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Falcons vs. Buccaneers recap: Atlanta steals close win over streaking Bucs, 24-23

The Atlanta Falcons improved to 10-1 on the season after managing to win yet another tough, close game on the road.

By beating the Buccaneers, who currently hold the second-best record in the NFC South at 6-5, the Falcons widen their already large wide lead on the division.

Matt Ryan had another 300-yard day passing, his sixth such performance of the season, along with one touchdown and one interception. Julio Jones caught six of Ryan's passes for 147 yards, including an 80-yard scoring reception.

Jacquizz Rodgers also turned several heads today running the ball. He managed 49 yards rushing and a touchdown on only 10 carries, and added two catches for 30 yards for good measure.

This was much more impressive than Michael Turner, who compiled just 17 yards on 13 rushes. Bleh.

On defense, Mike Nolan and a banged up Falcons defense did a commendable job of containing dangerous rookie running back Doug Martin. Atlanta limited Martin to 50 yards on 21 carries on the day.

The Falcons also kept Josh Freeman in check. He was held to 256 yards and no touchdowns passing, sacked twice (Kroy Biermann, Dunta Robinson) and knocked down in the pocket many, many more.

Surprising for the Falcons, however, was Matt Bryant. Normally golden, he missed two field goals today, including a 22-yard chip shot at the end of the first half.

In games as close as this one, every point counts.

You can call it ugly, or tough, or whatever. The Falcons have ten wins, and tighten an already strong grip on the division.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.