The Bucs (4-7) saw their two-game win streak end, unable to stop the Falcons offense and Julio Jones, who had 253 receiving yards, most ever by a Bucs opponent. No receiver has had more yards through 90 games in National Football League history. "He's an unbelievable talent, an unbelievable competitor".
Rekindling memories of the Super Bowl, the Falcons (7-4) almost squandered a big lead to a team playing its third game without injured quarterback Jameis Winston.
Ryan extended his streak with at least one touchdown to 30 games on his connection with Jones in the second quarter that helped put the Falcons up 20-6 at halftime.
That's a big improvement over where they were at the beginning of the month, having lost four of five games to raise serious questions about whether they'd even get back to the playoffs, much less duplicate their run to the Super Bowl. But Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan didn't throw it.
But Keanu Neal battled down Fitzpatrick's pass on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 18 with just over 7 minutes remaining, and the Falcons drove for a clinching touchdown on Tevin Coleman's 14-yard run with just under 2 minutes to go.
With Jones playing this well, they now know that as long as he's on the field, they must be afraid. Coleman finished with 97 yards rushing on 19 carries.
Was it ideal? No. Tampa turned a 27-6 deficit midway through the third into a 27-20 game less than 15 minutes later, perhaps briefly conjuring some terrible memories for Falcons fans.
Sanu's bomb to Jones out of the wildcat formation early in the second quarter to break a 3-3 tie was the six-year veteran's third National Football League touchdown pass. Sanu botched a fake handoff to Tevin Coleman, but regained control of the ball and hit Jones in the end zone. He is 6 of 6 for 228 yards with three touchdowns.
With 1:36 left to play in the first half, the Falcons got the ball back and drove down the field. "We've got a little swag back".