Week 16 Game Recap: Atlanta Falcons 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
What you need to know
The Atlanta Falcons certainly did enough to put themselves in position to win against the Buccaneers, but failed to convert and put Tampa Bay away, and as a result, will not make the playoffs.
Michael Vick threw for 161 yards on 16 of 26 passing, and connected on scoring strikes of four and eight yards through the air, and also led the club in rushing with 63 yards on 11 carries. Atlanta’s talented signal caller also turned the ball over once, fumbling after a short run that led to a Tampa Bay touchdown.
RBs Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett also made contributions in the running game, with Dunn running for 59 yards on 14 carries, and Duckett 32 yards on 11 carries, including a two yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that gave the Falcons the lead.
TE Alge Crumpler led the way receiving for Atlanta, with 63 yards on four catches, and WR Michael Jenkins and FB Justin Griffith each had a receiving score.
LB Keith Brooking led the Falcons defense with 12 tackles and an interception that led to an Atlanta touchdown. DB DeAngelo Hall also picked off a Simms pass that helped his club turn into a field goal before the half.
Tampa Bay earned their tenth win of the season in dramatic fashion, edging the Falcons in overtime on a Matt Bryant field goal from 41 yards out.
QB Chris Simms continued his steady progress with another solid game, throwing for 285 yards on 29 of 42 passing, and connecting for throwing scores to both of his fullbacks, Jameel Cook and Mike Alstott. Simms did throw two interceptions, one that led to an Atlanta touchdown and another that the Falcons converted into a successful field goal.
Rookie RB Cadillac Williams had a big outing, with 31 carries for 150 yards for the game, and also helped out his club with a six yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that tied the game and forced overtime.
Joey Galloway continued to lead the way in receiving for Tampa Bay, with eight catches for 97 yards and rookie tight end Alex Smith chipped in eight catches of his own for 75 yards. Fullbacks Mike Alstott and Jameel Cook each caught Simms’ touchdown passes.
Ronde Barber led the way defensively for the Buccaneers with 13 tackles, and DE Simeon Rice had two sacks for the game.
What you ought to know
|QB Michael Vick, Pass: 16 - 26 - 161 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 11 - 63 - 0|
Vick had a usual Vick type of game. He threw for only 161 yards, but threw for two scores and also chipped in 63 yards rushing. His touchdown passes were from four and eight yards out to FB Justin Griffith and WR Michael Jenkins. Vick also led an impressive 79 yard drive late in the fourth quarter that ended with a Duckett touchdown run to put his club up. He did lose a fumble that Tampa Bay turned into a touchdown and had another touchdown pass dropped by WR Roddy White in the end zone.
|RB Warrick Dunn, Rush: 14 - 59 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets)|
Dunn was not able to get much going on the ground against his former team, rushing for 59 yards on 14 carries and catching only one pass for five yards.
Duckett ran for 32 yards on 11 carries, but had a big Atlanta score in the fourth quarter on a two yard run that gave his club the lead.
Griffith caught a four yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, but did not contribute much statistically for the rest of the game.
McCrary caught one pass for zero yards for the game.
Jenkins had four catches for 54 yards and an eight yard touchdown reception and was targeted six times for the game. He had a nice 37 yard catch over Buccaneers’ DB Ronde Barber in the fourth quarter that led to Duckett’s score.
White was targeted nine times for the game and finished with three catches for 31 yards. He did have a touchdown reception called back for penalty, and the announcers actually made the remark that it seems every time White is involved, something negative was happening. Not a great day for the young wideout.
Finneran was not a big factor, finishing with one catch for four yards.
Crumpler led the team in receiving with 63 yards on four catches, and was targeted six times for the game.
Peterson his all three of his point after attempts, and connected on a field goal attempt from 31 yards out before the half. His missed field goal came at a bad time for the Falcons – as his 28 yard attempt in overtime was blocked by Tampa Bay on Atlanta’s closest scoring opportunity of the extra session.
The Falcons run defense was able to keep Tampa Bay out of the end zone for most of the ball game, but could not keep RB Cadillac Williams in check, as the rookie pounded his way to 150 yards rushing and a late fourth quarter score from six yards out that tied the game. Williams seemed to get stronger as the game progressed, running for 112 yards in the second half and the overtime and wore down Atlanta’s defense.
Atlanta’s pass defense gave up 285 yards and two touchdowns through the air, as well as 17 passing third down conversions. They did pick Simms off twice, but could not take advantage of the pressure their front seven put on Tampa Bay for the majority of the game. DB DeAngelo Hall and LB Keith Brooking each had interceptions, but Hall left the game in the second half with a shoulder injury.
|QB Chris Simms, Pass: 29 - 42 - 285 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0|
Simms had another strong outing for the Buccaneers, throwing for 285 yards and two scores. The young quarterback made a bad decision every now and then, but was able to play through it and learn from his mistakes. Both of his interceptions came on throws he should not have made, and both led to Atlanta scores.
Williams started off slowly, rushing for 38 yards in the first half, but came through in the second half and overtime, running for 112 yards on his way to 150 for the game. He also scored on a six yard run with under a minute in overtime that helped Tampa tie the game and send it into overtime. Williams also had one catch for ten yards.
Pittman did not factor much into the running game, with 17 yards on four carries, but did catch all four passes thrown his way for 17 yards.
|RB Mike Alstott, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 3 - 32 - 1 (3 targets)|
Alstott ran only one time for five yards, but did catch three passes for 32 yards, including a 13 yard scoring strike from Chris Simms.
Cook made his only catch count, scoring on a nine yard reception in the first quarter
Galloway was once again the main weapon in the Buccaneers passing game, being targeted 15 times and catching eight passes for 97 yards. He had a beautiful catch along the sideline in overtime, showing great concentration and getting both feet in bounds to set up a potential game winning field goal attempt that was no good.
Clayton continued to disappoint, finishing with one catch for 11 yards.
Hilliard caught only one pass for six yards, and dropped a potential touchdown pass on his other targeted pass.
Shepherd fumbled the opening kickoff in overtime, which could have been disastrous for Tampa Bay had it not been for the blocked field goal.
Smith was a big factor in the passing game for the Bucs, being targeted 12 times and catching eight balls for 75 yards for the game, including a big reception of 15 yards in overtime that helped set up the winning field goal.
Becht only caught two passes for the game, but his second was a big 11 yard grab in overtime that helped the Buccaneers get into better field goal range for the winning Bryant kick.
Bryant made all three of his extra point attempts, and was two of three on field goal attempts. His first made field goal was from 50 yards out, and his second came from 41 yards out in overtime that won the game. His missed attempt seemed to be more the result of a bad snap than a bad kick, but could have been a huge missed opportunity.
The Buccaneers defense gave up 154 yards rushing on 36 attempts, including Duckett’s two yard touchdown run. They were able to limit Vick’s big plays in the passing game, but the lightning quick playmaker burned them for 63 yards rushing of his own on the ground.
Tampa Bay’s pass defense was able to limit big plays from Atlanta’s passing attack, but did give up short scores from four and eight yards out. Atlanta also dropped another possible touchdown pass that was lost on a challenge. They gave up only 161 yards on 26 attempts and sacked Michael Vick four times for the game.