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Falcons 19, Bucs 23: Atlanta loses fifth straight game, drops to 6-6 on the season

Another Sunday, another loss.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Needing a win desperately to stay in the playoff hunt, the Atlanta Falcons failed to take care of business against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 23-19 loss put Atlanta at 6-6 on the season and 0-3 in the NFC South. It was the first time the Bucs swept the Falcons since 2007.

First Quarter

As has been the case for the reason, the Falcons elected to defer after winning the coin toss.

The Bucs made it clear what they wanted to do on offense from the first drive: run the ball. Doug Martin's number was called on six straight plays for 26 yards. Facing a 3rd-and-12, Jameis Winston attempted his first pass — a five-yard completion to tight end Cameron Brate — and the Bucs were forced to punt.

Atlanta's first offensive possession didn't yield much. The unit moved the ball just 24 yards before three consecutive incompletions resulted in a punt.

Now it was time for Tampa Bay to put together the game's first scoring drive.

Aided by poor tackling from the Falcons defense, the Bucs drove 77 yards in 13 plays to take a 7-0 lead on a five-yard Jameis Winston touchdown run.

Tampa Bay would take that touchdown lead into the second.

Second Quarter

Atlanta capped off a lengthy 16-play, 70-yard drive that began in the first quarter with a 28-yard field goal.

In fact, this quarter would only consist of field goals, as Shayne Graham connected from 47 and 52 yards away.

Desmond Trufant notched his first interception on the season, picking off Winston with :39 remaining.

Also of note: Julio Jones caught his 100th pass of the year. He finished last season with 104 receptions.

With an inability to get the ball in the end zone, the Falcons take a 9-7 lead and a bit of momentum into the third, set to come out on offense again at the start of the second half.

Third Quarter

The Falcons started the third hot with Matt Ryan completing a 25-yard pass to Jones. With a 1st-and-10 at Tampa Bay's 14-yard line, Atlanta still failed to score a touchdown, instead settling for another field goal.

Atlanta's 12-7 lead wouldn't last as Martin's one-yard touchdown plunge capped off Tampa Bay's nine-play, 82 yard response drive.

Connor Barth tacked on a 23-yard field goal with 1:25 left in the quarter to give the Bucs a 16-12 lead.

Fourth Quarter

The final quarter kicked off with an Atlanta punt, but Paul Worrilow forced a fumble on Martin two plays later, and Ricardo Allen recovered the ball.

The Falcons finally scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive as Ryan found Nick Williams for a five-yard score.

The Bucs' final offensive drive proved to be the most pivotal.

Worrilow intercepted a tipped pass intended for Mike Evans, but Trufant was called for pass interference on the play.

Six plays later, Winston appeared to be stopped well short of the first down marker on third down, but poor tackling allowed him to break free and pick up 20 yards. Tampa Bay needed 19 yards to keep the drive going.

Four plays later, completed what would be the game-winning touchdown pass to Evans.

Atlanta's offense had the ball with 1:39 left in the game, but Ryan was intercepted on the first play by Lavonte David.

With just one timeout remaining, Winston was able to kneel for the win.

Another tough loss, but this is commonplace at this point.

(Moderators' note: this is an open thread.)