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Falcons 27, Buccaneers 44: Atlanta secures a top 4 pick in the 2021 NFL draft

Tom Brady eviscerates the Atlanta defense.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn era officially closes out after this game, as the Falcons go on the road to take on the playoff bound Tampa Bay Buccaneers under QB Tom Brady. Will Atlanta retain their top draft pick or will they earn a meaningless win to close out the season? Read on to find out.

First quarter

The Bucs win the toss and elect to receive. Starting from their 32, Tom Brady hits Mike Evans for a gain of 11. Leonard Fournette runs for 3, then 6 and a sneak by Brady picks up the first. The pass to Rob Gronkowski gains 11, Fournette rushes for 4 and Brady hits Chris Godwin deep for the touchdown.

Falcons 0, Buccaneers 7

Starting on their own 27, the Falcons offense starts with a run for no gain by Todd Gurley. Matt Ryan’s pass to Calvin Ridley gains 8 and his pass to Russell Gage picks up the first. Ito Smith runs for 5 and the pass to Ridley gains 11 and the first. Ito picks up 7 on the pass, then runs for no gain. Todd Gurley runs for 4 and the first. Ryan then finds Brian Hill for a big gain to setup 1st and goal from the 4. Gurley runs for no gain, then recovers his fumble on second down and on 3rd and goal Matt Ryan throws incomplete targeting Ito. Koo comes on and nails the short field goal.

Falcons 3, Buccaneers 7

From their 27, Brady’s pass to Antonio Brown picks up 5 and the pass to Evans gains 12 and the first. Brady then hits Brown again for a gain of 23 to put them in Atlanta territory. Brady misses deep on 1st down then hits Evans for 20. Evans drops a wide open TD after what looked like a non-contact knee injury. Brady misses Gronkowski on 2nd down and throws it away on 3rd down. Bucs nail the short field goal.

Falcons 3, Buccaneers 10

With 7 seconds left in the quarter from their 25, Ito Smith runs for 4 to finish the quarter.

Falcons 3, Buccaneers 10

Second quarter

Ryan starts the quarter having to throw the ball away and on 3rd and 6, Ryan is pressured immediately and has to throw it away. Atlanta punts.

After a garbage special teams penalty on Atlanta, Tampa takes advantage with a Ronald Jones run for 16 followed by another for 7 and another for 9 and a first. Brady can’t connect with Godwin and on 2nd down Godwin can’t stay in bounds for the catch. On 3rd and 10, Brady finds Antonio Brown for the touchdown.

Falcons 3, Buccaneers 17

After the touchback, Ryan passes to Laquon Treadwell for a short gain. Ridley drops the 2nd down pass and on 3rd, Ryan connects with Gage to keep the sticks moving. Brian Hill is stopped short, but ends up fumbling the ball which the Bucs return for the touchdown. The touchdown is reversed on the replay, however. Bucs ball.

Fournette runs for 2 and Scotty Miller takes the pass for 12 and the first. Brady misses on first down, Isaiah Oliver stops the run for a 1 yard loss and the third down pass is stopped short. Tampa settles for the 38 yard field goal.

Falcons 3, Buccaneers 20

The Falcons offense starts again with a pass to Luke Stocker for 12 and the first. A Bucs penalty gifts 5 and on 1st and 5 Ito Smith can’t hold onto the pass. Brian Hill runs for 4 and Gurley converts on 3rd down. Hill runs for 2 and the pass to Gage picks up 6. Roughing the passer adds 15 and the first. Hurst gains 4 on the screen and Ridley gains 7 and the first. Hill runs for 5 and Ridley picks up 1 on the pass. On 3rd and 4, Ryan is pressured immediately and has to throw it away. The offense stays on for fourth down and Ryan makes it payoff with the touchdown pass to Hayden Hurst. On replay, however, he’s ruled just short setting up 1st and goal from the 1. Todd Gurley runs on 1st but doesn’t score, but Matt Ryan runs it in to finish the drive.

Falcons 10, Buccaneers 20

The Bucs offense starts with Brady targeting Brown and Terrell getting flagged for pass interference. Keanu Neal is then flagged after Brady targets Godwin. After a short scramble, Brady then hits Cameron Brate for 11 and the first. Brady hits Brown for another 10 and first. Scotty Miller can’t stay in bounds for the TD pass. Tyler Johnson takes the pass for 16 with just under 30 seconds left in the half. Fournette takes the pass for 5 and Cameron Brate falls down in the end zone on 3rd down. Bucs take the short field goal into halftime.

