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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

Evans makes the catch of the year but the Falcons still rout the Bucs

Atlanta strengthened their grip on the NFC South last night.

MATT RYAN THREW for 344 yards and four touchdowns Thursday to lead the Atlanta Falcons to a 43-28 NFL victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida.

On the other side, Bucs receiver Mike Evans had a career-high 11 catches for 150 yards, but in another blow for Tampa Bay, he was evaluated for a concussion after taking a hit on a one-handed catch.

The Falcons trailed 14-13 in the second quarter, but had inched ahead by halftime and pulled away in the third period for a win that boosted their NFC South division-leading record to 6-3.

Ryan was near-flawless in the third quarter, completing 11 of 12 passing attempts for 146 yards and two touchdowns — to fullback Patrick DiMarco and receiver Julio Jones.

The Falcons avenged an opening-week home defeat to the Bucs, producing five touchdowns and three field goals and never having to punt.

Jameis Winston threw three TD passes for the Buccaneers, but left the contest after injuring his right knee on a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.

It’s the first time in Winston’s two-year NFL career that he has missed a snap.

Backup Mike Glennon, getting his first playing time since 2014, threw a touchdown to tight end Cameron Brate with 0:59 left but the Bucs fell to 3-5, dropping to third in the NFC South behind Atlanta and the 3-4 New Orleans Saints, who visit the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

The Bucs fell to 0-4 at home this season and are an NFL-worst 3-17 at home since the start of the 2014 campaign.

(C) AFP 2016

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