On Sunday, the Buccaneers may have thought they could salvage their season with another win, but Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback Chris Redman put paid to that idea with a five-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left to give the Falcons a 20-17 win over the hapless Bucs.
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Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan went down with a toe injury on the first series, and injuries depleted Atlanta's bench, so for a time it looked like Tampa Bay had a shot at winning.
The Falcons jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but the Buccaneers fought to tie the game before halftime. Quarterback Josh Freeman recovered from his last disastrous start, going 20 for 29 for 250 yards and no turnovers. His one mistake was a fumble that he recovered. A deep sideline pass to Antonio Bryant for a touchdown put the Bucs on the board, and a Connor Barth 39-yard field goal tied the score at the half.
In the third quarter, Cadillac Williams caught an eight-yard Freeman pass to give the Bucs a 17-10 lead, and then the Falcons' Jason Elam kicked a field goal to make it 17-13 Bucs.
In the fourth quarter, Elam missed another field goal try and the Bucs drove into Falcons territory. But Barth missed a 51-yard field goal try with 2:30 left in the game, and the Falcons had one more try with no timeouts.
The 59-yard drive gave the Falcons the win and left the Buccaneers wondering why their season has been cursed. Now at 1-10, and with coach Raheem Morris running the defense after demoting the teams defensive coordinator, the Bucs had little to be happy about, save their five sacks of Redman.
The Bucs play the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 6.
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