Falcons 10, Buccaneers 23

Third quarter

The Atlanta offense starts the second half on their 25 with a pass to Gage for 7 yards and again for 4 more and the first. Gage takes the third straight pass for 15 and another first. Hill runs for 2, Ridley gains 6 on the pass and on 3rd and 2, Ryan hits Gurley with the pass to pick up 15 and the first. Hurst can’t hang on to the pass on 1st down, Treadwell holds onto his and gains 11 for the 1st. Hill runs for a 1 yard loss and Ridley is tackled for a loss to setup 3rd and 17. Ryan is unfazed as he hits Russell Gage for the touchdown.

Falcons 17, Buccaneers 23

The Bucs drive starts with a pass to Godwin that picks up 46 yards after the missed tackle by AJ Terrell. After an incompletion and a run by Jones that Oluokun stops dead, on 3rd and 10, Scotty Miller can’t pull in the pass, it pops out of his hands and Ricardo Allen intercepts it.

Hayden Hurst picks up 14 to start the next Falcons drive and Brian Hill takes the dump off pass for 13 and the first. Hill runs for 9 and Gurley runs for 2 and the first. After a pass to Ridley gains nothing and Ryan throws one away, on 3rd and 10 Ryan connects with Gage for 8 yards. Atlanta tries to make the Bucs jump on 4th and 2, but it doesn’t work. After the timeout, they decide to go for it and Ryan targets Ridley, who draws the defensive pass interference call and the first. The pass to Hill gains 3 and Ridley can’t pull in the 2nd down pass. On 3rd and 7, Ryan hits Gage yet again for 10 yards and the first. Gage then takes the end around for another 10 to setup 1st and goal. After a throwaway on 1st and a Gurley run for 3, Ryan’s pass to Treadwell goes incomplete on 3rd down. Koo comes on for the chip shot field goal and nails it.

Falcons 20, Buccaneers 23

With 30 seconds left in the quarter, the Bucs offense starts from their 25 with a run by Jones for 4 that takes us into the final quarter.

Falcons 20, Buccaneers 23

Fourth quarter

On 2nd and 6, Brady connects with Godwin for 5 and the first. Jones runs for 9 and again for 8 and the first. Antonio Brown takes the quick pass for 8 and again for another 7 and the first. Brady throws incomplete on 1st down and Oluokon is flagged for pass interference, yielding 10 and the first. Brown then takes another pass for 14 to setup 1st and goal. Ronald Jones closes out the drive with the touchdown run.

Falcons 20, Buccaneers 30

Down 10 with 11 minutes left and the ball on the 25, the Atlanta offense kicks off their drive with a run by Hill for 9. He then runs it for a big 62 yard gain to setup 1st and goal inside the 5. Ryan can’t connect with Ridley on 1st down and Gurley picks up 2 on 2nd down. On 3rd and goal, Gurley can’t get in, setting up 4th and goal. Atlanta keeps the offense in and Ryan hits Hurst for the touchdown.

Falcons 27, Buccaneers 30

With 8 minutes left and a 3 point lead, the Bucs drive starts with a Jones run for 5. Brady then connects with Gronkowski for 15 and the first. Jones runs for 6 and on 2nd down, Dante Fowler gets his 3rd sack of the year. On 3rd and long, Brady hits Godwin for a 46 yard gain to setup 1st and goal from the Falcons 7. Jones runs for 3, Brady throws it away and Brady closes the drive with the TD pass to Godwin.

Falcons 27, Buccaneers 37

With under 4 minutes left the Falcons drive starts with a sack of Matt Ryan by Cam Gill. Ryan then connects with Ridley for the first down. Ryan passes to Ridley short, who fumbles it. The Buccaneers recover.

Brady’s pass to Brown falls incomplete and Ronald Jones runs for 8. Brady then hits Brown for the touchdown.

Falcons 27, Buccaneers 44

Brian Hill runs for 5 to start the drive and after Ryan throws incomplete, on 3rd and 5 Ryan can’t connect with Gage. On fourth down, Ryan is unable to hit Gage and Atlanta turns the ball over on downs.

A quick pass to Brown picks up 3 and he takes the end around for another 6 and yet again for 2 yards and the first as we hit the 2 minute warning. The Bucs then use the victory formation to close out the game.

Final: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 44