November 24, 2019 / 9:51 PM / 20 days ago

Winston, Bucs stop Falcons cold in Atlanta

EditorsNote: minor style edits

Nov 24, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) greets a fan before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston shrugged off two first-quarter interceptions to throw for 313 yards and three touchdowns Sunday as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dumped the Atlanta Falcons, 35-22, in Atlanta.

Chris Godwin enjoyed a monster game for Tampa Bay (4-7), catching seven passes for 184 yards and two scores. The Buccaneers’ much-maligned defense, last in the league against the pass, applied the clinching blow when Ndamukong Suh recovered a fumble and rumbled 6 yards for a touchdown with 3:06 left in the game.

Matt Ryan went 23 of 46 for 271 yards with an interception for the Falcons (3-8), who fell into last place in the NFC South. They were coming off consecutive road routs of division rivals New Orleans and Carolina, but weren’t able to bring that form back home.

Atlanta took a 3-0 lead only 2:13 into the game as Younghoe Koo converted a 25-yard field goal, but Tampa Bay answered about six minutes later when Winston and Godwin hooked up on a 71-yard touchdown pass.

The Falcons cashed in a 19-yard touchdown drive after Winston tossed his second interception of the first quarter. Qadree Ollison scored on a 1-yard plunge with 46 seconds left in the period for a 10-7 Atlanta edge.

The Buccaneers took the lead for good when Winston and Godwin connected on a 1-yard touchdown strike with 7:55 left in the second quarter. On its next possession, Tampa Bay ripped off a 95-yard drive, capped by Winston’s 1-yard scoring flip to nose tackle Vita Vea — who aligned as a fullback — with 40 seconds remaining in the half for a 19-10 lead at intermission.

Ronald Jones’ 4-yard run with 10:58 left in the third quarter polished off the Buccaneers’ third straight scoring drive — excluding a kneeldown to end the first half — for a 25-10 advantage. Koo answered with a 25-yard field goal with 1:40 remaining in the period.

Matt Gay, who missed two PATs and had another blocked, hit a 32-yard field goal at the 12:48 mark of the fourth quarter for the Bucs. Koo’s 38-yard field goal with 8:12 left made it 28-16 Tampa Bay.

Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Matt Schaub with 1:50 left in the game for the final margin.

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