Following a scoring drive that only took 43 seconds, the defense took over needing to give the offense a shot to actually take the lead in this one. Although a second down pass to Arrelious Benn went for a first down, it was called back due to a rare offensive facemask penalty. The defense took advantage of this big mistake by the Bucs and held their ground.
The Atlanta offense then took over on offense with the ball on their own 32-yard line. A first-down carry to Michael Turner went nowhere, but the offense switched to the no-huddle and a second-down pass to Roddy White for 15 yards and a first down. On the very next play, a 14-yard pass to Roddy White went for a first down. All the momentum was with the Falcons at this point in the ball game.
Then on third-and-seven at the Tampa 38, Ryan found Roddy for the third time on the drive for 15-yards and a first down. The Falcons simply have been picking on EJ Biggers for the entire drive. Following an offsides penalty, a seven-yard completion to Julio Jones gave the Falcons a first down at the Tampa Bay 11-yard line.
A roughing-the-passer call made it a first-and-goal at the five, but a sack coupled with a holding penalty against Justin Blalock had the Falcons in second-and-goal at the fifteen. An incomplete pass in the back of the end zone had Matt Bryant and the kicking unit out on the field, and the always-cool Bryant kicked it good from 33 yards out.
With 4:06 left and all three timeouts, the Falcons defense simply needs one more stop to give the offense a chance to either tie things up or take the lead outright. Let's hope and pray the Falcons can complete this amazing fourth-quarter comeback. At this point, the Bucs only lead 16-13.
Another heavy dose of Blount carrying the football had the at midfield with 2:41 left. After two more decent runs and two Falcons timeouts, the Bucs had a third-and-two at the two-minute warning (two!).
Somehow, a third-down carry by Blount came up short. If you were to ask me how, I couldn't tell you. It was that close. Upon further review, the play stood. Mike Smith spent Atlanta's final timeout, and the Bucs were left in a fourth-and-inches situation. They showed motion before the snap, obviously trying to draw Atlanta offsides. To my absolute horror, it worked. They drew a defender offsides.
It's a terrible, gut-wrenching way to lose. The way the offense had been playing in the fourth quarter, perhaps they could have come back and scored on their final drive. Alas, we'll never know. The Falcons will drop to 1-2, and head into week four in serious need of both some improvement and a win. With the Saints also winning today, this one hurts.