach, watching quarterback Jameis Winston get walloped while trying to run in a 2-point conversion that would have made the score 40-22 Atlanta if converted with less than 7 minutes to play.

The visiting Falcons turned a 20-14 lead at the break into a 43-28 beatdown on national television. Quarterback Matt Ryan engineered two long touchdown drives on the Falcons’ first two possessions of the second half and the rout was on from there. Sandwiched between the marches of 11 plays for 86 yards and 10 plays for 82 yards was a Bucs three-and-out that took only 60 seconds off the clock.

A week after allowing Oakland to pile up 626 total yards of offense, Tampa Bay surrendered 461 to the Falcons overall and 344 and four touchdowns through the air. Ryan completed 25 of 34 pass attempts and spread his scores around to four different targets – WR Julio Jones (eight catches for 111 yards), TE Austin Hooper (3 for 46), TE Levine Toilolo (1 for 32) and FB Patrick DiMarco (1 for 1).

As for Winston and the Bucs, a deficiency of offensive weapons became more glaring as the game proceeded. After picking up a combined 26 yards on six carries during an impressive 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to open the game, the running back tandem of rookie Peyton Barber and career backup Antone Smith ran the ball 10 more times for 30 additional yards.

Somewhat lost in the disappointment of a blowout defeat to a division opponent was the huge night for Bucs receiver Mike Evans. The third-year pass catcher turned in one of the best games of his career, grabbing 11 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Included in that performance was a wild one-handed, over-his-head catch near the sideline that ended with Evans getting both feet down and holding onto the football despite taking a jarring shot.

As for Winston, he ended the game as a spectator for the first time since taking over the team to start last season. The hit he took had him hobbling around the sideline for a moment, but Winston appeared to shake it off and didn’t retreat to the locker room with trainers. Winston finished with 261 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions and completed 23 of 37 passes before giving way to Mike Glennon. The backup played Tampa Bay’s final drive and hit on 10 of 11 pass attempts for 75 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown hookup with tight end Cameron Brate.

Tampa Bay led twice in this game as the Bucs were going for the season sweep of Atlanta and their fourth straight head-to-head win. The Falcons took advantage of consecutive Bucs fumbles while ringing up 13 unanswered points, but Winston’s 24-yard scoring pass to Evans midway through the second quarter put Tampa Bay back on top, 14-13.

Keeping possession by sustaining drives proved to be too difficult after that second-quarter score. Atlanta rattled off another 27 straight points stretching into the fourth quarter and eventually won the time of possession battle 33:28 to 26:32.

The loss drops Tampa Bay to 3-5 on the season and 2-1 against NFC South opponents. The Falcons strengthened their grip on first place, improving to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in division play.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Eric Horchy

Subscribe
Notify of
24 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Horse
Horse (@horse)
5 years ago

Well, we saw the weaknesses at pass rush and safety coverage. I don’t understand the logic what Smith is doing because this zone leaves a lot of receivers wide open. Anybody seeing what I’m seeing?

Garv
Garv (@garv)
5 years ago

The Buccaneers are not a good football team yet. They need a LOT of help. I don’t think the defense could stop Joe Namath…… if he were playing today at his age. I could go on but it’s time to take stock, decide who to keep and play others in place of players not worth keeping. I don’t pretend to be a GM or scout so I don’t make those choices but those choices have to be made.

Looking forward to another exciting off-season again. When does FA start again?

Twistedwires
Twistedwires (@twistedwires)
5 years ago

I said a few weeks ago that the Raiders and Falcons games were going to be tough games to win. I thought that with a little luck both of them could be winnable though. But the injuries over the past few weeks have severely limited the offense and weakened the Bucs’ chances of winning. But let’s face it folks. The defense is the real problem. Last week Carr set an NFL record for being the first QB in NFL history who was able to bake an apple pie while standing in the pocket. And I’m pretty sure that the throwing… Read more »

MWD
MWD (@mikewestdominguez)
5 years ago

I guess My question is, how long will people the like Mike Evans, Gerald McCoys and Kwon Alexander’s and Lavonte David’s of the world put up with this crap until they leave Tampa? Our secondary was horrible last night…I think on one drive I heard Matt Ryan yell out loud “Hey Julio, run a post ” and still completed it.

