Falcons Fall To 5-8, Door Opens For Bucs To Seize Big Division Lead

December 4th, 2022

Another Sunday it was in the NFC South, and that meant more losing.

The division teams, including Tampa Bay, are now a combined 18-30.

That’s damn hard to do.

Atlanta (5-8) and runaround quarterback Marcus Mariota lost at home this afternoon, 19-16 to the woeful Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7). The Falcons had a 16-play drive that ended in a field goal late in the fourth quarter, and that was pretty much the ballgame.

Cordarelle Patterson scored what would have been the go-head touchdown on the late drive on 1st-and-goal, but it was called back for holding.

This was one of the more boring games Joe has seen in a long time, and the Falcons sure don’t look like a team that can rise up and challenge the Bucs.

If the Bucs (5-6) can beat the Saints (4-8) tomorrow night, they’ll take a giant step toward locking down the NFC South crown with five games remaining. Carolina (4-8) is on its bye week and will travel to Seattle next weekend.

77 Responses to “Falcons Fall To 5-8, Door Opens For Bucs To Seize Big Division Lead”

  1. ElioT Says:

    Pet usual, the Bucs will play down to the comp.

    Watching games today… it’s crazy how stale and old our team looks and plays.

  2. NEfan Says:

    The Jets/Minn looked like a playoff game. Kc and Cincy same feeling. They must have good coaches.

  3. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Doesn’t matter how bad the divion is the playoffs are by no stretch going to be easy.

    With a 3 point offensive performance against the Panthers, why would anyone except to preform well against the Saints, Bengals, 49ers?

    The Bucs have right now one of, if not, THE worst offense in football. If it wasn’t for the defense this teams would have 2-3 wins

  4. HC Grover Says:

    7-10 may win the Clown Division.

  5. Todd Says:

    I look forward to our 4D chess-playing offensive coordinator mixing things up on Monday night! I don’t want to out my sources but I have the first 15-plays!

    Byron will rock people’s minds who believe he will run to the left on first down.


    I mean, YES…he will.

    But do you not see the GENIUS in doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and…


    What a sevant!

  6. Chuckstutz Says:

    Next week San Francisco on a short week. Good luck.

  7. HC Grover Says:

    Bucs need a new position…Bodyguard. Put in 41 every play to guard Brady.

  8. TDavis Says:

    Nothing should be assumed or taken for granted when it comes to the Bucs. Teams that can’t score and can’t make good game-management decisions are capable of losing to any team.

  9. adam from ny Says:

    what if:

    BA is secretly furious about being pushed up to the front office…

    and has instructed his henchmen (bowles, byron) to throw games and strategically underperform all year – after they came flying out the gate to a 2-0 start…

    so to monkey-wrench tommy b’s final year in the league (supposedly), and make it impossible for him to go out in his final season on top…

    while if bowles and byron play basically .500 ball (9-8, 8-9), they’ll be given a next season to prove themselves, as this record could seem almost fluke-ish after all the recent success and change in culture…

    and they also will have a little added job security since they are superbowl winners here and should be treated as such, and in all probability won’t be ousted for one average record season…

    #SabotagingTommyBeesFinalYear #HotTake #FireTheCannons

    could it be possible?

  10. AmauryGuzman Says:

    They probably lose tomorrow . Typical of a bad coached football team. Anyway watching this 49ers games and i am amazed at how the niners get away with a lot of physical play.

  11. WillieG Says:

    The Bucs always seem to reject the gifts from the football gods, so I think the Saints will win.

  12. ClwJB Says:

    JimmyG carted off and SF down to QB3 – Falcons blow a game they should win, the cards are right there in the table for us

    Pray we can take them….

  13. adam from ny Says:

    jimmy g chipped a toenail

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Time to win a game…..forget what others are doing and focus on winning……how about a repeat of Munich?

  15. Wild Bill Says:

    TEAM SPEED!!! Watching other teams playing today it was obvious the Bucs are very ordinary on offense. I was amazed how much faster the better teams are compared to the Bucs. Bucs are respectable on defense but way too slow on offense.

