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Tampa Bay at Atlanta

Tampa Bay turns Vick fumble into game-winning field goal

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ATLANTA -- Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons looked unstoppable.

Then Derrick Brooks took matters into his own hands.

Brooks, always at his best against the Falcons, forced a fumble by Vick with just over a minute to go, leading to Matt Bryant's 45-yard field goal that gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 30-27 victory Sunday.

The Bucs (7-3) moved into a tie for first in the NFC South with Carolina, which lost 13-3 at Chicago. The Falcons (6-4) remained one game back in the hotly contested division after their second straight loss at home.

"That was a gritty game, man," Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber said. "Two equally matched teams. There's big plays all over the field when we two play each other."

Brooks came up with the biggest play of all after Carnell "Cadillac" Williams scored on a 9-yard run to tie the game at 27 with 1:55 remaining.

Blitzing up the middle, he leaped over Warrick Dunn's attempted block and somehow caused Vick to lose the ball as the dropped back to pass. Shelton Quarles fell on it at the Atlanta 34.

Four plays later, Bryant kicked his winning field goal with 42 seconds remaining.

Vick, who threw for 306 yards in just the second 300-yard game of his career, wasn't sure what happened.

"I don't know if Warrick hit the ball or if Derrick Brooks hit the ball," Vick said. "We fought back. We were able to make plays. We just didn't win the game. That's what matters most."

Brooks didn't know if he got a hand on the ball, either, speculating that he may have knocked Dunn into the quarterback, which caused the fumble.

This much was clear: The Bucs recovered and got an important division win on the road.

"We're going to creep out of here very humbly," Brooks said.

Atlanta fell behind 13-0, then moved the ball at will against Tampa Bay's highly ranked defense. Vick led five straight scoring possessions, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins that gave the Falcons a 27-20 lead with 7:36 remaining.

Vick was at his best on third down. The Falcons converted 11-of-17 -- many of them in long-yardage situations -- against a team that ranked second in the league in that category, allowing a measly 29.6 percent success rate.

After Williams' touchdown, Atlanta got the ball back at its 20 with plenty of time and all three timeouts. Vick connected with Dunn on an 11-yard pass, then Dunn broke several tackles for an 8-yard run. But Brooks broke through to mess things up.

"I don't care about stats," Vick said. "I don't care how many yards I pass for as long as we win."

After the fumble, Vick drove the Falcons to the Tampa Bay 37 with five seconds remaining. Michael Koenen attempted a 55-yard field goal on the final play, but couldn't duplicate a 58-yarder he made on his only other attempt this season.

Koenen, who normally handles the punting and kickoff duties, is also used on long field goals because he has a much stronger leg than Todd Peterson. His kick had plenty of distance but sailed wide of the right upright.

"I hit it good. I hit it solid," Koenen said. "I just pushed it a little bit."

Bryant kicked three field goals for the Bucs, including a pair of 45-yarders.

Tampa Bay surrendered 443 yards, but came up with two huge defensive plays. With Vick on the sideline after being shaken up on a sack, Simeon Rice blew right by his blocker and knocked the ball out of Matt Schaub's hand. Anthony McFarland fell on it for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead less than eight minutes into the game.

The Bucs added another field goal before Atlanta got rolling. Vick started out 2-of-8, but finished 21-of-38. Dunn rushed for 82 yards and T.J. Duckett had 51, including a short touchdown run. Rookie Roddy White had four catches for a career-high 108 yards -- only the second 100-yard game of the year for a Falcons receiver. Jenkins and Alge Crumpler each caught a touchdown pass.

"Mike threw some balls that took your breath away," Rice said.

It wasn't enough against Tampa Bay, which managed to win with just 258 yards on offense. Williams was the catalyst with 116 yards on 19 carries.

Joey Galloway, third in the league in both yards receiving and touchdown catches, was held without a reception by the Falcons.

Notes

  • The Falcons got off to a miserable start for the second week in a row. They fell behind Green Bay 14-0 midway through the first quarter and went on to a 33-25 loss.
  • Four of Tampa Bay's wins have been by a total of nine points.
  • Conversely, Atlanta has lost three times by three points, two of them on last-minute field goals.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Carnell Williams runs for 116 yards and a touch in Tampa Bay's 30-27 win.
 
Carnell Williams runs for 116 yards and a touch in Tampa Bay's 30-27 win. (AP)
 

 

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Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGMatt Bryant 31 Yd, 10:44. Drive: 7 plays, 66 yards in 4:16.
TDAnthony McFarland, 0 Yd fumble return (Matt Bryant kick is good), 7:03.
2ND QUARTER
FGMatt Bryant 45 Yd, 8:38. Drive: 6 plays, 40 yards in 3:01.
FGTodd Peterson 31 Yd, 4:31. Drive: 10 plays, 64 yards in 4:07.
TDT.J. Duckett, 1 Yd run (Todd Peterson kick is good), 0:16. Drive: 10 plays, 83 yards in 2:37.
3RD QUARTER
TDAlge Crumpler, 4 Yd pass from Michael Vick (Todd Peterson kick is good), 9:22. Drive: 10 plays, 73 yards in 5:38.
TDMike Alstott, 1 Yd run (Matt Bryant kick is good), 5:32. Drive: 7 plays, 69 yards in 3:50.
4TH QUARTER
FGTodd Peterson 20 Yd, 12:57. Drive: 13 plays, 69 yards in 7:35.
TDMichael Jenkins, 10 Yd pass from Michael Vick (Todd Peterson kick is good), 7:36. Drive: 10 plays, 49 yards in 4:38.
TDCadillac Williams, 9 Yd run (Matt Bryant kick is good), 1:55. Drive: 11 plays, 71 yards in 5:41.
FGMatt Bryant 45 Yd, 0:42. Drive: 4 plays, 8 yards in 0:25.
Players of the Game
New York

M. Vick
Att 38
Comp 21
Yds 306
TD 2

C. Williams
Rush 19
Yds 116
Avg 6.1
TD 1
 
Tampa Bay
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
C. Simms11/1911801
RushingATTYDSTDLG
C. Williams19116130
C. Simms31006
M. Alstott4816
M. Pittman1606
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
M. Clayton348027
A. Smith343019
C. Williams31308
A. Becht112012
M. Alstott1202
Atlanta
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
M. Vick21/3830620
M. Schaub0/0000
RushingATTYDSTDLG
W. Dunn1882015
T. Duckett1451117
M. Vick417013
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
R. White4108054
M. Jenkins569121
A. Crumpler549120
B. Finneran340020
W. Dunn220011
T. Duckett119019
F. McCrary1101
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
NO 17 Final
NE 24
MIN 20 Final
GB 17
KC 45 Final
HOU 17
BUF 10 Final
SD 48
NYJ 0 Final
DEN 27
PIT 13 Final
BAL 16
SEA 27 Final
SF 25
OAK 16 Final
WAS 13
JAC 31 Final
TEN 28
ARI 38 Final
STL 28
PHI 17 Final
NYG 27
DET 7 Final
DAL 20
MIA 0 Final
CLE 22
IND 45 Final
CIN 37
CAR 3 Final
CHI 13