Falcons beat Bucs behind Jones' 253 reception yards

Julio Jones

That would be Mohamed Sanu, who maintained his ideal passer rating with this impressive deep ball to Julio Jones.

If the Falcons can get some early touchdowns in Week 12, they could potentially cruise to their first division win of the 2017 regular season. During the final minutes of the NFC showdown, the game was fairly back and forth, but Atlanta did just enough to top Tampa Bay and escape with a 34-20 victory over the Buccaneers. Heck, you might try to blame the Mercedes-Benz Stadium turf for that. The Bucs were frequent visitors to the red zone, but settled for two field goals. Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) missed his second straight game.

The Buccaneers then answered with a 14-play, 73-yard drive that resulted in another field goal, trimming the Falcons lead to 20-6 at halftime. He had two touchdown passes with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bucs did get a takeaway - in the fourth quarter, when linebacker Kendell Beckwith forced a fumble by Terron Ward with Brent Grimes recovering it and racing 37 yards to the Tampa Bay 42. After being down 27-6 at the beginning of the third quarter, they made it a one-score game. But they came away with nothing from that, unable to convert on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 18.

This doesn't excuse the Bucs' defensive performance against Jones. But coach Dan Quinn would be the first to say his team has to do a better job of finishing after nearly blowing a 27-6 lead. He also had a 15-yard run, with his 268 total yards a huge chunk of the Falcons' season-high 516 total offensive yards. The offense has to be able to foot the bill sometimes, too.

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