  16. sasquatch Says:

    Don’t worry, Leftwich and Bowles will find a way to keep us out of the playoffs. I have faith that if anybody can screw it up, they can.

  17. Redeemer Says:

    Wild Bill, I noticed the same thing. Bucs look like they’re running in wet cement comparatively. Speed is the one skill that can’t be taught. Taking the top of the defense is overrated, but if you don’t have team speed, it’s hard to keep up. I still think we’ll win this putrid division. Most likely host a playoff game, against a team with a better record. This has been the most unpredictable season in my recent memory.

  18. Mike Johnson Says:

    Nobody deserves to be in any playoffs with a losing record. Not even our Bucs.

  19. R0n in Tampa Says:

    Win tomorrow and the superbowl march continues. I don’t understand why anyone would want to see Bowles and Leftwich fired. When the Bucs win it all this year and next both will have 3 super bowl rings which is more than anybody in team history. Bowels as a head coach will have 2 rings as a hc. More than Gruden and Arians.

  20. Rod Munch Says:

    The Rams have over 170 yards rushing vs the Seahawks.

    LOL at those dopes who thought the Bucs run game was magically fixed when we played the Seahawks. Literally didn’t do anything different, still had a complete idiot calling the plays (the same trick player called in the course of a few plays).

    Turns out nothing was magically fixed, just that the Seahawks suck at stopping the run.

  21. Rashad_is_awesome Says:

    Let’s not kid ourselves. Bucs get embarrassed , again, I’m a prime time match up. Lefty can’t solve for the 2 high man bracket coverage and our defense gets gashed for four touch downs

  22. richbucsfan Says:

    When I read this headline I laughed so hard. The Bucs will be seal-clubbed tomorrow night. I am sure the strategic thinking of highly articulate BL will be so amazing that the offense will score 35+ points as Wells manhandles anyone the Saints out in front of him. Is 67 starting again? What a joke of a game it will be.

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    I have full confidence in the two clowns that lead the Bucs… confidence that they’ll make the NFC South come down to week 17.

  24. NEfan Says:

    Tbbucs@ 41 points to KC, 20 to Pittsburgh, lost the lead to Ravens. O won Atlanta, Seattle, Rams, Saints, both played well against Dallas. Some of you fans are spoiled thinking 31 points is the standard, not any more. No risk it no biscuit no points cause it ain’t coming from the running game.

  25. AmauryGuzman Says:

    I can’t stand the 49ers . We could lose that game as well. Even to a backup QB.

  26. Buc4evr Says:

    What a clown show. It would be embarrassing for the Bucs to get into the playoffs with a losing record. If they can’t have a winning record I would prefer that they don’t become division champions. What a horrible situation.

    They will probably get their lazy butts kicked tomorrow night. Brady is a statue unable to move or even scramble for 2 yards. He is terrible on 3rd down throws. The WR’s can’t get separation and the Oline is just slow and weak. They play in slo mo. Game day thread will be the same stuff. Everyone will be screaming at BL for his stupid play calling and propensity to run the ball on first down and 3rd and 2. Pathetic team will get killed by NO.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    AmauryGuzman Says:
    December 4th, 2022 at 7:07 pm
    I can’t stand the 49ers . We could lose that game as well. Even to a backup QB.


    1. The Bucs always lose to young backup QBs
    2. We ‘could’ lose? COULD? The Bucs should be 7-point underdogs. They won’t, because Brady is Brady, but they’ve dominated the Dolphins today, constantly had Tua under pressure. What are they going to do vs this the Bucs offensive line?

    Plus the Bucs still have to make it through tomorrow night, and the Bucs seem to lose a couple of starters every week.

  28. NEfan Says:

    If a coach wants to slow a game down he can do it rather easily, that’s what Bowles wants to do. Do confuse separation for speed, other teams have a running game which allows for play action they also run motion plays and picks, BL does none of that. I’m shock Brady is still upright.

