Quarterback Ryan shines as Falcons thump Buccaneers 43-28
(The Sports Xchange) - Matt Ryan threw for 344 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Atlanta Falcons to an easy 43-28 road win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida on Thursday.
Atlanta (6-3) trailed 14-13 in the second quarter, but led at the half and pulled away in the third quarter, when Ryan was near-perfect, going 11-for-12 for 146 yards, with touchdown passes to fullback Patrick DiMarco and receiver Julio Jones.
The Buccaneers (3-5), who gave up 626 yards of total offense in a loss to the Raiders last Sunday, gave up 461 to the Falcons as they continue to struggle, especially against the passing game.
Ryan came in leading the NFL in touchdown passes (19) and passing yards (2,636) and exceeded his averages on both to help the Falcons avenge an opening-week home loss to the Bucs. Julio Jones had eight catches for 111 yards and his fifth touchdown of the season.
The Bucs got three touchdown passes from Jameis Winston, but the Bucs couldn't stop the Falcons, who didn't punt while scoring five touchdowns and three field goals.
Winston left the game after injuring his right knee on a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter -- the first time in his two-year NFL career he has missed a snap, with backup Mike Glennon filling in.
Bucs receiver Mike Evans had a career-high 11 catches for 150 yards, but was evaluated for a concussion after taking a shot on a one-handed catch. Evans entered the game tied for the NFL lead with six touchdown catches and added two more in the first half Thursday.
The Bucs dropped to 0-4 at home this season and are an NFL-worst 3-17 at home since the start of the 2014 season. The Falcons' 43 points is the most allowed by the Bucs since a 48-17 loss to the Ravens in October 2014.
Tampa Bay had won three straight against their division rivals, all since Winston took over as their quarterback last season. The Bucs opened the season with three home losses, including Sunday in overtime against the Oakland Raiders.
(Editing by Andrew Both)
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