Thanks to five touchdown passes from Tom Brady, the Bucs came away with a 48-25 win against the divisional rival Atlanta Falcons. A tale of two games — while the score would indicate a blowout, this game was much more complex than that.
After jumping out to an early lead, the Bucs allowed the Falcons to come back and hang around in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 28-25. The Bucs roared back in the fourth quarter however, with the defense blanking the Falcons offense and creating two turnovers.
The Bucs took an early 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski on the first drive of the game. After a three-and-out for Atlanta, the Bucs marched back down the field, only to turn the ball over when Dante Fowler strip-sacked Brady in Falcons territory.
But the Falcons couldn’t generate offense early, and the Bucs quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead on Gronkowski’s second touchdown of the game. Atlanta finally responded with a five-play, 66-yard drive of their own. Cordarrelle Patterson’s 10-yard touchdown run made it 14-7 early in the second quarter.
After each team exchanged punts, the Bucs put together an 8-play, 85-yard drive to go up 21-7 on Brady’s third touchdown pass of the game. The lead could have been greater, but Shaq Barrett was flagged for a slight offsides on a Matt Ryan fumble that Devin White scooped up for a touchdown just before the half. The penalty helped get Atlanta in field goal range to cut the deficit to 21-10 at the half.
The Bucs took control early in the second half, as Shaq Barrett intercepted a tipped pass by Vita Vea to give the Bucs offense a short field. Four plays later, Brady’s fourth touchdown of the game made it 28-10.
The Falcons stormed back with 15 straight points to cut the lead to 28-25. A huge third down stop by Rakeem Nunez-Roches forced a Falcons punt that set the Bucs up with great field position at the Atlanta 43. Brady found Chris Godwin in the back of the end zone to make it 35-25 with under ten minutes to play.
Bucs safety Mike Edwards then salted the game away with back-to-back pick-sixes of Matt Ryan, giving Tampa Bay a final 48-25 advantage. The Bucs improved to 2-0, while Atlanta falls to 0-2 on the season.
The Bucs set several team and individual records in the game, becoming the first team to win nine straight games in a row scoring 30 or more points. Brady would set or tie multiple franchise records, including four consecutive regular season games with 4-plus touchdowns and tying the franchise record with a 5-touchdown game. He also moved into a tie with Peyton Manning for the second most 4-plus touchdown games in NFL history.
J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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