It may have not been a thing of beauty, but without franchise QB Matt Ryan and RB Michael Turner, the Falcons will take a win anyway they can get it. Sunday they did just that. Led by backup QB Chris Redmen, the Falcons outlasted the game Tampa Bay Bucs at home 20-17 to move to 6-5 on the season.
They avoided disaster after they lost Ryan after he went 2-for-3 for 15 yards. Redmen was 23-for-41 for 243 yards with two TD’s. The second one was the game-winner with just :23 seconds left, as he threw it in traffic to Roddy White in the end zone on 4th down to give the Falcons the 19-17 lead, which was the difference.
“We couldn’t afford to lose this one,” White said. “It’s a good thing Chris came in there and did what he had to do to win this game.”
Redmen also threw a TD to running back Jerious Norwood, it came on a shovel pass for a 22-yard score to give the Falcons a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. It looked like they would cruise from threre against the 1-9 Bucs, but then Tampa Bay rallied and outscored Atlanta 17-3 to take a 17-13 lead until the final drive. “You’ve got to make that last play at the end of the game,” cornerback Bucs Aqib Talib said.
Tampa Bay rookie QB Josh Freeman was 20-for-29 for 250 yards with two TD’s. He hit Antonio Bryant with a 42-yard score to close the gap to 10-7 in the second quarter, then hit Carnell Williams with an 8-yard TD in the third quarter that put the Bucs up 17-10.
Turner ran 12 times for 33 yards, but left after he reinjured his right ankle during the third quarter, a high sprain that had kept the running back out of the previous game and limited him in practice. The team not only lost Ryan with a toe injury and Turner, but also starting offensive linemen Harvey Dahl and Sam Baker.
Ryan hurt the toe on the ninth snap of the game, a sack by Stylez White and Tim Crowder. The toe was taped up, extra padding was added to his shoe and Ryan did some light jogging on the sideline to test it out, but never came back in.