Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon, causing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud. Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta, Georgia --- Falcons running back Jacquizz Rogers caught two touchdown passes and receiver Harry Douglas had a career day to help the Falcons beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-23 Sunday afternoon in Atlanta. The win was the second of the season for the Falcons and dropped the Bucs to 0-6.
The Bucs hit a field goal with 1:57 remaining to make it a one-score game but Thomas Decoud recovered the Tampa Bay onside kick attempt to seal the win.
The Bucs scored with 9:03 to go in the third quarter to cut the lead to seven points. Mike Glennon hit Vincent Jackson for the duo's second touchdown hookup of the game. It was the first time the Bucs scored an offensive touchdown in the second half this season.
The score was set up by a Brian Leonard forced fumble on the Bucs' first punt of the second half. Dekota Watson recovered the ball in Atlanta territory.
The Bucs got a huge scare in the third quarter when Doug Martin was hit while trying to make a leaping catch. Martin landed on his left elbow and immediately grabbed his arm in pain. He left the field with trainers and was taken back into the locker room with a shoulder injury.
Martin rushed for 47 yards before leaving the game. It's the fifth time in six games this season that Martin has rushed for under 100 yards. Rookie Mike James filled in and ran for 45 yards on 14 carries.
The Bucs threatened score a touchdown in the final seconds of the first half but Glennon was sacked on 3rd-and-goal. Tampa Bay was forced to take the Ryan Lindell field goal instead.
Ryan had a big day passing despite starting receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones out of the game with injuries. Harry Douglas stepped up big time with six catches for a career high 140 yards in the first half alone. He finished the game with 147 yards receiving and one touchdown.
On Tampa Bay's third play of the game, Glennon was sacked and lost the football. Decoud returned the fumble 30-yards for the game's opening score. Glennon was sacked three times.
Jackson was targeted six times in the first quarter by Glennon but only made two catches. He hauled in the catch of the year in the second quarter: a 59-yard, one-handed touchdown grab to cut the Atlanta lead to 14-7. Glennon has thrown four touchdown passes to Jackson in the past two weeks. Jackson caught ten passes for 138 yards on Sunday.
Levonte David was the star on defense for Tampa Bay. The second-year linebacker leads the Bucs with ten tackles, including three for loss, and broke up a would-be Falcons touchdown pass on 3rd-and-goal in the second quarter.
Safety Dashon Goldson left the game with a knee injury early in the second quarter. Rookie nose tackle Akeem Spence was hit in the shoulder by Mark Barron while chasing a ball carrier and had to leave the game as well. Both returned to the game.
Tampa Bay trailed 24-10 at halftime. Former Bucs kicker Matt Bryant made a 23-yard field goal. Matt Ryan improved to 8-3 in his career against his NFC South foe.
Bucs head coach Greg Schiano is now just 7-15 in Tampa Bay. That includes a 1-11 record dating back to last season. The Bucs will try for their first win when they host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. The game will be televised on NFL Network.