The Falcons dug themselves a 31-6 hole in Tampa and never climbed out, as the Buccaneers rolled to a 41-28 victory Sunday. The loss dropped Atlanta to 2-8, tied with the Bucs for last place in the NFC South. Let’s take a look behind the narrative for a few of the Falcons-Bucs game’s most notable numbers.
Minus-11 – Turnover differential for the Falcons after 10 games, one of the most glaring differences between this year’s Falcons’ squad and last season’s NFC South Champs.
Minus-10 – Big play differential (Falcons vs. opponents) on the season thus far for the Falcons. A big play is considered a 20+ yard gain.
0 – Percentage chance the Falcons will have their sixth-straight winning season, after five straight at the start of the Dimitroff-Smith era in Atlanta.
3 – Sacks for Buccaneers’ defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, all in the first half. Two of his sacks came on back-to-back plays on the first Falcons’ offensive series of the game to extinguish a promising drive.
5.5 – Pints of blood rookie LB Paul Worrilow lost in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Bucs. The television broadcast caught Worrilow on the sidelines with his arm enveloped in blood after just a couple series. The undrafted free agent is developing a reputation as a warrior and a tackling machine. [Editor's Note: Paul Worrilow did not lose 5.5 pints of blood. It just looked like he did.]
6 – Unconventional special teams plays in the game. Punts, kickoffs and field goals weren’t the best times to take a rest room break. The Falcons tried two onside kicks (both unsuccessful), while the Bucs surprised Atlanta in the second quarter by recovering an onside kick at midfield following a touchdown. Atlanta successfully converted a fake punt on fourth down in the fourth quarter with a direct snap to Jacquizz Rodgers. Tampa tried a fake field goal on 4th & 9 at the Falcons’ 34-yard line in the second quarter, but punter Michael Koenen’s pass wobbled harmlessly to the ground 20 yards downfield. A third-quarter Matt Bosher punt was blocked and downed by Bosher at the Falcons’ 20 yard line, and Tampa capitalized seven plays later on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to Vincent Jackson, widening Tampa’s lead to 38-6.
34 – All-purpose yards for Steven Jackson on the Falcons’ first offensive series (2 rushes for 22 yards, 1 catch for 12 yards), more than Jackson had the entire game last week against the Seahawks (20 all-purpose yards). Unfortunately, Jackson wasn’t much of a factor after that drive, as the game got out of hand by halftime. He finished with just 65 all purpose yards, 41 rushing yards on 11 carries and 24 receiving yards on 2 catches.
54 – Tackles for starting OLB Paul Worrilow in the past three games. After racking up 19 stops in each of the last two games, Worrilow led the team again against the Bucs with 14 tackles.
88 – Rushing yards for reserve RB Antone Smith on his only 2 carries of the game. Smith got his first reps at tailback midway through the fourth quarter, and he made the most of them. He exploded around right end for a 50-yard touchdown on his first carry, then rumbled for 38 more on the next series to help set up Roddy White’s 6-yard touchdown catch.
97 – Hours until the Falcons play their next game, a nationally-televised Thursday Night Football clash with the division-leading New Orleans Saints.
163 – Rushing yards for Bucs RB Bobby Rainey in the game. A second-year pro who was cut by the Ravens and then the Browns this season, Rainey had career high games in yardage and touchdowns Sunday against Atlanta.
283 – Total yards for the Bucs in the first half on their way to a 24-6 halftime lead. The Falcons totaled 151 first half yards, most of those in their first offensive possession.
420 – Total yards for the Falcons, who actually out-gained Tampa in the game, 420-410.