Skip to main content

Five Takeaways From the Buccaneers' Win Over the Falcons

Tampa Bay comes away with a big win on the road against a divisional opponent in Week 13.

The Buccaneers are firmly in the driver's seat when it comes to their NFC South lead after this week's 30-17 win over the Falcons. Tampa Bay now gets three of its last five games at home before the postseason begins. 

But that's not the only takeaway from the Week 13 matchup with the Falcons.

You can find AllBucs' takeaways from the matchup below.

It's a sack party

The Bucs have had success against the Falcons in the trenches over recent years, but Sunday's matchup was even more lopsided than usual.

Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh recorded 2.0 sacks each and Cam Gill got in on the party with a sack of his own. The 5.0 combined sacks matched a season-high and the Bucs' 11 quarterback hits were easily a season-high. 

Tampa Bay consistently got to Matt Ryan and three of the five sacks were directly responsible for killing a drive. There would've been a fourth drive-killing sack, but Ryan was able to get the ball out his hands as Will Gholston drug him to the ground. Ryan was called for intentional grounding, which led to a punt on the next drive.

The Bucs are currently tied for the league lead in sacks (15) since Week 10 after amassing just 17 through the first eight games of the season. 

It looks as if the defense is picking it up at just the right time.

Tom Brady and December are like peas in a pod

Since Week 10, Brady had thrown just five touchdowns to four interceptions. He averaged 248 yards per game and right around 6.3 net yards per pass attempt. Despite his irregular performances, the Bucs still managed to go 2-1 in those three games.

That all changed against the Falcons. Brady and the Bucs made it clear what the strategy was from the start after they literally threw on every single play during the opening drive. Brady completed 11-of-13 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown on that drive and never looked back, as he finished the day 38-of-51 for 368 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception. The interception was more the result of a bad play call on the Bucs part and a great play on the part of Marlon Davidson, so one could almost chalk it up as a mistake-free performance. 

Nonetheless, Brady is now 67-16 in December and has completed 62.9% of his passes for 20,500 yards, 145 touchdowns and 53 interceptions, which is good for a 94.0 quarterback rating over the course of his career.

That's just wild.

Read More

Tom Brady had the Bucs rolling on Sunday.

Tom Brady had the Bucs rolling on Sunday.

A disciplined and efficient Bucs team

The Bucs finished with just three penalties for 15 yards, which marks their second-lowest total of the year. Tampa Bay was one of the league's most penalized teams for the first few weeks of the season, but they have dropped to 13th in terms of penalties per game and 15th in total penalties on the year. 

The Bucs finished with their second-highest conversion rate on third down and scored touchdowns on 3-of-4 trips in the red zone. They were 2-of-2 in goal-to-go situations, as well. 

No mistakes and execution on third down and in the red zone are a sure-fire way to win NFL games and the Bucs proved that on Sunday. 

Secondary depth players continue to step up

Jamel Dean left the game with a concussion and then Pierre Desir came in and punched the ball free from Russell Gage Jr. literally two plays later. Andrew Adams was flying around the field all day long and finished the game with seven tackles, which was the third-highest total on the team.

It's no secret the Bucs secondary has been ravaged by injuries this year. The amount they've dealt with will typically sink a team, but the collection of Desir, Adams, Dee Delaney, Ross Cockrell, and even Richard Sherman have done an admirable job of keeping the Bucs above water.

You have to give the Bucs coaching staff, the scouting department, and the players themselves all the kudos in the world for being able to pull this off on the fly. 

Who needs Antonio Brown?

The Bucs were surrounded by controversy heading into this game after Antonio Brown and Mike Edwards were suspended for using fake COVID vaccination cards, but the Bucs offense -nor the defense- missed a beat against Atlanta. 

Brady had his best game since Week 7. Chris Godwin set a franchise record with 15 receptions in one game. Mike Evans made big play after big play to move the chains and Rob Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes. 

The Big Three combined for 26 receptions, 300 yards, and two touchdowns on 35 targets against the Falcons. Leonard Fournette continues to be a reliable safety valve, as well, evidenced by his seven receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown. Don't forget Cameron Brate's touchdown, either. 

I think it's suffice to say the Bucs don't need AB to have success on offense.

Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and other NFL news and analysis. Follow along on social media at @SIBuccaneers on Twitter and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.