As originally posted here.
It did not take a half for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) to finally get started on offense. The Bucs methodically managed the Atlanta Falcons (1-2) 16-13 Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
Buc kicker Connor Barth provided most of their points going a perfect 3-for-3 on field goal attempts. Buccaneer quarterback Josh Freeman was somewhat efficient throwing 22 out of 32 for 122 yards and two interceptions. He also ran for 35 yards on 10 carries and a score. LeGarrette Blount ran for 81 yards on 24 carries. Mike Williams made more of a presence this time catching 5 balls for 43 yards.
The Buccaneer defense woke up sacking Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan three times and causing three turnovers. Wily veteran cornerback Ronde Barber recovered a fumble after a Dakota Watson sack of Matt Ryan during the Falcons first possession and intercepted Ryan before the end of the half at the Tampa 35. Tackle Michael Bennett recovered another Ryan fumble late in the 2nd quarter with 3:25 minutes to go. While still a work in progress, the Buccaneer defense showed flashes of its old self stopping the run and producing opportunistic turnovers.
Ryan completed 26 out of 47 for 330 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Falcons’ running back Michael Turner was shutdown rushing for 20 yards on 11 carries. Roddy White led all Falcons receivers catching 9 for 140 yards. Tight end Tony Gonzalez caught two balls for 18 yards and a score. Kicker Matt Bryant mustered the only other points for the Falcons registering two field goals from 26 and 33 yards, respectively.
While Raheem Morris finally got his monkey off his back in regards to beating the Falcons, the Falcons may have to do some soul searching to re-establish themselves within the NFC South division. The Falcons will travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks (1-2), who is coming off their victory of the Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
The Bucs will play the Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts (0-2) on Monday night which may likely be blackout again in Tampa.