scubog
scubog (@scubog)
5 years ago

The pass defense of late is reminiscent of the 2015 inability to stop slant passes. Only now it’s the crossing patterns that go virtually uncontested. Carr and Ryan were just playing pitch and catch. I know the pass rush could be better, but the receivers aren’t even being challenged. Contrast that to the Bucs receivers who rarely are running free. Hargreaves needs to learn to force the RB to the inside by taking outside position. Too often he gets sucked in and the RB goes around him. Our pair of safeties never seem to be in the proper position. What… Read more »

BigSombrero
BigSombrero (@bucwild02)
5 years ago

There were two drives in the second half that were extended by bad officiating. #1 was the challenge that was upheld. Julio clearly didn’t have it and it was loose touching the ground. That was a third down at midfield that later turned into a touchdown. The second was the pass interference in the end zone on 3rd down where the pass that was totally uncatchable, but reglardless of its cathcability, the defender didn’t interfere. On the flip side, why no personal foul called on the helmet to helmet hit on Evans as he’s going out of bounds on the… Read more »

chefboho
chefboho (@chefboho)
5 years ago

I agree bucwild. We are as enough with our offensive and defensive line, but when you can’t get any calls either, your screwed. How that Julio Jones reception was a catch is beyond me. I’m waiting for the haters to come blame Jameis for this. All the kid does is play his ass off and give total effort. Our offensive line sucked and so did our defensive line. We need an upgrade at almost every position on defense. And why do we never play prey coverage it seems? These receivers are getting a free five years before they’re even touched?… Read more »

JerEazy
JerEazy (@napleskrewe)
5 years ago

Someone tell me if they saw what I saw on offense in the 4th quarter…. Did Glennon go out there and put on a quick 2 minute clinic? Minus the drop (which hit Barber in the hands) he was 100% on his passes. They went right into the receivers quick and accurately. Winston relies on a run game to open up what some consider a “passing” game (yes I still think he is overrated). Winston has proven time, and time again that he is not a deep ball threat. So, without a strong running game he’s basically and over-throwing turnover… Read more »

cgmaster27
cgmaster27 (@cgmaster27)
Reply to  NaplesKrewe
5 years ago

Naples just stop , thatmight be the dumbest thing we’ve all heard. I know it’s amazing to people like you how glennon can complete 6 checkdowns against a prevent defense. Startling I know. Jamies played his ass off last night and if you can’t see that get your eyes checked. Maybe he should’ve been screaming at his turnstile left tackle last night. And never once did I see him yell at a receiver try again.
I’m stunned at your stupidity. But after last weeks comments form you I guess I shouldn’t be.

JerEazy
JerEazy (@napleskrewe)
Reply to  cgmaster27
5 years ago

You didn’t see him run down yelling at Shorts in the 1st quarter? Even the announcers commented on it. And yeah; Glennon did a dink and dunk LIKE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO. But, the difference was he actually COMPLETED the passes. And check the game again – they were actually blitzing him in garbage time – it was not a full prevent defense. Call it stupidity if you want. But fact check: He was actually 10/11 (one blatant drop) He was actually blitzed And i’m not sure what comments you’re talking about from last week – pretty sure this is… Read more »

JerEazy
JerEazy (@napleskrewe)
Reply to  cgmaster27
5 years ago

Ah – you were referring to Naplesfan’s comments from the Fab 5 last week where you couldn’t take someone saying something slightly negative about Winston. I switched my username so you don’t get confused again.

cgmaster27
cgmaster27 (@cgmaster27)
Reply to  NaplesKrewe
5 years ago

I love how you say this is a dink and dunk offense with jameis and then compliment glennon for dinking down the field against a prevent defense. And then complaining about Jamie’s when smith fumbled the handoff. My god man do you even read what you write or just blurt out the first crap that comes to your head?

JerEazy
JerEazy (@napleskrewe)
Reply to  cgmaster27
5 years ago

oh – and re-watch the fumble replay. Now, obviously according to you and Chefboho i have no football IQ. So i might be wrong. But this looks like a draw play to me where Jameis gives it to Smith. But then Jameis changes his mind and tries to take it back almost like it was an option play? Maybe you both could enlighten me, but you can see in the first angle he reaches back in after the hand-off is complete.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap3000000733320/Antone-Smith-fumbles-Falcons-recover

chefboho
chefboho (@chefboho)
5 years ago

Naples, clearly you have ZERO football iq. Your seriously going to sit here and say glennin is the better quarterback lol. You lose all credibility after that dumb comment. You don’t think Atlanta was in prevent in the fourth quarter when glennin went in? Jameis has 9 td’s to 1int and still you bitch. Some of you fans are a joke. The kid is 22 and the youngest quarterback in the league. We couldn’t even trade glennin to quarterback hungry teams this off season because every team knows how bad he is. He had plenty of chances and couldn’t capitalize.… Read more »

