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Week 7: What happened in Falcons win over Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. — The Atlanta Falcons can thank their defense (and kicker Younghoe Koo) for being able to finish with a 16-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

Below is how every game recap this 2023 season will be broken down by quarter for right-at-the-buzzer consumption, starting with a note that Atlanta won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Tampa Bay's ball to start.


For the second week in a row, the Falcons scored on their first offense drive. It took eight plays and spanned 58 yards. Probably the most efficient start Atlanta has produced this season.

(NOTE: The Falcons did not manage more than three offensive plays on their Weeks 1-5 opening drives. … The Buccaneers had previously allowed two other opponents put points on the board with their first offensive drive. The Chicago Bears scored a touchdown. The New Orleans Saints managed a field goal. Neither team ultimately won.)

Quarterback Desmond Ridder ultimately did the trick with a 2-yard run. The Falcons' first play was actually its longest in that series. Ridder hit wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge with a 19-yard pass to break into Buccaneers territory right away.

The Buccaneers answered with a touchdown. Theirs was a bit flashier, with a 40-yard pass from quarterback Baker Mayfield to wide receiver Mike Evans way downfield.

(NOTE: The 40-yard touchdown reception was the Buccaneers' longest touchdown play this season.)

Atlanta and Tampa Bay closed out the first 15 minutes of work all tied up.

Scoring plays:

Falcons: Desmond Ridder run 2; Youghoe Koo PAT … 7-0, ATL

Buccaneers: Baker Mayfield pass 40 to Mike Evans; Chase McLaughlin PAT … 7-7, TIE

End Q1: 7-7, TIE


Ridder opened up the period with a deep shot to wide receiver Scotty Miller. The 45-yard reception was the longest for Miller this season -- by far. His previous long was 7 yards.

(NOTE: Miller played for the Buccaneers from 2019-22 before the Falcons signed him as a free agent back in March. He appeared in 50 games for Tampa Bay, catching 74 passes for 924 yards and four touchdowns.)

So, again, the Falcons immediately got into Buccaneers land with their first play. Atlanta made it all the way to the 5-yard line but were unable to finish the distance to the end zone. Kicker Younghoe Koo came out instead and made a 24-yard field goal to put the Falcons back ahead.

The Buccaneers responded the same way. They made it to the Falcons 6-yard line, but Atlanta pushing Tampa Bay into sending kicker Chase McLaughlin out to make a 24-yard field goal.

All tied up for the second time.

The Falcons came close to pushing ahead before the break, making it to the red zone, but Ridder fumbled on a sack and lost Atlanta the ball.

(NOTE: Atlanta continues to have never entered halftime with a lead. … Falcons running back Bijan Robinson did not have a carry or a target in the first half. FOX broadcast reported he is "just not feeling all that great.")

Scoring plays:

Falcons: Younghoe Koo 24-yard field goal … 10-7, ATL

Buccaneers: Chase McLaughlin 24-yard field goal … 10-10, TIE

Halftime: 10-10, TIE


The Falcons went three-and-out on offense to kick off the second half. Defense came in clutch, though, when Falcons linebacker Nate Landman forced a fumble out of Buccaneers wide receiver Deven Thompkins and defensive lineman LaCale London recovered the loose ball. That gave the Atlanta offense another chance.

Which it came less than a yard from cashing in on. The Falcons were at the Buccaneers' 1-yard line when Ridder fumbled and lost the snap.

(NOTE: For those keeping count, that's two red-zone turnovers for Atlanta's offense. According to ESPN, that makes the Falcons the first team with two red-zone turnover in a single game.)

The Falcons defense continued to hold up its end of the bargain and prevented the Buccaneers from scoring any points.

Atlanta was at least able to inch ahead with a 41-yard field goal from Koo.

Scoring plays:

Falcons: Younghoe Koo 41-yard field goal … 13-10, ATL

End Q3: 10-3, ATL


And then there were three. The Falcons offense used 10 plays to get what they thought was a 12-yard touchdown run from Ridder. The play was reviewed and reversed, though. The ball went out of bounds in the end zone. Touchback.

That's three fumbles lost by Ridder in the red zone now. He threw three interceptions in the Falcons' loss to the Washington Commanders last week.

Atlanta's defense stepped up, per usual. Safety Richie Grant intercepted Mayfield with less than four minutes remaining. Tampa Bay had been moving down the field, lined up at the Falcons' 26-yard line when the turnover occurred.

(NOTE: That was Grant's first pick of 2023. He now has three in his career, dating back to 2021. Grant's last interception on the road came in Week 3 last season against the Seattle Seahawks, which doubles as the Falcons' last road victory.)

The Falcons offense then went three-and-out.

Defense prevented the Buccaneers from scoring a touchdown, but McLaughlin tied up the game one more time with less than a minute left.

Here's how the Falcons' final drive went: incomplete pass, 39-yard pass, 3-yard run and no-gain run.

Koo made a 51-yard field goal to win the game.

Scoring plays:

Buccaneers: Chase McLaughlin 36-yard field goal … 13-13, TIE

Falcons: Younghoe Koo 51-yard field goal … 16-13, ATL

Final: 16-13, ATL

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Week 7.

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