EditorsNote: minor changes throughout
Deion Jones returned a Jameis Winston interception 27 yards for the game-winning touchdown on the first play of overtime to give the visiting Atlanta Falcons the 28-22 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Sunday’s regular-season finale.
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan finished 30 of 51 for 301 yards and one touchdown, while kicker Younghoe Koo made all five field goal attempts for the Falcons (7-9).
Atlanta opened the scoring with a trick play. Offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo checked in as an eligible receiver, and the Buccaneers (7-9) did not adjust correctly, as Ryan found Sambrailo for a 35-yard touchdown up the seam. It was the longest touchdown reception by an offensive lineman since at least 1950.
A field goal from Koo put the Falcons up 10-0 after the first quarter, but the Buccaneers started the second quarter by finishing a nine-play, 67-yard drive for a 2-yard Cameron Brate touchdown reception.
Koo nailed a field goal on the next possession, and then Winston threw an interception that put the Falcons in the red zone. But Jason Pierre-Paul strip-sacked Ryan, and Devin White picked up the ball and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown.
The score put the Tampa Bay ahead for the first time in the game, 14-13. That was the longest fumble return in Buccaneers history.
Koo hit his third field goal with just less than a minute left in the half, but Winston quickly drove Tampa Bay down the field. With 20 seconds left at the Atlanta 24, Winston was flushed out of the pocket and threw a prayer into the back of the end zone. Breshad Perriman came down with the ball for the score, giving the Bucs a 22-16 halftime lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, Koo kicked his fourth field goal with 6:27 left in regulation to cut the Tampa Bay lead to 22-19. Koo then kicked another field goal as time expired — capping a 65-yard drive — to send the game into overtime.
Winston finished 13 of 24 for 201 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Tampa Bay. With the performance, he became the eighth player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a season.
He also became the first player to finish a season with at least 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions, and set an NFL record for pick-sixes in a season with seven.
Matt Gay was 0-for-3 on field goals for Tampa Bay, missing from 49, 44 and 34 yards.
—Field Level Media