By Justin Gray
The Atlanta Falcons took the field Sunday with nothing to play for, but still played well and showed heart. They took on the NFC South Champs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are led by the greatest to ever do it in, Tom Brady. The Falcons could not make the playoffs with a win, but they played like they were trying to get in. Rookie Quarterback Desmond Ridder started this game, it was his fourth in a row.
The game started off with the Buccaneers taking it 70 yards on ten plays to get the scoring going 7-0. The teams swapped punts before the Falcons got on the board as Ridder connected with MyCole Pruitt from two yards out to tie the game. The Falcons defense then forced a fumble that turned into three points for the Falcons taking the lead, 10-7. The Buccaneers responded with a long 14 play drive that would stall and they were forced to take a field goal to tie it back up. The next points came after a costly Falcon fumble that turned into a Buccaneer touchdown giving them the lead at half 17-10.
Coming out of halftime, the Falcons put together a nice drive, but were forced to settle for a field goal cutting the lead to 17-13. The Falcons defense forced a three and out and got it back into the hot hands of the offense. They drove it 80 yards on 14 plays, eating nearly 8 minutes off the clock, Ridder picked up his second touchdown pass of the day on a pass to Olamide Zaccheaus, taking the lead 20-17. After another big defensive stop, the Falcons extended their lead on another time consuming drive that was capped off with a Cordarelle Patterson two yard rushing touchdown.
The Falcons picked up another field goal and that was the final, 30-17. The Falcons picked up a good win behind their young stars, QB Desmond Ridder and RB Tyler Allgeier. Ridder had his best day yet throwing for 224 yards and two touchdowns, Allgeier had a career day as he ran for 135 yards on 24 carries, he was practically unstoppable. The Falcons finished the season with a 7-10 record, and 2-2 since their QB change from Mariota to Ridder.
This season was more than a success as they were picked to be the worst team in the league, many believed they had the least amount of talent in the league as well. There's a bright future in Atlanta and lots young stars, they will be fun to watch for many years to come.