What can be set about this week’s Thursday Night Football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons? We can say it looks like the Falcons beat the Bucs about their heads and neck with a blunt object until they died a lonely death in a cold, un-gentrified inner city alley or we could say that those tuning into the game late in the 3rd quarter may have mistaken this dismantling for an exhibition versus Our Lady of Wounded Orphans junior varsity team. But we won’t say that. We’ll just say that this was the most disrespectful NFL ass-whooping since Seattle laid the boom on Peyton and the Broncos this past February. Yeah, that’s pretty bad and way over the top. But we’re completely at a loss for words, phrases, paragraphs and metaphors that can sufficiently break it down for you. The final score of 56-14 doesn't even begin to tell the tale.However, we will do our best.
The Falcons jumped out to a monster lead in the 1st quarter with a 21-point lead. The Falcons put together a six-play. 70-yard drive that took very little time off the clock. But this was a professional football game, so Tampa Bay fans could not be blamed for believing there would be some kind of response in the first half, but they would be painfully mistaken. That early score would be followed by touchdowns from Julio Jones and a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown by Kemal Ishmael. Devin Hester, who was used sparingly on offense while a member of the Chicago Bears, scored on an end around and took a punt return 62 yards to the house. It seems almost surreal when pondering the fact that a Lovie Smith-coached team was down 35-0 at halftime.
The bleeding needed to be stopped, but all the Band-Aids and Tylenol in the world couldn’t stop the pain. The Bucs’ offense was virtually non-existence and when they did appear to be on the verge of doing something positive, they turned the ball over. The Falcons recovered four fumbles in addition to three sacks and the Hester interception. Luckily for Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown, he left the game with an injury. Unfortunately for Mike Glennon, he was the backup. The Falcons would put up 21 more points in the 3rd quarter, including another touchdown by Julio Jones.
The Falcons were beating up on the hapless Bucs so bad that quarterback Matt Ryan was pulled and replaced by backup T.J. Yates with five minutes left in the 3rd quarter. The Bucs would score two touchdowns in the 4th quarter, including a touchdown by Vincent Jackson and a 27-yard interception return by Danny Lansanah. Devin Hester would pass NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders with his new NFL record 20th return touchdown. The Bucs were without running back Doug Martin, DT Gerald McCoy and starting MLB Mason Foster, but that’s doesn’t excuse being curb-stomped by 42 points. Next week, the Atlanta Falcons will look to continue their winning ways against the Minnesota Vikings while the Tampa Bay Bucs will head for their nearest emergency room to have the cleats removed from their collective rear ends as they look to get their first win of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yeah, good luck with that one.