Week 11 Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30, Atlanta Falcons 27
What you need to know
The Buccaneers came into Sunday in a battle for first place in their division, and they left the field tied in first with the Carolina Panthers. If someone glanced at the game stats, they would think the Buccaneers lost the game by double digits, but the only numbers that count is the final score. Even though the Falcons out gained the Buccaneers by 185 yards and held the ball for almost 12 more minutes, Tampa Bay created two turnovers that caused a ten point swing in the final score.
Chris Simms didn’t put up very impressive numbers, passing for only 118 yards, but he only made one mistake and completed 57 percent of his passes, which was enough to win the game. Surprisingly, Joey Galloway did not catch one pass during the whole game on his birthday and Michael Clayton was the only wide receiver that had a reception on Sunday. Carnell Williams finally had an impressive game since coming back from his injury. He rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown and Mike Alstott was able to continue his touchdown streak with a one yard run in the third quarter.
Simeon Rice and Derrick Brooks had a big day on defense as they each caused game changing turnovers, one early in the game and the other, late in the game. Even though the defense allowed 27 points and 443 yards, the playmaking ability of the Buccaneers was the reason they won the game. Brooks also ended the day with eight tackles and one sack to go along with his forced fumble.
The Falcons were coming off a very disappointing loss to the Packers and came into the Sunday’s game with a chance to be tied in first place by the end of the day, but that did not happen. Even though the Falcons dominated the Buccaneers in almost every statistical category, they did not end the game with more points than the Buccaneers. The Falcons amassed 443 total yards while the Buccaneers only gained a total 258 yards and the Falcons’ total time of possession was almost twelve minutes more than the Buccaneers.
Michael Vick passed for 306 and two touchdowns and it was only the second time in his career that he passed for more that 300 yards. He had a rough first half, but was able to score right before half time and it seemed to spark the team at the beginning of the third quarter because Vick looked like a different quarterback. He found a way to bring down his high passes and use his feet more effectively in the second half. His biggest mistake was a fumble with less that two minutes left in the fourth quarter that led to the game winning field goal for the Buccaneers.
Rookie receiver Roddy White had a career day as he caught four of the six passes that were thrown his way for 108 yards, which led the team. His longest reception was for 54 yards and in led to an important touchdown by T.J. Duckett.
Jim Mora, head coach of the Falcons was probably pleased with the Falcons going 11 for 17 on third down conversions, but he couldn’t have been pleased with the most important statistics and the ones that made the biggest difference in the game, which were penalties and turnovers. His team ended the day with 11 penalties for 87 yards, seven of which were in the first quarter and led to the Falcons having to dig out of the hole they put themselves in. The two costly turnovers were really a killer and what led to the end of the day for the Falcons.
What you ought to know
|QB Chris Simms, Pass: 11 - 19 - 118 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0|
Simms had a break out game last week putting up great fantasy numbers and leading his team to a win. The team won Sunday, but he did not have a very productive day when it comes to passing stats. He was efficient, throwing for only one interception and completing 11 of 19 passes for only 118 yards and no touchdowns. The only receiver he could get the ball two was Michael Clayton and he was unable to get Joey Galloway, one of the league’s leading receivers this year, a reception in the game.
Williams hasn’t been the same running back fans saw at the beginning of the year since returning from his injury, but he had a very productive day which helped his team pull off a win on a day where the passing game was struggling. He averaged a little over six yards a carry finishing with 116 yards rushing with a nine yard touchdown run with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter. He was targeted three times and finished with three receptions for 13 yards. The only concern for Williams’ owners is that he gives way to Mike Alstott on goal line situations.
|RB Mike Alstott, Rush: 4 - 8 - 1, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (2 targets)|
Alstott continues to be a touchdown machine adding a one yard leap to his season on Sunday toward the end of the third quarter. He only rushed the ball four times for eight yards and caught one pass for two yards, but there is little doubt when the ball is in his hands on the goal line.
Pittman was not a fantasy factor on Sunday rushing the ball only once for six yards.
Cook was a non fantasy factor failing to catch the one pass thrown his way.
Clayton was the only wide receiver on the team that actually caught a pass on Sunday. He caught all three passes thrown his way for 48 yards and his longest reception came in the third quarter on a 27 yard pass from Simms which eventually set up a one yard touchdown run by Mike Alstott.
On a day where Simms completed only 11 passes, Galloway was unable to finish the day with a reception. One of the leading receivers in the league this year was targeted five times, but he never really seemed to be open and Simms never threw him a very good ball when he looked his way.
Smith has become the main tight end through the year even though he is a rookie. He caught all three passes thrown his way for 43 yards, and that is not a very big day in terms of fantasy numbers, but Simms only completed 11 passes and none of the receivers had more than three receptions.
Anthony Becht was not much of a receiving option catching only one pass for 12 yards.
Bryant not only had a productive day, but he kicked a 45 yard game winning field goal with 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter. His other two field goals were from 31 and 45 yards. He also made all three of his extra points.
