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Atlanta Falcons dump Tampa Bay Buccaneers to stay in NFC So
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Posted on: 22 December 2017 10:09 AM

who entered the game without three injured defensive starters,The Bucs (4-10), had six more players ruled out after getting hurt Monday night.

Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (22 carries, 126 yards) provided a 24-14 margin with a 32-yard touchdown run on third-and-2 with 7:58 remaining. The Bucs answered on Jameis Winston's 16-yard pass to Adam Humphries with 4:07 to play.

From there, Tampa Bay eventually regained possession when Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald dumped quarterback Matt Ryan for a 3-yard sack on third-and-9 just past the two-minute warning.

driving the Bucs from their 29-yard line to Atlanta's 36,Winston completed three passes on Tampa Bay's final drive, setting up Murray's unsuccessful attempt to force overtime.

Winston completed 27 of 35 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in his most efficient effort of the season. Ryan was 17 of 31 for 212 yards and one score.

the Bucs pulled within 17-14 on Winston's 42-yard pass to Mike Evans,In the third quarter, who outfought two defenders in the end zone. Tampa Bay preserved that three-point deficit when Will Gholston blocked Matt Bryant's 33-yard field-goal attempt.

The Falcons led 17-7 at halftime, pulling away with a 10-point second quarter.

Atlanta gained its advantage when Freeman lost a fumble at the 1-yard line, but tight end Levine Toilolo recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

The Bucs tried to answer back, but Peyton Barber lost a fumble at Atlanta's 5-yard line and Falcons defensive tackle Dontari Poe recovered.

The Falcons tacked on a 57-yard field goal by Bryant with 3:12 remaining in the half for a 17-7 lead.

Atlanta opened the scoring with Ryan's 6-yard pass to Justin Hardy.

Tampa Bay pulled into a 7-7 tie with Winston's 30-yard scoring pass to rookie tight end O.J. Howard,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/justin-simmons-jersey-authentic]Authentic Justin Simmons Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link,On the ensuing drive, who sustained a game-ending ankle injury on the play.

Glanton fractured his tibia and fibula, a source told ESPN. He will be sidelined for four-to-six months but is expected to make a full recovery.

Glanton suffered the injury when he collided with teammate Robert Ayers as they both attempted to sack Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Glanton's leg bent awkwardly as he fell to the ground.

Glanton had stepped in for starter Lavonte David, who missed the game with a hamstring injury. Glanton had three combined tackles and a special-teams tackle in the 24-21 loss.

Ayers suffered a stinger in his left shoulder on the play. The Bucs lost 10 players due to injury during the game.

1. Last time the Bucs saw Julio Jones,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/john-elway-jersey-authentic]Authentic John Elway Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, they can get. Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Mike Smith should strongly consider doing what he did towards the end of last week’s Lions game: change up to man-lurk coverage. The man-to-man comes as a surprise, which hasn’t happened all year. On the back end, he posted 253 yards receiving against them. Tampa Bay’s only hope for containing Jones is having its four-man pass rush get home, the Bucs plays mostly static zones,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/von-miller-jersey-authentic]Authentic Von Miller Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, so the offense knows exactly where every defender will be at all times—whatever matchup the Falcons want for Jones, and having a lurker (i.e. free shallow middle-of-the-field defender) combats Atlanta’s lethal crossing routes.

Jameis Winston was a tad jittery from the pocket in last week’s loss to the Lions. Is he concerned with protecting that sore shoulder? The Falcons will try to find out. Winston’s uneasiness came mainly against Detroit’s stunts and twists. The Falcons love those pass rushing tactics, offensive line, especially in nickel when three defensive linemen are aligned to one side. The Bucs have a fine,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/adam-humphries-jersey-authentic]Authentic Adam Humphries Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link,2. At times, but not athletic, and most of their passing concepts come off deeper dropback timing. That makes them ripe for attacking with stunts and twists.

