Stovall takes blame for Weems' return touchdown
The play that changed the complexion of today's game for good was Eric Weems' 102-yard kickoff-return touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Bucs WR Maurice Stovall said it didn't have to happen.
Stovall, a special-teams ace, took the responsibility for the play on his shoulders.
"I had the missed tackle on the sideline," he volunteered afterward. "It's something that we practice every day. It was a great call by our special teams coach and his staff. It was just mis-executed by me. We were definitely in position to make that play. It was a good call and great kick by our kicker. It was just a missed tackle and you can’t have those in a big game like this."
Weems was straddling the sideline while multiple defenders seemed to be in position to knock him out of bounds. But when Stovall missed him, no one else stepped in to back him up, allowing Weems to cut back inside and gain a full head of steam.
Once that happened, Weems had enough teammates out ahead of him to help him finish the deal.
"It was very good blocking at the end of that return that got him in for a touchdown," Falcons coach Mike Smith said.