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Falcons’ Wings Clipped, Lose To Buccaneers 37-3

                  Michael Spurlock is mobbed by teammates after the first kickoff return touchdown in team history. 

Just two games to go until the Atlanta Falcons can take stock into their immediate future.  Today’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t exactly make potential draftees take notice.  Stifling defense and a special teams touchdown did the Falcons in as they were annihilated by the Bucs 37-3.

A milestone was also achieved by the Bucs, as well; they returned a kickoff for a touchdown, while not a big deal as it happens semi-regularly. What makes this one special is that this is the first kickoff returned for the Bucs – ever – for a TD; that goes over a span of 32 seasons. The kickoff return for that touchdown was for 90 yards and made by kick returner-wide receiver Michael Spurlock; Tampa cornerback Ronde Barber also returned an interception for a TD.

The Falcons had absolutely no answers on offense as they totalled only 133 total net yards. Suffice it to say, they were dominated in every phase of the game; as a matter of fact, Atlanta’s only score happened at the 6:32 mark of the first quarter, courtesy of a 33-yard field goal by kicker Morten Andersen. Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia, back after time off with a back injury, had a statistically dismal day, going 15-of-25 for 109 yards with a TD and an interception. Running back Earnest Graham led all Bucs’ rushers with 79 yards rushing and a score; Graham also was the Bucs’ leading receiver with 5 receptions for 40 yards.

Atlanta QB Chris Redman had an absolutely awful outing, going only 4-of-15 for 34 yards with 2 INT’s. RB Jerious Norwood led all Falcons rushers with 73 yards on only 9 carries. Tampa Bay (9-5), with today’s victory, won the NFC South division. Next week, they travel west to take on the San Francisco 49ers, while Atlanta (3-11), losers of 5 straight, travel to Glendale, AZ to take on the Arizona Cardinals next week.

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