Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What they're saying about the Tampa Bay Bucs-Atlanta Falcons game

Josh Freeman, Bucs QB, on leaving points on the field:

"Every time you lose, you question whether or not you could have gotten more points on individual drives, no matter what the situation was. But the bottom line is we didn't score enough points to win."

Greg Schiano, Bucs coach, on Freeman:

"I thought he played well. Like everyone else, he's going to say, 'I wish I could have done this a little differently.' But he hung in there in the pocket, he took some hits and made some big-time throws. There are probably a handful he would like to have back, but overall I thought he played well."

Leonard Johnson, Bucs CB, on giving up big plays:

"I can't really make an excuse for us giving up yards. All I can say is that we need to correct the small stuff, go back and get back to it."

Gerald McCoy, Bucs DT, on the game's closeness:

"It's one of those, 'They made one or two more plays than we did' type of games, (an) evenly matched game. … Even on defense, it was as evenly matched (of a) game as you've seen all year. But when that play needed to be made, they made it, and we didn't."

Mike Smith, Falcons coach, on running the ball early:

"We felt like we need to try it. We felt like we could do it, too. We challenged our guys. We wanted to come down here — this was the No. 1 rushing (defense) in all of the NFL — and we wanted to see if we could do it."

Matt Ryan, Falcons QB, on the Bucs:

"I think they are a good football team. I think they are playing with a lot of confidence. It's always been a tough place for us to come play. They play with great effort."

Dunta Robinson, Falcons CB, on Bucs RB Doug Martin:

"I like him. I think he's a good, young running back. I'm just not into all of the hype. Let's just play football, make people earn everything they get. We definitely had a chip on our shoulder, and we definitely came out here and played like it."

Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

In a game that featured a dozen massive plays, the aging Mike Peterson's second-quarter takedown of the rookie running back (Doug Martin) ranked near the top. … On third and goal from the 1, Martin ran left and had only Peterson, who's 36, to beat. Peterson grabbed him and hung on. That was the game in miniature. One side would make a play, and the other would counter. The Falcons countered last and hardest.

Pat Yasinskas, ESPN.com NFC South blogger:

Questionable call of the day: Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano's decision to let Connor Barth attempt a 56-yard field goal with (3:37) remaining. Yes, Barth has a strong leg, but that's borderline range for just about any kicker. You attempt that kick in the final minute but not when you have that much time remaining and your defense has played well all day.

Patrick Southern, CBSSports.com:

For the Bucs, it was a near win in a game that showed just how far they have come under first-year coach Greg Schiano. But that won't likely be much consolation for a team that missed multiple opportunities to earn its fifth win in a row. Tampa Bay … squandered two drives that started inside the Atlanta 40-yard line, getting only field goals on both.

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