  29. Tye Says:

    GOTTA win tomorrow night or going to all be moot…

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    NEfan – Bowles has nothing to do with this offense. This is 100% on Leftwich. I’ve said for years, get Leftwich out from underneath Arians, and he’s going to be the most conservative, stupid, predictable play caller in the NFL. Over the years, for those listened for the comments, heard Arians call out Leftwich for being boring and predictable a number of times (not in those words, of course). Arains would say, a number of times, that he had to stay on top of Leftwich to open things up and to mix things up. And that was with Gronk, and AB, and fully healthy Godwin and Evans.

    Now that Arians is gone, we’re seeing what Leftwich is. An ultra predictable dullard.

    What I don’t get is why Brady hasn’t just thrown Leftwich under the bus. He sort of did at the end of the Rams game when he said he ‘suggested’ the game winning play to Leftwich – a nice way of saying he knew that idiot would screw it up. Maybe Brady legitimately likes Leftwich and feels sorry for him being an idiot and trying to protect him, but the best way to protect Leftwich would be to ignore him and have Brady call the game himself, and just claim Leftwich is doing it.

  31. Costa Rica John Says:

    At least there’s a real football game on today. Bengals Chiefs game is good. Both teams look like they want to win.

  32. fwfan Says:

    A win makes it 3 wins in their last 4 games. Division seems like a lock at this point. Does that give the fans confidence that a SB title is in the works?

  33. Buc king Says:

    Does anyone wanna guess how much we lose by?

  34. Defense Rules Says:

    Just watched the Bengals beat the Chiefs for the 3rd time in 2022. And earlier the 49ers handled the Dolphins pretty easily. Bucs have 3 very tough games coming up, starting tomorrow night. The way we’ve been playing, we’ll be fortunate to win 1 out of 3.

  35. R0n@Tampa Says:

    I believe the bucs can beat the saints. Once the division is secured its 0-0 and anything can happen.

  36. BucU Says:

    God bless you few remaining optimists out there. I commend you. The Browns game was my last straw on the camels back. This coaching staff is just so blatantly incapable of thinking and reacting in real time. Leftwich is STILL using the exact same scheme from the SB season and last yr. He’s obviously incapable to matching a gamelan to an opponent and understanding who you have now and adjusting accordingly. You can’t fix that. So it must be removed.
    Until then we’ll see what we’ve seen all season. GARBAGE.

  37. Robert Says:

    Coaching does not deserve it. Hate to say it, but I hope they fail. Toilet bowl and left deserve the unemployment line.

  38. BucU Says:

    14-9 Saints.

  39. Redeemer Says:

    Rod, I’m not sure this is all BL. If it is, then Bowles is even more derelict than I thought. What kind of head coach isn’t at least involved in the periphery of the offense, no matter his background. If the HC isn’t happy with the offense, direct the coordinator to change things. Bowles has a headset.

    As to your question as to why Brady hasn’t complained, maybe he has. But we both know it’s not in his nature to ruffle feathers. If it’s like you say, an BA was the one tweaking things, then why is Bowles capable of that? Who the hell is in charge here?

  40. Tom Sumner Says:

    jimmy g is out 4 the rest of the season…

  41. Redeemer Says:

    Isn’t, and

  42. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Tom Sumner doesn’t matter. This team will lose to a backup . This team is led by an incompetent coaching staff.

  43. Pewter Power Says:

    If there’s any team I don’t trust the Bucs against it’s the saints. You never know what you will get in those games. We struggled to beat them averaging 30 points a game

  44. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Well, Jimmy G for 49rs out rear of year with broken foot!!!

    We will play against last years NFL Draft MR IRRELEVANT, Brock Purdy???

    Hmmmm, the way Bucs coaching is, TB & BL will make Brock quite relevant 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️….

  45. mark2001 Says:

    If Brady plays well, and not like our former Wisconsin QB this year, Fred Mertz, who just entered the transfer portal, we should be fine.

  46. Kentucky Buc Says:

    I believe Bowles has had his foot on the offense all year but if I’m wrong and it’s all BL then that’s still on Bowles for allowing this Uber predictable offense .

  47. steele Says:

    Bucs may have just been handed a win next week. Jimmy GQ out for season with broken foot, replaced by the sensational….Brock Purdy.

