No one was really sure what they would get out of the Falcons against the Bucs this week. On the one hand there was a team who had wrapped up home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the playoffs, but then there was the team that said they wanted to hang on to their momentum and play to win.
The Falcons started their starters on Sunday and they played the entire first half, but there was a sense that Atlanta wasn't pulling out all the stops in their playbook to beat the Bucs. Atlanta also had to struggle through the first half with a handful of injuries to some of their starters. They were already without backup corner Chris Owens, who was inactive Sunday, and quickly in the first quarter Dunta Robinson left the game for good with a head injury and Asante Samuel missed some plays on a defensive series.
The Falcons used backup corner/safety Dominique Franks at corner until Samuel returned.
Atlanta entered halftime facing a 13-3 deficit. Falcons QB Matt Ryan was 15 of 22 passing in the first half for 146 yards. He was sacked twice in the first half.
Although the first half wasn't as exciting as some of the Falcons home crowd has seen, they did witness a number of records come from the Falcons.
Matt Bryant's field goal in the first half, Atlanta's only points of the half, was the 33rd of the season, setting a franchise record for field goals in a season.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez' second catch of the game gave him 90 on the season, making him the only tight end in NFL history with five 90-catch seasons.
The third catch on the day from Roddy White gave the receiver 90 on the season as well, making him the fifth player in league history with three straight 90-catch, 1,200-yard seasons in a row.
Ryan entered the game with 571 pass attempts on the season, tied for a franchise record. His first pass attempt of the game gave him the record for pass attempts in a season by a Falcons QB.