What could've been a disaster after a fumble by Atlanta running back Terron Ward in the red zone, the Falcons defense picked the ideal time to make a key stop to give the ball back to Ryan and the offense. No other player in National Football League history has more than one. "He's an unbelievable talent, an unbelievable competitor".
Now winners of three straight, the Falcons come into a pivotal stretch against the Vikings and Saints at home-games that will nearly certainly decide their playoff life. Then, in what has become a normal habit and incredibly frustrating, the Falcons allowed 14 unanswered points by the Buccaneers to make the game really interesting early in the 4th quarter.
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.
Tampa Bay: The Bucs sustained some huge blows during the game, losing RB Doug Martin (concussion), S T.J. Ward (concussion), S Josh Robinson (hamstring) and DT Clinton McDonald (back).
With Jones playing this well, they now know that as long as he's on the field, they must be afraid. "We tried pressing him", Koetter said. Coleman finished with 97 yards rushing on 19 carries. He had a 3-yard scoring run in the third quarter, staking the Falcons to a seemingly comfortable lead in the first of three straight home games for the defending NFC champions.
Ryan was 26 of 35 for 317 yards, while Sanu remained ideal in his career when throwing the ball. He is 6 of 6 for 228 yards with three touchdowns.
The TD toss came from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who took the snap as a wildcat tailback.
With 1:36 left to play in the first half, the Falcons got the ball back and drove down the field.