3. Cameron Brate must be big in this game. The fourth-year tight end is one of the NFL’s best seam weapons, 2 TE). The Falcons knows this; typically against those heavier formations they replace top corner Desmond Trufant with Brian Poole, and Atlanta’s single-high safety scheme can be vulnerable against seam patterns. Brate also poses an interesting challenge in the running game—he’s not a great blocker,[url=http:/www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/garett-bolles-jersey-authentic]Authentic Garett Bolles Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, but his presence, allows the Bucs to still throw when they go to “13” (1 RB, 3 TE) personnel or “22” (2 RB/FB, especially in the red zone,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/demarcus-walker-jersey-authentic]Authentic Demarcus Walker Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, along with rookie O.J. Howard’s, a sturdier tackler. But in Week 12 against Tampa Bay, Trufant stayed in against “13” and “22” in case the Bucs tried to go vertical with their tight ends.

A late-season divisional showdown hits national television on Monday night when the Atlanta Falcons travel to Tampa Bay to face the last-place Buccaneers. While the rest of the NFC South jockeys for playoff positioning, the Buccaneers -- preseason sweetheart picks to make the leap into the postseason -- are just trying to win a game.

the Buccaneers have gone 2-8. In a season that will be remembered for Jameis Winston's laughable pregame speech eating of a W,Questions swirl around head coach Dirk Koetter in what has become a massive disappointment of a season. The campaign began with a publicized training camp (thanks to HBO's and NFL Films' Hard Knocks) and quickly unraveled after a 2-1 start. Since Tampa Bay's thrilling win over the New York Giants in Week 3,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/carlos-henderson-jersey-authentic]Authentic Carlos Henderson Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, the Buccaneers have struggled mightily to actually secure one.

taking three-point wins over Seattle and NFC South rival New Orleans during that stretch. They'll need the win to keep the outside hopefuls (Dallas, meanwhile, can give itself a one-game cushion in the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC with a win over the Buccaneers. The Falcons have won four of their last five and have proven they can get the job done in close contests,Atlanta, Seattle) from breaking into the playoff picture with only two weeks left to play after Monday.

1. Can Tampa Bay keep Atlanta under 20 points? The Buccaneers rank 11th in the league in points allowed per game (24), they've won all of those contests. It would seem, but against this Atlanta team, and not coincidentally, but 31st in total yards allowed per game (389.3). That would suggest Tampa Bay stiffens inside the red zone, it will be especially difficult to hold the Falcons to field goals. The Falcons have posted 20 or more points in four of their last five games, then, that the Bucs' best chance is to keep them below that number -- especially with an offense that has exceeded 20 just twice in its last seven games (the Buccaneers also reached exactly 20 points twice in that span).

who was elevated to the position after in-house tension, who's also taken a step back in 2017. Jobs are at stake, but could fall victim to what promoted him. Tampa Bay has regressed tremendously in Koetter's second season at the helm,2. We used this point last week in discussing the Miami-New England matchup -- and the Dolphins proved us wrong by upsetting the Patriots and playing with plenty of effort -- but it's especially valid to bring up in this situation. The Buccaneers have been a listless ship for quite some time now and the collective eye remains trained on Koetter, with much of the struggles centered on Winston, but how hard will the Bucs play for Koetter in the final three weeks? We're seeing a rebound in Denver that will likely save the job of Vance Joseph -- will something similar happen in Tampa? An upset win over the Falcons sure would help Koetter's case.

but a loss would be much more damaging. Atlanta has a lot of momentum in its favor, but Atlanta still isn't out of the woods when it comes to the Super Bowl loss hangover. A win moves the Falcons a step closer to the postseason,3. Will Atlanta seize the moment? The Falcons' 2017 has been a roller coaster with each stop bringing the endless stream of questions about the impact of their Super Bowl LI collapse. We've just about moved on from those questions (finally), especially after last week's exciting win over the Saints. The Falcons have a date with them next week in a three-game finish that is played exclusively against division rivals. These are all must-wins.

