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NFC South roundup: Falcons, Panthers win

Posted Oct 20, 2013

Falcons edge Bucs; Panthers improve to 3-3

The Associated Press

Matt Ryan found new ways to get Atlanta's depleted offense back on track, throwing two touchdown passes to Jacquizz Rodgers and another to Harry Douglas to lead the Falcons to a 31-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

The Falcons (2-4) snapped a three-game losing streak and left the Buccaneers (0-6) still looking for their first win.

Trailing 31-17, the Buccaneers held the ball for 18 plays and more than 9 minutes in a marathon fourth-quarter drive. Four penalties on the possession helped force Tampa Bay to settle for Rian Lindell's 41-yard field goal with 5 minutes remaining.

Lindell added his third field goal, from 36 yards, with 2 minutes remaining. The Falcons ran out the clock after recovering an onside kick.

Ryan completed 20 of 26 passes for 273 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Falcons needed Ryan's strong day as they managed only 18 yards rushing on 18 carries.

Douglas had seven receptions for a career-best 149 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown catch, for Atlanta. Douglas flourished as Ryan's No. 1 receiver with Julio Jones out for the season and Roddy White inactive for the first time in his nine-year career due to hamstring and ankle injuries.

Running back Steven Jackson missed his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury.

Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin left the game early in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return. Martin had 11 carries for 47 yards before he was injured while attempting to catch a 16-yard pass near the left sideline.

A side judge threw a penalty flag for an apparent unnecessary roughness on Falcons safety William Moore, but referee Walt Anderson withdrew the flag.

Martin lay on his back for several minutes before walking off the field under his own power.

Falcons safety William Moore sacked Mike Glennon to force a fumble on Tampa Bay's first possession. Safety Thomas DeCoud returned the fumble recovery 30 yards for a touchdown.

Glennon completed 26 of 44 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns to Vincent Jackson. Jackson, targeted on 22 passes, had 10 catches for 138 yards, including touchdown receptions of 59 yards in the second quarter and 1 yard in the third quarter.

Jackson's second scoring catch was Tampa Bay's first touchdown in the third quarter this season. Entering the game, the Buccaneers had only 13 second-half points.

Tampa Bay was called for 11 penalties for 103 yards.

Following DeCoud's touchdown, the Falcons stretched their lead to 14-0 on Ryan's first touchdown pass to Rodgers, a 19-yarder early in the second quarter. Douglas added a 37-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter as the Falcons led 24-7 at halftime.

After Tampa Bay cut the lead to 24-17 on Jackson's second touchdown catch, the Falcons answered with an 80-yard touchdown drive which ended with Rodgers' 8-yard catch over the middle.

PANTHERS 30, RAMS 15: Cam Newton completed 15 of 17 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown and Carolina Defeated visiting St. Louis.

The Rams (3-4) lost their cool with several personal foul penalties — and then lost quarterback Sam Bradford to an apparent left knee injury late in the fourth quarter.

The extent of the injury is unknown.

Bradford was running toward the sideline when he was pushed out of bounds by safety Mike Mitchell and came up holding his left knee. He was carted to the locker room.

Panthers quarterback Captain Munnerlyn intercepted Bradford on the game's first play and returned it 35 yards for a score. Bradford had a long TD pass called back on a penalty.

The Rams were flagged for five personal fouls and Chris Long was ejected for throwing a punch.

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