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NFL: Ryan rallies Falcons past Buccaneers 24-23
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Tampa, Fla. • No one has led more late game-winning drives during the past five seasons than Matt Ryan, who has kept the Atlanta Falcons flying high with five fourth-quarter rallies this year alone.

Matty Ice did it again Sunday, throwing for 353 yards and overcoming two critical turnovers to stop Tampa Bay's four-game winning streak with a 24-23 victory.

The Falcons (10-1) kept pace with Houston for the NFL's best record, and Ryan had plenty of help in withstanding a challenge from the up-and-coming Bucs.

Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on an 80-yard TD midway through the third quarter, but the Falcons found themselves trailing 23-17 after the Bucs marched for a touchdown, then used a sack-fumble to set up a field goal that left Atlanta needing another strong finish from their QB.

Ryan obliged by a leading a six-play, 64-yard march that Michael Turner finished with a 3-yard TD run that put the NFC South leaders ahead for good with 7:55 remaining.

Connor Barth missed a 56-yard goal for Tampa Bay in the closing minutes, and the winning streak that's helped the Bucs climb back into playoff contention ended when Josh Freeman's desperation pass fell incomplete in the end zone on the final play.

"The last drive, that's something we've done before this season," Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said. "I really think that's a positive for us to be able to come up with plays like that when we have to like that." Falcons 24,Buccaneers 23

Atlanta 3 7 7 7 — 24

Tampa Bay 7 3 3 10 — 23

First Quarter

Atl • FG Bryant 31, 7:38.

TB • Martin 1 run (Barth kick), 1:12.

Second Quarter

Atl • Rodgers 5 run (Bryant kick), 10:25.

TB • FG Barth 22, 3:37.

Third Quarter

TB • FG Barth 42, 8:37.

Atl • Jones 80 pass from Ryan (Bryant kick), 8:26.

Fourth Quarter

TB • Martin 1 run (Barth kick), 14:56.

TB • FG Barth 48, 10:28.

Atl • Turner 3 run (Bryant kick), 7:55.

Attendance • 54,400.

Atl TB

First downs 20 16

Total Net Yards 424 326

Rushes-yards 24-79 21-50

Passing 345 276

Punt Returns 1-10 0-0

Kickoff Returns 2-73 3-63

Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-28

Comp-Att-Int 26-32-1 20-31-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 1-8 2-8

Punts 1-45.0 2-50.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0

Penalties-yards 2-15 5-24

Time of Possession 29:22 30:38

Individual Statistics

Rushing • Atlanta, Rodgers 10-49, Turner 13-17, Ryan 1-13. Tampa Bay, Martin 21-50.

Passing • Atlanta, Ryan 26-32-1-353. Tampa Bay, Freeman 19-30-0-256, Williams 1-1-0-28.

Receiving • Atlanta, Jones 6-147, Gonzalez 5-62, White 5-57, Snelling 3-33, Turner 3-13, Rodgers 2-30, Douglas 2-11. Tampa Bay, Jackson 5-96, Underwood 5-77, Clark 4-65, Williams 3-28, Martin 2-13, Stocker 1-5.

Missed Field Goals • Atlanta, Bryant 22 (WL), 48 (WR). Tampa Bay, Barth 56 (SH).

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