Bucs-Falcons scoring summary

Here is the scoring summary for Tampa Bay's 31-7 victory over Atlanta for Sunday, Nov. 18:

Tampa Bay 31, Atlanta 7

First quarter

TB: Joey Galloway 44 pass from Jeff Garcia (Matt Bryant kick), 7:43

Drive: 3 plays, 72 yards, 1:02

Key play: On the score, Galloway ran his go route slightly in, forcing Falcons CB DeAngelo Hall to respect a possible slant and opening the sideline for Galloway.

Tampa Bay 7, Atlanta 0

Second quarter

TB: Ronde Barber 41 fumble return (Bryant kick), 10:42

Key play: On the fumble, Bucs DE Greg White hit Falcons QB Byron Leftwich from behind and jarred the ball loose for Barber.

Tampa Bay 14, Atlanta 0

Third quarter

TB: Bryant 23 field goal, 6:35

Drive: 8 plays, 49 yards, 3:22

Key play: The Bucs defense set up the drive by stopping Falcons RB Warrick Dunn on 4th-and-1 in Bucs territory, forcing a chance of possession.

Tampa Bay 17, Atlanta 0

TB: Alex Smith 21 pass from Garcia (Bryant kick), 4:51

Drive: 3 plays, 27 yards, 1:29

Key play: Bucs DE Gaines Adams hit Leftwich's arm from behind, forcing an interception by Tampa Bay DT Chris Hovan.

Tampa Bay 24, Atlanta 0

Fourth quarter

TB: Earnest Graham 26 run (Bryant kick), 14:53

Drive: 6 plays, 45 yards, 3:39

Key play: Garcia connected with Graham for a 6-yard reception to convert a third down and keep the drive going.

Tampa Bay 31, Atlanta 0

ATL: Adam Jennings 7 pass from Joey Harrington (M. Andersen kick), 1:10

Drive: 13 plays, 82 yards, 5:15

Key play: The Falcons converted three third downs on the drive, including the touchdown pass.

Tampa Bay 31, Atlanta 7

Statistics

Rushing

Tampa Bay

Player — No. — Yds. — TD — Lg.

Earnest Graham — 17 — 102 — 1 — 26t

Michael Pittman — 10 — 44 — 0 — 21

Jeff Garcia — 2 — 5 — 0 — 6

Bruce Gradkowski — 2 — -2 — 0 — -1

Totals — 31 — 149 — 1 — 26t

Atlanta

Player — No. — Yds. — TD — Lg.

Warrick Dunn — 15 — 32 — 0 — 6

Jason Snelling — 2 — 13 — 0 — 7

Jerious Norwood — 2 — 4 — 0 — 5

Totals — 19 — 49 — 0 — 7

Passing

Tampa Bay

Player — Att. — Co. — Yds. — TD — INT

Jeff Garcia — 20 — 10 — 159 — 2 — 0

Bruce Gradkowski — 1 — 1 — 2 — 0 — 0

Totals — 21 — 11 — 161 — 2 — 0

Atlanta

Player — Att. — Co. — Yds. — TD — INT

Byron Leftwich — 28 — 15 — 106 — 0 — 2

Joey Harrington — 20 — 16 — 139 — 1 — 0

Totals — 48 — 31 — 245 — 1 — 2

Receiving

Tampa Bay

Player — No. — Yds. — TD — Lg.

Alex Smith — 3 — 51 — 1 — 23

Joey Galloway — 2 — 63 — 1 — 44t

Michael Pittman — 2 — 17 — 0 — 11

Ike Hilliard — 1 — 14 — 0 — 14

B.J. Askew — 1 — 8 — 0 — 8

Earnest Graham — 1 — 6 — 0 — 6

Byron Storer — 1 — 2 — 0 — 2

Totals — 11 — 161 — 2 — 44t

Atlanta

Player — No. — Yds. — Avg. — TD — Lg.

Michael Jenkins — 9 — 73 — 0 — 14

Warrick Dunn — 8 — 40 — 0 — 9

Roddy White — 4 — 28 — 0 — 11

Alge Crumpler — 3 — 28 — 0 — 12

Laurent Robinson — 2 — 43 — 0 — 33

Adam Jennings — 2 — 11 — 1 — 7t

Jerious Norwood — 2 — 10 — 0 — 8

Ovie Mughelli — 1 — 12 — 0 — 12

Totals — 31 — 245 — 1 — 33

Missed field goals

None

Bucs Gradebook

Quarterback: B+. No mistakes. He threw one big TD pass to Joey Galloway and he ran the offense efficiently all day. The completion percentage was down a bit, but he did his what was required to win.

Running backs: B+. Earnest Graham's performance picked up in the second half, which included the long run for the TD. The running game powered home the win by dominating the Falcons in the second half. Michael Pittman had a fumble, preventing an A.

Wide receivers: B+. They only made 10 receptions and that really isn't worthy of an A. But Galloway had a great move on that TD reception, and it was good to see Alex Smith get involved. When the TE is around the ball, good things tend to happen.

Offensive line: B. They pounded away in the second half on the ground. They also only gave up one sack, though LT Donald Penn struggled at times with DE John Abraham.

Defensive line: A. Greg White had two sacks. Chris Hovan and Gaines Adams each had a sack. White and Adams forced turnovers. As the game went on, the Bucs needed the blitz less and less as the front four took advantage of a weakening Falcons offensive line.

Linebackers: A. Barrett Ruud had an interception. Cato June recovered a fumble that was reversed (Derrick Brooks forced it). The Falcons rushed for less than 50 yards because the linebackers wrapped up when given the chance.

Secondary: A-. Not a full A because they gave up a touchdown pass, but that's splitting hairs. This unit frustrated Byron Leftwich with blanket coverage of his receivers. Ronde Barber recovered a fumble for a touchdown. They also did well in blitz packages.

Special teams: B. Maurice Stovall once again had a prescient play on punt coverage, though he nearly drew a flag for incidental contact. A Falcons kickoff return for a TD came back due to penalty. P Josh Bidwell had a great day and bailed the Bucs out with a 61-yard punt after a penalty.

Overall grade: B+. Three things stand out. The Bucs won the turnover battle with a plus-2. The Bucs turned those turnovers into 21 points. The Bucs limited the Falcons to a horrible rate on third-down conversions. All of those conspired to keep the Bucs in control the entire game. This was a game the Buccaneers should have won convincingly, and the fact that they did puts them in the driver's seat in the division and gives them momentum entering what will be a tough home game against Washington next Sunday.

Bucs at a glance

Record 6-4.

Playoff pulse: A win, combined with losses by Carolina and New Orleans, gives the Bucs a 2-game lead in the division.

What's coming up

Nov. 25: vs. Washington. The Redskins come to town for the third straight year. Anyone else sick of seeing these guys, or is that just the Cowboys fan in me talking?


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