The Falcons once again seemed to test fate by building a strong lead and allowing an opponent to make things more interesting, but they were able to hold off division foe Tampa Bay by the score of 27-21 on Sunday to move to 6-2 and stay atop the NFC South
Put it in drive
The Falcons have been extremely efficient on offense this year. We all remember that amazing 10-minute, 39-second scoring drive against New Orleans from earlier in the year. Then there was the game-winning drive to beat San Francisco at home. Against the Bucs on Sunday, the Falcons strung together another very impressive drive that went for 10 plays, 3:59 and an amazing 99 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. That kind of efficiency makes the Falcons' offense so dangerous to let stay on the field.
Burning it up
Michael Turner has quietly been a strong, steady offensive option this year. But with Roddy White receiving so much attention for his amazing performances this year, it might be easy to forget about what Turner can do. The Burner really brought it Sunday, rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns — both of which came in the first half. It seems like only a matter of time before Turner breaks a big one for a score.
Sharing the INT love
Opposing offenses have really been spreading the ball around against the Falcons — well, spreading it around the Falcons' defense, that is. Jonathan Babineaux got one Sunday off a tipped pass from Kroy Biermann on some excellent pressure. With that pick, the Falcons now have an interception at every position — DT, DE, OLB, MLB, CB, SS and FS. Cornerback Brent Grimes also snagged one, giving him two for the year. William Moore is still leading the team with three interceptions.
Leaving Matt alone
Tampa Bay's pass rush wasn't exactly vaunted coming into Sunday's game. While the Bucs have added some strength with Gerald McCoy, they haven't exactly been frequent visitors to the offensive backfield this season. Sunday was no different. Matt Ryan may not even have to have his uniform washed as he stayed upright for most of the game. Ryan was hit a couple of times, but the Bucs failed to record a sack against the Falcons, which is a huge credit to the way Atlanta's offensive line took care of business Sunday.
The Bucs may have had some trouble creating pressure, but the Falcons seemingly did it with ease at some points Sunday. Josh Freeman was feeling the heat all day in the pocket. Biermann came in untouched on the pass he tipped that Babineaux intercepted. Mike Peterson had a sack during a terrific performance from the veteran linebacker. The pressure caused the Bucs to keep from establishing much offensive consistency until near the end of the game.