Falcons finally close out Bucs 34-20 as Julio Jones has 253-yard day


Julio Jones!

The Bucs couldn’t keep up with Jones, allowing the Falcons to escape with a 34-20 victory.

Atlanta failed to put away Tampa Bay after taking a 27-6 lead in the third quarter. The Bucs were on the doorstep of tying the game at 27, but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw incomplete on fourth-and-one at the Atlanta 18.

Jones, though, was the story.

He had 12 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns on 15 targets. It was the most receiving yards in the NFL since Week 4 of last year when Jones had 300 yards against the Panthers. It was the third 250-yard game for Jones, with no other active NFL player having more than one 250-yard game.

The Bucs had never allowed a player to top the 200-yard mark in a single game.

Jones, who entered with 54 catches for 786 yards and one touchdown this season, had six catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns at halftime.

The Falcons now have won three in a row.

But Sunday’s victory wasn’t as easy as it could have been. The Falcons gained 516 yards as Matt Ryan completed 26 of 35 passes for 317 yards with one touchdown.

The Falcons punted on their second possession of the third quarter, and then Terron Ward fumbled in the red zone on Atlanta’s first fourth-quarter possession. That allowed the Bucs to climb back in it. Tevin Coleman finally iced it with a 14-yard touchdown run with 1:53 remaining.