Buccaneers vs. Falcons: Score, Stats & Highlights

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Final Score

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-14-14-0 — 31
Atlanta Falcons: 10-3-8-3 — 24
Full Box Score

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat NFC South Division rival Atlanta Falcons, 31-24, in their 2016 season opener.

It marked Dirk Koetter’s first win as the head coach of the Buccaneers.

Jameis Winston had an impressive outing, he completed 23 of 33 passes for 281 yards, four touchdown passes and only one interception. He finished with a passer rating of 122.6.

Eight different players caught passes from Winston, however it wasMike Evans who finished the game as the Bucs’ leading receiver. The third-year player caught five passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Penalties played a large role in the Falcons loss. Atlanta committed seven penalties accounting for a total of 74 yards. They also struggled to establish a productive ground game as Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 52 rushing yards.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was able to make a late fourth quarter push, however it fell short. Ryan completed 27 of 39 passes for 334 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Here’s how the game unfolded:

Buccaneers Roberto Aguayo Made a 43-Yard Field Goal

Bucs got into the red zone on the opening drive, but weren’t able to capitalize. Winston overthrew passes to Adam Humphries and Mike Evans and Tampa Bay had to settle for a field goal.

On his first NFL field-goal attempt, Roberto Aguayo drilled a 43-yard field goal to give the Bucs a 3-0 lead with 9:57 left in the first quarter.

Falcons Tied the Game With Matt Bryant’s 34-Yard Field Goal

Matt Ryan found Mohamed Sanu for an explosive 59-yard pass. However, Atlanta had to settle for a field goal after Ryan was sacked by Robert Ayers on third down. Matt Bryant hit a 34-yard field goal to even the score at 3.

Atlanta Took the Lead With a Mohamed Sanu Touchdown

After Jameis Winston was intercepted by Desmond Trufant, Falcons QB Matt Ryan led the Falcons to their first touchdown.

Ryan found Mohamed Sanu in the back of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown. Falcons lead 10-3 with 0:11 left in the first quarter.

Ryan is 7-for-8 for 90 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

Jameis Winston Connected With Brandon Myers for a 4-Yard Touchdown

Jamies Winston led a 75-yard touchdown play as the running game opened up the Bucs offense. The game is tied 10-10 with 10:25 left in the second quarter.

On that drive Winston went 6-for-6 for 59 yards.

Matt Bryant Kicked a 34-yard field goal to Give Falcons 13-10 Lead

Bryant’s 34-yard field goal gave Atlanta the lead with 1:45 left in first half to cap off a 7 play, 45-yard drive.

Charles Sims Made a 23-Yard Catch-and-Run for a Buccaneers Touchdown

Winston led a 75-yard drive to give Bucs a 17-10 lead with 0:14 left in the first half. Sims had an incredible 23-yard touchdown catch-and-run.

Entering halftime Winston had completed 17 of 24 passes for 151 yards, along with two touchdowns and an interception. Doug Martin is the Bucs’ leading rusher and receiver with 20 yards on seven carries and catching five passes for 34 yards.

Linebacker Kwon Alexander leads the team in tackles with eight.

Winston Found Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 30-Yard Touchdown Strike

The Bucs increased their lead early in the third quarter with an impressive 30-yard touchdown catch by Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The 4 play, 75-yard drive gave the Bucs a 24-13 lead with 12:54 left in third quarter.

Jameis Winston is now 20-for-27 for 223 yards and 3 TDs.

Mike Evans Caught a 45-Yard Touchdown Pass From Winston

Tampa Bay’s offense continued their roll with a 45-yard touchdown strike from Winston to Mike Evans. Tampa Bay increased their lead to 31-13 with 5:12 left in the third quarter.

Winston has 268 yards and 4 TDs.

Falcons Cut Bucs Lead With a 25-yard touchdown to Julio Jones

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones finally connected for a 25-yard touchdown to cap an impressive drive.

The Falcons’ two-point conversion to Sanu is good and cut the Bucs lead to 31-21 with 1:35 left in third quarter.

Matt Bryant Made a 29-Yard Field Goal

Falcons’ Matt Bryant drilled a 29-yard field goal to make it 31-24 with 4:55 left in the fourth quarter.

Game Preview

Last year’s No. 1 draft pick, Jameis Winston developed a strong rapport with Koetter during his rookie season.

“He brings the passion and drive that will re-energize our organization and help us establish the winning culture that will help us become the championship-caliber team that our fans deserve,” general manager Jason Licht said when he announced Koetter as coach.

Koetter continues to work closely with Winston. In 2015, Winston showed his potential to succeed in the NFL. The young quarterback is coming off his first season in the league with 4,042 yards, 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

“I think it’s just being more comfortable in the offense,” Winston said, according to Fox Sports. “Actually, knowing the offense and not trying to learn the offense on a week-to-week basis. That’s the main thing. When you’re trying to process information and apply it to the field and execute it, that’s always good.”

Tampa Bay has a balanced offense with Doug Martin at running back and Mike Evans at wide receiver. Martin ranked second in the NFL with 1,402 rushing yards last season.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan enters his ninth season off a mediocre 2015 campaign in which he threw the second-fewest touchdown passes (21) of his career.

Falcons receiver Julio Jones is coming off a standout season in which he earned 1,871 yards and eight touchdowns.

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