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Falcons vs. Bucs Recap: Atlanta ends five-game skid with 27-17 win over Tampa Bay

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The Atlanta Falcons earned their first road win on the season with a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Mike Ehrmann

The Atlanta Falcons hadn't won a game on the road since defeating the Buffalo Bills back in Week 13 of last season.

They also hadn't won a game since Week 3 against the same team they defeated today - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While the game wasn't nearly as lopsided as 56-14 thumping in the Georgia Dome earlier in the season, the Falcons emerged victorious with a 27-17 win to get the series sweep over the Bucs.

Atlanta was in the midst of a five-game losing streak. On the other side of the ball, Tampa Bay was on its own losing streak, having dropped four in a row.

To switch things up, Lovie Smith opted to turn back to 12-year veteran Josh McCown after second-year player Mike Glennon started the past five games but led the Bucs to just one victory during that span.

McCown's last start came against Atlanta early in the season, but he was pulled after tearing a ligament in his thumb. Before he exited that game, McCown completed five of 12 passes for 58 yards and an interception.

This time around, McCown fared better as he passed for 301 yards, two touchdowns, and was the Bucs' leading rusher with 39 yards. But he also threw two interceptions - one in the red zone on a Bucs' rally and the other on a desperation heave at the end of the game.

Tampa Bay started the game strong with a promising drive that was kept alive for 17 plays and took over eight minutes off the clock. However, the Bucs were unable to punch the ball in the end zone and instead settled for a Patrick Murray 51-yard field goal.

Atlanta responded with a 78-yard touchdown drive capped off with a one-yard run by Steven Jackson to take a 7-3 lead.

At the half, the Falcons held a 13-10 lead over the Bucs.

Tampa Bay took a temporary 17-16 lead in the fourth, but after a five-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White and a successful two-point conversion, Atlanta jumped on top and wouldn't surrender another score.

Julio Jones, who hadn't topped 100 receiving yards in three games, did so this game with 119 yards on eight receptions. Roddy White finished with six catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Matt Ryan completed 20 of 31 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown.

Jackson posted a season-high in rushing yards with 81.

Rookie Mike Evans led the Bucs receivers with seven receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Next Sunday, the Falcons go on the road again to face another division opponent in the Carolina Panthers.

Notes

With the win, the Falcons - at 3-6 - are 3-0 in the division and incredulously still in the race for the NFC South crown.

Atlanta scored 11 points in the fourth quarter - the first time they've scored double digit points in the fourth since Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints. It's only the fourth game this season in which the Falcons scored points period in the final quarter.

Kroy Biermann and Osi Umenyiora led a ferocious Falcons pass rush that picked up four sacks. Biermann and Umenyiora each had a sack and a half, and Jonathan Babineaux had the other sack.

Despite the victory, Atlanta is 2-11 on the road in its last 13 contests.