1. The Captains' Badges: The honorary patch worn by Falcons offensive captains, quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Roddy White, defensive captains, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and linebacker Paul Worrilow and special teams captains, running back Antone Smith and wide receiver Eric Weems, signifies that each player has been voted to serve as the permanent captains for the rest of the 2014 season.
"We felt like it was something that we wanted to do a little bit differently this season," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said Monday. "We wanted to give our players an opportunity to choose who the captains were going to be and, in turn, allow these guys an opportunity to lead through the second half of the season. I think their teammates picked some really strong guys, not only what they're capable of doing on the field, but also in the locker room."
2. Stone's Rock-Solid Performance: In the first two starts of his rookie season, Falcons center James Stone has been better than advertised. The former Tennessee star has seen dominant defensive lines in the last two weeks, including the likes of Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Stone has held his own, including a sack-free, penalty-free game in the Week 10 win. Steven Jackson spoke for the rest of the Falcons running backs, praising the play of Stone and the entire offensive line. "We have three younger guys out there, along with the two veteran guards," Jackson said. "The guys are playing really tough and giving us some holes to run though."
3. Falcons DEs Shine: Atlanta's defense notched a season-high four sacks against the Bucs, with defensive ends Kroy Biermann and Osi Umenyiora each recording 1.5 quarterback takedowns and fellow defensive end Jonathan Babineaux recording one sack. Smith said Monday that the Week 10 performance was probably Biermann's best game of the season, which also included five total tackles (four solo), two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and one pass defensed.
The Falcons continue their time on the road as they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Here are pictures from gameday.
4. Forced Turnover Frenzy: The Falcons finished Sunday's game with three forced turnovers, increasing their takeaway total to 16 for the season. Falcons defensive end Malliciah Goodman forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive end Stansly Maponga, while safeties Dwight Lowery and Kemal Ishmael each intercepted Bucs quarterback Josh McCown in the fourth quarter. Atlanta's record moved to 40-6 when posting a positive turnover margin. Lowery notched his 11th career interception and his first pick since 2012, making a diving stab in the end zone, securing the ball that was tipped by cornerback Robert Alford.
5. Team Belief and Execution: Matt Ryan referred to the team's fourth-quarter-go-ahead touchdown as the "responsive drive". Roddy White's 5-yard touchdown reception and Harry Douglas' two-point conversion put the team ahead for good. On the other side of the ball, Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant said there was "no concern" of a late comeback by the Bucs, thanks to the game plan installed by the team's coaches, executed by the players. There's power in belief and Smith's team proved it, returning from Tampa with its third division win of the season.
Extra Rep: Only five penalties were committed by the Falcons on Sunday, none in the fourth quarter and none on third down.