Falcons extend NFC South lead, defeat Buccaneers

Posted Nov. 25, 2012 @ 4:38 p.m.
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By Fred Goodall, AP Sports Writer

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Matt Ryan threw for 353 yards and overcame two big turnovers by leading another late touchdown drive to give the Atlanta Falcons a 24-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on an 80-yard TD in the third quarter, but the NFC South leaders found themselves trailing 23-17 after the Bucs marched for a touchdown, then forced a fumble by Ryan to set up a field goal that put the Falcons in catchup mode.

Michael Turner's 1-yard TD run put Atlanta ahead for good with 7:55 left. Connor Barth missed a 56-yard goal for Tampa Bay (6-5) in the closing minutes, and the Bucs' four-game winning streak ended when Josh Freeman's desperation pass fell incomplete in the end zone with no time remaining.

The win enabled the Falcons (10-1) to keep pace with Houston for the NFL's best record. Turner also scored a fourth-quarter TD that helped the Falcons overcome mistakes to beat Arizona 23-19 last week.

Game stats

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