The Falcons did not have a problem racking up rushing and passing yards and the one two punch of Dunn and Duckett seems to be back and working quite well. The Falcons were able to rush for a total of 150 yards and the Buccaneers didn’t have much of an answer for the running game in the second half, especially with the threat of Vick running out of the pocket. Derrick Brooks led the team with eight tackles and one sack and also caused a huge game changing turnover.
The Buccaneers found a way to make the cliché, “bend but don’t break,” work for them in their win against the Falcons on Sunday. They allowed Michael Vick to throw for over 300 yards for only the second time in his career, but when the game was tied with less than two minutes left in the game, Derrick Brooks stripped the ball from Vick while he was still in the pocket, which gave the Buccaneers the final drive instead of the Falcons. In the first quarter, Simeon Rice also stripped the ball from Matt Schaub, which was recovered in the end zone by Anthony McFarland for a touchdown.
|QB Michael Vick, Pass: 21 - 38 - 306 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 17 - 0|
Vick started the game slowly and was unable to find any rhythm as the first series produced a three and out. On the next series, Vick was replaced for one play by Matt Schaub, who was hit my Simeon Rice, who knocked the ball loose allowing Anthony McFarland to fall on the ball for a Buccaneers touchdown. The rest of the half seemed to be trying for the Vick and the Falcons, but he looked like a totally different quarterback in the second half of the game as the Falcons scored on their first drive on a four yard pass to Alge Crumpler. Vick continued to use a healthy dose of his receivers, spreading the ball evenly between Crumpler, White, and Jenkins. He was also able to use his speed and elusiveness in the second half to help get the offense going after he seemed to be frustrated by the blitzing in the first half. He threw for over 300 yards for only the second time in his career, finishing with 21 completions, 306 yards and two touchdown passes.
Backup quarterback Matt Schaub was in for only one play and he fumbled the ball in his own end zone which led to the Buccaneers’ first touchdown.
|RB Warrick Dunn, Rush: 18 - 82 - 0, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (4 targets)|
Dunn had an efficient day rushing the ball 18 times and averaging 4.5 yards a carry for 82 yards. His longest run was 15 yards, but once again, he was forced to give way to Duckett on goal line situations after putting his team in the red zone. He was targeted four times and ended the game with two receptions for 20 yards.
|RB T.J. Duckett, Rush: 14 - 51 - 1, Rec: 1 - 19 - 0 (1 targets)|
Duckett seems to be running well after missing a few weeks because of an injury. Dunn is still the team’s man for yardage, but when the Falcons are near the goal line, they feed the ball to Duckett. He finished the day with 51 yards and a one yard touchdown run right before halftime, which put his team back in the game.
McCrary had no fantasy impact on Sunday, catching only one pass for one yard.
Griffith was targeted three times but did not catch pass and did not have any rushing attempts on the day.
Jenkins has had an off and on year so far but he was pretty productive on Sunday as his quarterback spread the ball around and surpassed the 300 yard mark. He was targeted nine times and caught a ten yard pass with about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter to give his team the lead. His longest reception came at the beginning of the second quarter on a 21 yard pass form Michael Vick.
White only caught four passes in the game, but he led the team in receiving yards and broke the 100 yard mark for the first time in his short career. He was targeted six times and caught a 54 yards pass in the second quarter which eventually set up a touchdown run by Duckett to put the Falcons back in the game.
After a break out game against the Dolphins, Finneran has started to make his presence known as a Falcons’ receiver. Even though Vick had a big game in terms of yards, Finneran had a quiet but efficient performance catching three of the four passes thrown his way with the longest reception coming on a 20 yard pass from Vick at the beginning of the third quarter, eventually setting up a touchdown pass to Alge Crumpler.
Crumpler didn’t rack up a ton of yards, but in a game where Vick surpassed 300 yards passing for only the second time in his career, he continued to be the go to guy as he was targeted 11 times. He caught a four yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to give his team their first lead in the game and his longest reception was 20 yards.
Peterson had a solid day, kicking a 31 yard field goal in the second quarter and a 20 yard field goal in the fourth quarter. He also made all three of his extra point conversions.
Cadillac Williams has been struggling since he returned from his injury, but he didn’t seem to have any problem against the Falcons’ rush defense on Sunday. He was able to amass 116 rushing yards on only 19 carries with a touchdown. Mike Alstott was also able to rush for a crucial touchdown in the third quarter. Demorrio Williams led the team with seven tackles and Keith Brooking had a respectable five tackles. Even though the Falcon had no problem stopping the passing game, they were unable to stop Cadillac Williams when he needed a crucial first down or a few important yards.
Even though the Falcons lost the game, their defense held Chris Simms, who was very impressive last week, to only 118 yards passing and one interception. Keith Brooking came away with the only interception on the day along with his five tackles. The Buccaneers passing game was nothing to be afraid of and the Falcons were able to keep Joey Galloway, who was one of the league leaders in receiving yards coming into the day, from catching a pass. In fact, Michael Clayton was the only wide receiver on the team that caught a pass.