Bucs battle back after early deficit but fall to Falcons, 34-20

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones makes the catch ahead of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ryan Smith during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday Nov. 26 2017 in Atlanta. The Atlanta Falcons won 34-20. (AP

Rekindling memories of the Super Bowl, the Falcons (7-4) almost squandered a big lead to a team playing its third game without injured quarterback Jameis Winston.

On the next drive, Matt Ryan threw 25 yards to Jones to put the Falcons up 17-3.

Coleman's second touchdown run, from 14 yards out, clinched the Falcons victory with just under two minutes remaining.

Jones has 80 catches for 1,359 yards and 10 touchdowns in 11 career games against the Buccaneers.

Jones caught touchdowns from Matt Ryan and fellow wide receiver Mohamed Sanu as the Falcons built a big lead and held on late. It's a season-high in yards and touchdowns this season, and it is his best game since his 300-yard performance against the Carolina Panthers last October. Coleman finished with 97 yards rushing on 19 carries.

Fitzpatrick made the Atlanta crowd a bit uncomfortable.

Running back Peyton Barber scored from 2 yards out in the third quarter and a yard out early in the fourth, both capping long drives.

Jokes aside, Sanu literally is a ideal National Football League passer. He is 6 of 6 for 228 yards with three touchdowns.

The Bucs lost four players to injuries during the game — RB Doug Martin and safety T.J. Ward to concussions, DT Clinton McDonald to a back injury and defensive back Josh Robinson to a hamstring.

They also showed that slow starts are still an issue with this offense, regardless of whether Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick is at the helm. The Atlanta Falcons have two, apparently.



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