  48. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Brock Purdy looked decent, played well.
    So he is no scrub, He looks more than enough with the 49er defense, to score 1 more than the Bucs do.
    Tampa Bay looks like a “Homecoming team” right now in the NFL on peoples schedule.

  49. NEfan Says:

    Tod, BA dictated how he wanted the O to be run. Bowles blatantly stated the Bucs won’t be a risk it no biscuit offense. That sure sounds to me like he has a hand in how the O will be run. I also believe he has no interest in Brady’s input or anyone else for that matter. Funny how we haven’t heard a peep from his mentor Mr. Invisible BA!

  50. NEfan Says:


  51. ElioT Says:

    Not for nothing….

    But when is this China Doll, Russell Gage going to do anything for this team.

    $10M/year just flushed down the drain. Must be nice…

  52. adam from ny Says:

    all teams in the division who lose just one more game finish under .500 no matter what…

    so all we have to do is win 9 for the division title if each other team loses just one more time…

    meanwhile they all must win out just to get to 9

  53. adam from ny Says:

    what if:

    garapolo is out for the season and the bucs are in talks with lynch to trade tommy b to the niners???

  54. adam from ny Says:

    crock turdy or tommy b

  55. alton d green Says:

    yes the Jets played really good today. Yesterday I mentioned situational football like Bilichick coaches. The Jets had a 3rd down on the 1 yd line. what does the coach do? you guessed it. called a pass play INCOMPLETE. Think that’s bad? he called the same thing on 4th down and 1. INCOMPLETE. Of course they lost

  56. Rod Munch Says:

    Redeemer Says:
    December 4th, 2022 at 7:56 pm
    Rod, I’m not sure this is all BL. If it is, then Bowles is even more derelict than I thought. What kind of head coach isn’t at least involved in the periphery of the offense


    Bowles was ‘given’ the job on March 30th, he had no say in personnel, or picking an offense, he inherited Arians offense — well, actually, what he inherited was Arians OC, and not his offense, which is the issue.

    While I have no doubt that Bowles is a complete dullard and idiot who repeats what his middle school football coach told him in 1976, that you win by running the ball and playing defense, what makes you think he has anything to do with the offense? Have you seen him once on the sideline talking to Leftwich, yelling at him, telling him to do anything?

    Bowles had this position trust upon, and Arians stuck around to oversee Leftwich. But without Arians standing on the sidelines, yelling at Leftwich, you see what Leftwich does. He’s an idiot, no matter how much you tell that low IQ moron not to run the same plays in the same order in the same situations, that’s what he is going to do. Arians, as HC, would tell Leftwich you can’t run up the middle for the 9th time in a row on 1st down, during the game – without that – you see the results.

    Also, as for what kind of coach has no say in the other side of the ball – let me present you with the biggest fraud ever, Jon Gruden. In 2002, he also came in late, and had no say in the defense. Yes, he’d go around and run around the feel pretending like he was a QB and yell at people, but everything on defense was done by Monte Kiffin, who should be in the HOF as a DC.

    Meanwhile, Leftwich should be in the unemployment line as an OC, he’s not even qualified to be that middle school football coach.

  57. Rod Munch Says:

    NEfan – You should stick to watching the Pats if you literally think Bowles is holding Leftwich back. Better yet, when Leftwich is eventually fired by the Bucs, make him your OC up there in NE, let me know how that turns out for you. LOL!

  58. Rod Munch Says:

    Kentucky Buc Says:
    December 4th, 2022 at 8:13 pm
    I believe Bowles has had his foot on the offense all year but if I’m wrong and it’s all BL then that’s still on Bowles for allowing this Uber predictable offense .


    Again, what makes you think Bowles has any say in any of this? He got the job only because Arians retired … on March 30th. There was no coaching search, and Bowles had no say in what coaches he wanted. The entire point of BA retiring was to give his projects, Bowles and Leftwich, the best shot at being HC’s, and to leave them in a good situation where they both could win this year and Bowles would secure his future, and Leftwich would be a HC next year. This team was picked by Vegas as the favorite to go to the SB in the NFC. Arians could not have given these two idiots a better opportunity.

    As for Leftwich, again, go back and look at his stupid, god awful play calling for years and years now. Go look at his #32 rated offense in Arizona in 2018, which only other year without Arians telling him what to do.

