Nov 17, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey (43) runs the ball in for a touchdown during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on a winning streak. Fresh off their first win of the season last Monday, the Bucs got monster performances from a trio of stars in a 41-28 over the Atlanta Falcons.
Two weeks ago, most Tampa Bay fans had never heard of Bobby Rainey. After Sunday's performance, it will be hard to forget him. The Bucs newcomer totaled three touchdowns against the Falcons - two rushing and one receiving. Rainey got wide open out of the backfield for a 4-yard score to give the Bucs a 31-6 lead in the third quarter.
Sunday's game is the first time this season Tampa Bay has scored 30 or more points.
Rainey, who became a father for the first time three weeks ago (the week the Bucs added him to the roster), burst through the defense for a 43-yard touchdown run to give Tampa Bay a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. Later in the quarter, he scored on a 3-yard run. He finished with a career-high 163 yards rushing on 30 carries.
Quarterback Mike Glennon went to his favorite target all day. He went deep down the sideline to Vincent Jackson for a one-handed, 47-yard grab. In the third quarter, that duo hooked up for a 53-yard reception and a 3-yard touchdown grab. That scoring pass was the 11th of the season for Glennon. That mark set a new Tampa Bay rookie record for touchdown passes by a quarterback.
Jackson had ten catches for 165 yards and one touchdown. He now has five touchdown catches in 2013 and four games with over 100 yards receiving.
On defense, Gerald McCoy sacked quarterback Matt Ryan on consecutive plays to push Atlanta out of field goal range on the Falcons' first drive. In the second quarter he did it again to force another field goal. McCoy made the Pro Bowl a year ago after picking up five sacks but has six already this season.
In the second quarter, Tampa Bay linebacker Mason Foster intercepted a pass and returned it 37 yards for his second interception return for a touchdown this season. That gave the Bucs a 17-3 lead with 7:05 remaining in the first half. In Week 2, he returned an interception 85 yards for a score as well. He left the game with a concussion after colliding with a teammate and did not return. Dashon Goldson intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter.
The defense made other big plays in addition to the sacks and interceptions. Roddy White fumbled near the five minute mark of the second quarter and Mark Barron recovered the ball at the Tampa Bay 47 yard line. Dekota Watson blocked a punt in the third quarter.
Harry Douglas hauled in an 80 yard grab for the Falcons' first touchdown of the game. That pulled Atlanta to within 38-13. Antone Smith rushed for a 50 yard score with 5:22 to go.
The Bucs surprised Atlanta with an onside kick in the second quarter and recovered the ball. It's the second game in a row the Bucs tried the onside kick. They were unable to recover it against Miami on Monday Night Football.
This is the third week in a row that the Tampa Bay offense has gotten off to a hot start. The Bucs led Seattle at halftime 21-7, Miami 15-7 and Atlanta 27-6. Second halves have been trouble for the Bucs. The Seahawks and Dolphins combined to outscore the Bucs 32-10 in their games.
Rainey helped set up a Rian Lindell 30-yard field goal to give Tampa Bay its only first quarter points. Lindel made a 46-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. He has now made 14 straight field goals.
The Falcons have just two wins this season. They beat the Bucs 31-23 in the Georgia Dome in Week 7. Atlanta has now lost all five of its road games this season.
The Bucs only had one play of 40+ yards this season coming into the game but had three such plays against Atlanta. The win over the Falcons is the first divisional win for Tampa Bay. The Bucs are now 2-8 this season after starting the year 0-8. They will visit the Detroit Lions next Sunday.
Tune in to 10 Sports Extra tonight at 11:25 p.m. for more Bucs coverage with Bobby Lewis, Dave Wirth and Chris Fischer.