Dec 18, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) runs with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Falcons survived a late comeback attempt by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning 24-21 after the Bucs’ K Patrick Murray missed the game-tying field goal attempt as time expired.
QB Jameis Winston had an efficient statistical game, as he went 27-of-35 for 299 yards and three touchdowns. He fumbled once but the Buccaneers recovered. WR Mike Evans was called for two offensive pass interference penalties, but he also hauled in five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.
QB Matt Ryan was 17-of-31 for 212 yards and threw a touchdown pass that went to WR Justin Hardy. RB Devonta Freeman was the workhorse of the Atlanta offense, rushing 22 times for 126 yards and a touchdown and also adding 68 yards through the air. He was the team’s leading rusher and receiver, although he did fumble twice.
With that, we give you our PFF-exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.
Top 5 Grades:
Performances of note:
Ryan wasn’t pressured much in this one, but the few times he did face pressure he struggled, completing just one of his six attempts for 27 yards. Ryan also didn’t have a ton of success throwing the ball down field, connecting on just 4-of-12 targets for 87 yards on balls that traveled 10 or more yards in the air. The Falcons quarterback was efficient throwing the ball short, though, and on top of that he picked up 29 rushing yards on a few timely scrambles in the second half and he kept the ball out of trouble. Not the greatest game from a guy who can put up huge numbers, but overall an effective one.
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