ATLANTA- When Tom Brady plays against the Atlanta Falcons, you can almost rest assure yourself it will be a win for your team and he proved that again Sunday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Brady threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns en route to Tampa Bay defeating Atlanta 30-17. The Buccaneers now improve to 9-3 on the season and have extended their division lead to four games ahead of the Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. Brady himself improved to 10-0 when facing Atlanta.
The first drive of the game told the story of what kind of day it would be on the offensive side of the football, as Tampa Bay went no huddle and threw all 13 times on the opening possession. The Buccaneers ended the drive with a touchdown pass from Brady to Fournette to give Tampa Bay an early 7-0 lead.
The Falcons (5-7), though, answered back quickly on the very next possession with a strong rushing attack led by running backs Cordalle Patterson and Mike Davis, who ended up scoring to end the drive. Tied up 7-apiece, the Buccaneers would continue attacking the Falcons’ secondary all afternoon and forcing the issue on offense.
Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin set a franchise mark for catches in a single game with 14 receptions and ended with 143 yards to lead the team. It would be the connection between the old teammates of Brady and Gronkowski that made the difference in the endzone, as the two connected twice on touchdown passes. Brady upped his totals to an NFL-leading 34 touchdown passes and 3,771 yards.
On the other side of the spectrum for the Falcons, it was another disappointing afternoon despite playing good football as of late. Quarterback Matt Ryan finished the afternoon completing 30-of-41 for 297 yards and no touchdowns. Patterson led all rushers with 78 yards on the ground. Now Tampa Bay must prepare for one of the AFC’s top teams in the Buffalo Bills. The game is slated for Sunday Dec. 12 with a 4:25pm kickoff at Raymond James Stadium and will be broadcasted on CBS.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.