The Seahawks already dwindling playoff hopes took yet another significant hit with the Falcons win pushing their record up to 9-5 but all is not lost in the Emerald City. Still, the big-boned operatic crooner is warming up her pipes. Here's what the Seahawks now need in week 16 and week 17 to enter the NFC Playoffs.

Now, with Falcons win and Seahawks loss (8-6) in week 15, Pete Carroll's bunch need to the Falcons to loss both of their remaining games while the Seahawks win out. In addition, the Detroit Lions (8-6) still need to loss another game as well. The Cowboys are in the picture but the Seahawks winning out takes care of them, since the two matchup in week 16.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach and current ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden was inducted into the Buccaneer Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony of the Bucs' Week 15 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Gruden took to the field for a special presentation during which his name was unveiled in the northeast corner of Raymond James Stadium, along with fireworks.

"This is the greatest individual honor that I've ever had in my life, Jimmie Giles and Doug Williams. Earlier this season," said Gruden,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/justin-simmons-jersey-authentic]Womens Justin Simmons Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, who was joined by his family and 60 former players, Warren Sapp, Mike Alstott, as well as fellow Buccaneer Ring of Honor members Derrick Brooks,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/john-elway-jersey-authentic]Womens John Elway Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, the Bucs inducted late owner Malcolm Glazer, who purchased the team in 1995.

The highlight of the ceremony was Gruden leading his 2002 Super Bowl team to the north end zone for one final play -- a re-enactment of Alstott's 2-yard touchdown run in the Bucs' 41-28 win over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII -- which drew thunderous applause.

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, along with my teammates and the other great players who have proudly represented the franchise throughout the years. Who can ever forget Super Bowl XXXVII in his first season? He challenged us to be great, who was inducted into the ring of honor last year as was part of that Super Bowl team,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/von-miller-jersey-authentic]Womens Von Miller Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, told ESPN, "I am extremely proud to have [Jon] join me, and that year we were. No one can ever take that away from us. Coach was a huge part of that, and I wish I would have been able to be in Tampa to celebrate this wonderful honor with him."

Washington Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/adam-humphries-jersey-authentic]Womens Adam Humphries Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, who worked with Gruden in Philadelphia and Oakland before Gruden was traded to the Bucs in 2002, "He advanced the game. His football mind went beyond the boundaries. He stretched himself mentally to be able to look at the game differently. He's a big reason why I'm in pro football. I owe a lot to him. He took me on when I was a college coach in 1995, said, so he's had a long lasting impact on me, and really an impact on how I approach the game and how I teach the game today."

Callahan added,[url=http:/www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/garett-bolles-jersey-authentic]Womens Garett Bolles Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, "It's a real credit to his dedication and to his perseverance and to his character. You can't find a greater person or a better person to be in that ring of honor."

Sean McVay, who has led the Los Angeles Rams to a 10-4 record in his first year as head coach, also got his start with Gruden when he was an assistant with the Bucs in 2008.

"He's one of my biggest mentors, and he really has a great understanding of the game. So really all the important and characteristics that you look for in a coach," McVay said. "I think in terms of some of the things that we feel like here embody a great coach,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/demarcus-walker-jersey-authentic]Womens Demarcus Walker Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, that's exactly what he possesses. He's a great communicator, motivator, builds and develops relationships with guys, great teacher, ... He's a special coach, and [I'm] very happy for him."

Quarterback Brad Johnson said, his TV show with the quarterbacks, "It's awesome. It's awesome for him and his family, for all the guys that played for him and for what he [brought to Tampa], obviously winning a Super Bowl -- that's what makes it happen. What he's done for the game, Monday Night Football -- he's been a bridge for a lot the fans to really kind of enjoy watching the game, for the coaches who watch his show. For him to be in the ring of honor -- he's very deserving."

Monday Night Football producer Jay Rothman said Gruden has become not only a close colleague but a close friend and a brother.

"We love him," Rothman said. "While he's not a coach in the NFL, in Oakland, he's our coach. He coaches us up as hard as he coached up his players in Tampa, in Philly, in Green Bay and all the stops that he's been to. ... We're so incredibly proud of him."

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