Offense Stays Versatile: Matt Ryan continued to spread the ball around by completing passes to seven different targets. Four receivers put up 40-plus yards; Julio Jones led the way with eight catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Overall, Ryan had one of his best games of the year, going 25-for-34 for 344 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, good for a near-perfect 144.7 QB rating. Because of Ryan's work and overall balance — Devonta Freeman impressed with 77 rushing yards — Atlanta didn't have to punt once all game.
Front Seven Contains Winston: Jameis Winston enjoyed a lot of success during his first three matchups with Atlanta, but this time around, the second-year quarterback experienced his fair share of adversity. Although Winston fired three touchdown passes, the Falcons constantly pressured him in the pocket, limited explosive gains and prevented him from wreaking havoc in the open field. Atlanta recorded three sacks, as well — two from Grady Jarrett on consecutive snaps, one from Adrian Clayborn.
Gabriel Runs Wild:After making a 47-yard touchdown catch last Sunday, Taylor Gabriel once again proved to be a big factor in Week 9. The young wideout made five catches for 52 yards and did some damage on the ground, too, notching 24 rushing yards and a touchdown on two carries. Cut by the Browns in August, Gabriel has used his lightning-fast speed and reliable hands to become a valuable part of Atlanta's offense.
Toilolo, Hooper Step Up:Despite the absence of Jacob Tamme, Atlanta's tight end group made a significant impact in the passing game, as Levine Toilolo and Austin Hooper each scored a touchdown and combined for 78 receiving yards. Falcons TEs have a knack for getting wide open downfield, and that trend continued when Toilolo caught a 32-yard TD on Atlanta's first possession. Hooper chipped in with a fourth-quarter score that put Atlanta up 40-14.
D Forces More Fumbles: The Falcons' D forced and recovered two fumbles and, as a result, left Raymond James Stadium with a plus-one turnover ratio. On Tampa's second drive, De'Vondre Campbell ignited the defense by stripping Antone Smith of the ball, which Brian Poole corralled deep in Bucs territory. Desmond Trufant forced Winston to fumble on the next drive; Paul Worrilow jumped on the loose ball to get the offense back on the field. Matt Bryant kicked a field goal following each turnover, giving the Falcons a 13-7 lead.