    For literally years now I could sit in the game thread on gameday and tell you 90% of the time if it’s run/pass and what direction – that’s what Arians publicly complained about Leftwich. Difference was, Arians was there to step in and open things back up and to not be so remarkably predictable. Arians isn’t there, so we see Leftwich, going back to his 2018 #32 Cardinals offense.

    With that said, again, I have no doubt that Bowles agrees you need to run the ball, because he’s also a dullard who thinks it’s 1978. But I do not believe he’s inserting himself in offensive meetings or giving any direction on gameday, other than always saying punt on 4th down, even at the opponents 37 on 4th and 2.

    But Bowles has no power to fire Leftwich, to do so, he’d have to first get permission for the hit from Arians, who wants to pull off the biggest scam in football history and get Leftwich a HC job.

  59. Fishhawkbuc Says:

    Same story last week and we sharted all over ourself. The teams thought is “we can lose and still be in first place”. We will lose.

  60. Donald Trump Says:

    The Bucs are snakebit as long as Dumb and Dumber are in charge.
    # No Hope

  61. AmauryGuzman Says:

    No matter what happens tomorrow even if they lose these clowns are safe. Basically they’re sacrificing the season without making any changes on top.

  62. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Rod. You could also look at Bowles Jets years. His teams looked the same as this one albeit with less talent. If Bowles took a head coaching job with no control over his OC and offense then he’s not really a head coach because no real HC would ever take a job on those terms. Either way their both incompetent.

  63. Jack Sparrow Says:

    I’m surprised the bucs have not fired Bowles and Leftwich.

  64. View from 132 Says:

    The Bucs need one more win over either the Saints or Falcons and they will likely be the 8-9 winner of the South. I’ve got SF and Cincy as losses, Carolina and Arizona as wins. That leaves tomorrow and Week 17 vs ATL… split those, division win.

    The better question… can they win a home playoff game…

    Then beat Philly.

  65. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Btw I’m not defending Leftnut. His play calling is horrific.

  66. AmauryGuzman Says:

    What the bucs need to do is get on a winning streak. Get hot. They have stayed consistently bad all season. Offense has been average. No improvements. A team improves during the season. The problem is we have crappy coaching to not hold these guys accountable into putting the work. No adjustments. Shotty play calling etc.

  67. Jackson Lini Says:

    It is tough to be a Bucs fan this year with a team that is undisciplined, unmotivated and which has mediocre coaching at best! How has Leftwich not been fired? If not for Tom Brady, I would not be watching! This team has not given us one reason to think that they can turn the season around. Just sad! Even with the likelihood of winning the NFC South and having a home playoff game, there is little hope that this team can make any run. I’ll still be watching, but I’m done drinking the Kool-Aid. Tom, thanks for the memories and a Tampa SB victory. Good luck with your new team next year if you decide to give it one more shot!

  68. firethecannons Says:

    Saloon door right tackle is a serious problem for Brady. I think Brady gets hurt this game, we lose and get no more wins for rest of the year. It is over at years end when Bowles, Leftwich and the entire coaching team are released.

    The above or we run it over and over with an incredible amount of 3 and outs. The game becomes personal to the defense once Brady is hurt and we lose but it is very low scoring game with many injuries.

    The offense sputters, Brady throws multiple interceptions, he finally gets hurt and the game is soon over. Whether we win or not is inconsequential. We lose every game after this. Many players are banged up on defense after this. Lattimore and Evans get ejected early.

  69. McBucky Says:

    The Bucs look old and tired… you know, like their

  70. Captain Dan Lawrence Says:

    Two words: Sean Payton.

  71. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod Munch … ‘I do not believe he’s (Bowles) inserting himself in offensive meetings or giving any direction on gameday, other than always saying punt on 4th down, even at the opponents 37 on 4th and 2′.

    Go back & check the game log Rod; Bowles didn’t have them punt on 4th down-and-2 at the Cleveland 37 with 12:41 to go in the game. They lined up to go for it then Brady got slapped with a 5-yard delay of game penalty and Bowles opted to punt with it being 4th-and-7 now from the 42 with the Bucs leading 17-10. Not necessarily a bad decision based on how poorly our offense had been playing.