JerEazy
JerEazy (@napleskrewe)
Reply to  chefboho
5 years ago

No – read again. I’m not saying he is a better quarterback overall. I don’t think he’s the better athlete or “the quarterback of the future” (Jason Licht 2014). I am saying that considering the current state of the Bucs, Glennon is a better fit under center. I’m not bitching about his performance, he’s improved over last year. But hell, we’ve all said it to ourselves during game time. He needs to settle down. He needs to relax. He needs to plant his feet. He needs to *insert coaching comment here*. He doesn’t have the OL he needs. He doesn’t… Read more »

seat26
seat26 (@seat26)
5 years ago

When you give up 1000 yrds in two games, our problems on defense become magnified. We simply are not going to win much until we get better at rushing the QB. I fear we are going to be building on defense for at least two more drafts, and sadly we need receivers and running backs.

pinkstob
pinkstob (@pinkstob)
5 years ago

We’re at the halfway point for this season and I said I would provide a more in-depth analysis every quarter of the season that I normally provide after a game. There really isn’t much to say though that shouldn’t be obvious by now anyway. The D-line has suffered too many injuries to be effective, but given their history it was a long shot to plan a defense around them being healthy all season in the first place. The LB’s continue their up and down play. The secondary ranges from horrible to below average. Winston is playing differently than he did… Read more »

chefboho
chefboho (@chefboho)
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

Pink, sometimesni agree with your evaluations and sometimes I’m not quite sure where your info comes from. Jameis had two really bad games against Arizona (shut cam down last week) and Denver who shuts almost every quarterback down. Of course there’s times he’s pressing. If you had one good receiver and a bunch of undrafted wr’s and tight ends you’d have trouble too. So much bashing of Winston is almost comical. 17-9 to ratio with 69 percent completion with a crap offensive line and a defense that can’t stop anyone. Please guru tell me what quarterback would be successful with… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
Reply to  chefboho
5 years ago

Jameis definitely played well enough to win last night. But penalties and turnovers (fumbles), a rushing attack that faded after the first quarter, combined with a pass rush that couldn’t hold up for even two full quarters , was too much to overcome.

pinkstob
pinkstob (@pinkstob)
Reply to  chefboho
5 years ago

I don’t understand your question. I don’t know what ratio and completion percentage you are referring to there. I can’t say what QB would be successful with that when I don’t know what “that” is. I can reiterate as I said above that we don’t have a crap o-line, just a crap LT. I also want to reiterate that this was a quarterly assessment of the team, not just Winston, based on what I have seen. I’m deferring any detailed discussions of Winston until after his third season when I will have a clear picture of whether we can win… Read more »

chefboho
chefboho (@chefboho)
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

There wasn’t any question at all. You said Jameis is inaccurate and can’t play well against a good defense. You say that only LT was bad then clearly you didn’t watch the game as virtually every lineman had a holding call against them killing our drives. Dotson was best several times as well and Hawkeyes had two penalties against him. And yet you say only our left tackle was bad? No quarterback will be successful without a running game, no wr’s besides Evans, and a defense that has you throwing all game because your down. Y two td’s or more.… Read more »

chefboho
chefboho (@chefboho)
Reply to  chefboho
5 years ago

Please give us an edit button. Yikes I screwed that up

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
5 years ago

The game started out well enough, primarily because our early running attack was productive, Jameis was mostly on-target with his passes, and Mike Evans had a monster game right up until he took the big hit that put him on concussion protocol – 150 yards and 2 TDs. The defense managed to mount a good pass rush in the early going, with a couple of sacks including a sack-fumble-recovery, and the DBs managed to keep Julio Jones in check until near the end of the half. Then it all went downhill from there. It started offensively with a rash of… Read more »

JayBuc52
JayBuc52 (@jaybuc52)
5 years ago

Seeing how empty the stadium was for a nationally televised game, even on Lynch’s night, it is clear that the new theme song for Buc’s fans is the Who’s “We Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Heck, even the Sun Bank building was done up in Lightning colors and not Bucs colors. It’s just sad.