The defense continued right where it left of against the Chicago Bears in week 4. It was simply a horrendous performance by the Buccaneers defense in the first half, allowing Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons to move the ball at will, particularly through the air. Ryan ended up completing a whopping 76% of his passes in the game, seemingly close to 95% in the first half, taking a 24-13 lead into halftime.
On offense, it was the first game back as a starter for franchise quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston played well, found Cameron Brate on the last play of the first drive for a Touchdown to take the lead. However, Catanzaro missed the ensuing extra point, which turned out to be very costly for the Bucs as the game progressed. The missed extra point might have put the Bucs in a position to win the game. But hey… when it rains, it pours!
Winston ended up throwing for 395 yards, 4 Touchdowns and completed 30 of his 41 pass attempts. In addition to that, with just over a minute left to play, he lead the Bucs all the way down the field on the very last drive of the play to Atlanta’s 20 yard line with one last play to win the game before the Bucs would run out of time.
On the other hand, Winston turned the ball over twice, which is clearly an issue he has to fix. He threw two interceptions, both of which were completely his fault. One of them came on a play in the red zone on an underthrown pass to Chris Godwin. Another thing causing reason for concern is the lack of chemistry with DeSean Jackson and also Mike Evans in this game, something the Bucs will have to fix in the coming weeks.
Surprisingly, the Bucs defense came to play in the second half and made a few stops, keeping Tampa Bay in the game. Yet, Atlanta’s 34 points was too much to overcome by a solid Buccaneers offense. Even the running game worked well this time, as Peyton Barber averaged 6.3 yards per carry on 13 rushing attempts.
All in all, it was a very disappointing and heart-breaking loss for the Buccaneers. Next up is a matchup at home against the Cleveland Browns and their dangerous pass defense. The Buccaneers now find themselves in a must-win situation for this upcoming home game.