Freeman runs for 126 yards, Falcons hold off Bucs

On the ensuing drive, Tampa Bay pulled into a 7-7 tie with Winston's 30-yard scoring pass to rookie tight end O.J. Howard, who sustained a game-ending ankle injury on the play.

The Atlanta Falcons are in position to win another NFC South championship. More importantly, there was nutritional value in the victory.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - There's only one team the Atlanta Falcons need to be concerned about the rest of the way. "That's really all our focus needs to be about". "If we're worried about anything else then you're not as locked in as you need to be".

The Atlanta Falcons picked up an important win Monday night against the Buccaneers in Tampa.

Ryan threw for 212 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

Gruden was fired after the 2008 season and moved into the broadcast booth the following season.

"We had a sense this would be a big night for him".

Winston said, "I'm very happy with the way that we competed". "We thought he would have his opportunities". "Try to improve and make sure we play the best we're capable of playing this Sunday". Howard (ankle) limped off the field after being hit near the goal line on his TD and did not return.

On Monday, though, he was efficient and resourceful.

Jameis Winston had his sharpest performance of the season for the Bucs (4-10), who have lost nine of 11 following a 2-1 start.

Jameis Winston threw for 299 yards and three TDs for the Bucs (4-10), including a 16-yarder to Adam Humphries that trimmed Atlanta's lead to three points with 3:51 remaining. It wasn't over until the Buccaneers' Patrick Murray missed a 54-yard field goal attempt as time expired. "He probably played his best game this season", coach Dirk Koetter said.

Ryan targeted the star receiver eight times Monday night, but Jones only had three catches for 54 yards. The Bucs haven't made the playoffs since 2007 and don't have a postseason win since their Super Bowl run 15 years ago.

  • Ricardo Clara