    The NEXT series is the one I have a problem with though. Still leading 17-10 with 8:20 left in the game, the Bucs got it after a Browns’ punt at their own 45. They ran White left for 2 yards (whodathunkit?) on 1st down, Brady hit White short for 5 yards on 2nd down making it 3rd-and-2, then Brady passed incomplete to Evans on 3rd down, resulting in a 4-and-2 at the Cleveland 48. Bowles again opted to punt, and Camarda did a great job pinning Cleveland back at their own 5-yard line.

    That was TWO 4th-and-2 situations in 2 back-to-back drives where we ended up punting in Cleveland territory. The first one I can actually understand punting because the delay-of-game penalty made it 4th-and-7 at their 42. But the 2nd situation was manageable, back when it was 3rd-and-2 at the 48. Run Vaughn (yup, he was more consistent than White at the short yardages) over the right side … TWICE if necessary … and we could’ve gotten that 2 yards and kept the drive alive. All we needed was about another 15 yards to FG territory for Succop.

    BTW, I agree with you about Bowles PROBABLY being hands-off the offense. And THAT’S A PROBLEM when you have BL as your OC. Akin to not having a HC at all, but rather 2 coordinators sharing top leadership. Leadership by Committee never works.

  72. garro Says:

    “This was one of the more boring games Joe has seen in a long time, and the Falcons sure don’t look like a team that can rise up and challenge the Bucs.”

    Geez thats saying alot…does this include the Browns game last week?

    Your title is very optimistic as well Joes.
    “Seize Big Division Lead” …Hope your not underestimating our fearful leaders ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory the rest of the way.

  73. NEfan Says:

    DR, c’mon man, that’s called trying to draw them off sides. Don’t twist the facts to fit your narrative. Brady isn’t going to take a delay of game penalty on a 4th & 2. How can you continue to defend this guy. Didn’t Bowles clearly state in a presser the risk it no biscuit will no longer part of the offense? So your theory is BL after 3 yrs of a successful air assault, the last two seasons top 2 or 3 in the NFL, one a SB and another (if not for Bowles) a division title decided to do a 360 and become ultra conservative. Not buying it. I am not saying BL isn’t the problem, his poor play calling and lack of adjustments are criminal. Bowles may not be calling the game time plays but make no mistake he changed the offensive flow. Operational football and he drives the bus just as BA did during his regime or do you believe BL ran his offenses as well?

  74. Your Mom Says:

    I really want a 6-11 champion!

  75. JoshGoflert Says:

    Creative offensive schemes are too cerebral for Bowles and Leftfoot. So they lie about their lack of creativity and indicate that they’re going to go to the easy route by staying conservative

  76. Defense Rules Says:

    NEfan … ‘Bowles may not be calling the game time plays but make no mistake he changed the offensive flow. Operational football and he drives the bus just as BA did during his regime or do you believe BL ran his offenses as well?’

    Bowles ‘changed the offensive flow’? Wow, you make it sound like the Bucs had a real plan that would have worked, but Bowles stepped in and changed it. The facts say otherwise. In the Cleveland game for instance, we only ran on 30% of our plays. That’s NOT what a defensive coach like Bowles would want, and it’s even LOWER than what BA’s 2020 & 2021 teams averaged. We threw deep on over 20% of our passing attempts. That’s also NOT what a defensive coach like Bowles would want, and it’s higher than what BA called for in his Bombs Away attack scheme.

    So what ‘offensive flow’ are you referring to? That BL is running so much on 1st down because Bowles is making him do it? Sorry but that’s what BL’s been doing for several years. Did Bowles direct BL to make his play calls more predictable? Sorry again, BL’s been doing that since Arizona.

  77. Ds Nutz Says:

    They need to make a highlight reel of all the broken tackles that the bucks have made this year every one of them tackle around the waist it gets broken over and over and over and over and over and over So if they did a highlight reel of all the broken tackles from this year I don’t think they would have enough room on the tape to show it all I love the Bucs please do better