The Atlanta Falcons’ 31-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended a three-game skid, including two consecutive home losses.
The Falcons had to lean heavily on Matt Ryan, and with wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White ailing, it was up to Harry Douglas to take on the role as the number one option in the passing game.
Douglas responded by posting a career-high in receiving yards with 149 on seven receptions. He also had a 37-yard touchdown.
Without his top two weapons, Ryan posted a career-high passer rating of 148.4 and also passed for three touchdowns – the most he’s passed for in a single game this season. He threw for 273 yards on 20 of 26 passing and had zero turnovers.
Jacquizz Rodgers caught Ryan’s other two touchdown tosses.
Ryan’s efficiency was made possible due to the job the offensive line did in protecting him; he wasn’t sacked once.
While the Falcons were fine putting the ball through the air, they weren’t as successful on the ground. Atlanta mustered a paltry 18 rushing yards.
Atlanta (2-4) still has a little bit of work to do to get back into playoff contention.
Rookie Mike Glennon tossed two touchdowns but had a fumble returned for a touchdown by Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud in the first quarter. William Moore sacked Glennon and forced the fumble.
The fumble return for a touchdown was Atlanta’s first takeaway since Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins. On the season, the Falcons have just five takeaways.
The Bucs (0-6) have yet to win a game this season. To make matters worse, running back Doug Martin left the third quarter with a shoulder injury after being blasted by Moore.
Vincent Jackson was Glennon’s favorite target, as the big receiver hauled in 10 receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, including a spectacular one-handed score that went for 59 yards.
Tony Gonzalez extended his streak to 201 consecutive games with a catch. He had a modest game, catching two balls for 30 yards.
Next up for the Falcons are the Arizona Cardinals in the desert.