Sometimes, it just takes one play to turn the tides of a ball game. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Falcons got just what the doctor prescribed: William "C4" Moore intercepted Josh Freeman and returned it for 27 yards to about midfield. Suddenly, the Falcons had some passion in their step.
Matt Ryan would quickly go to work and hook up with Julio Jones three times on the drive, marching the offense all the way down to the Tampa Bay seven. Then on fourth-and-two with the Falcons down by two scores, Mike Smith elected to go for the first down instead of kicking it. To this blogger's utter and complete disappointment, Ryan's pass to Jacquizz Rodgers was knocked incomplete by the backup safety Corey Lynch.
The Falcons had a shot, but for the second time this season they've simply not been able to end their drives in touchdowns. The defense, however, still showed they had some life by forcing a quick Bucs three-and-out. With only ten minutes left in this one, the Falcons started this drive knowing they absolutely need to score or else go home.
Remember that explosiveness we had been desperately waiting for all season? Well, the Falcons finally displayed some of that awesome potential they have on offense. On first down, Ryan went deep to Julio Jones and connected with him on a beautiful 49-yard pass. On the very next play, Ryan found Tony Gonzalez in the end zone for a ten-yard touchdown pass.
And just like that, the Falcons pulled to within just six points of the Buccaneers. I don't know how they're still alive in this one, but in it they are! Falcons now trail Bucs only 16-10.
For discussion, head to Falcons blog The Falcoholic and Buccaneers blog Bucs Nation, plus SB Nation Tampa Bay.