The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played their most complete half of the season against NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons and it’s given them a commanding 24-6 lead at half time.
The Bucs have dominated every aspect of the game and have been able to build a large lead thanks to a dominant defensive performance as well as an effective running game.
It was 3-0 Bucs after the first quarter as Ryan Lindell banged home a 30-yard field goal. Former Buc Matt Bryant tied it early in the second with a 46-yarder before the Bucs erupted.
They rattled off 21 straight points which began with a Bobby Rainey 43-yard score. They added to it after Mason Foster picked off Matt Ryan and took the return 37-yards for a touchdown, his second pick six of the season.
It soon became 24-3 after Rainey scampered in from 3-yards out, a play that set-up after a long completion from Mike Glennon to Tiquan Underwood.
Bryant would tack on a field goal with a minute left to make it 24-6.
Rainey has been electric for the Bucs, as he has 110 yards on only 13 carries to go along with the two touchdowns. Glennon is 14 of 17 for 153 yards while Vincent Jackson has 94 receiving yards on only six catches, one of which was a highlight reel one hander that went for 47 yards.
While the offense has been great, the defense has been superb. Gerald McCoy had three sacks in the first half and has been his usual dominant force in the trenches.
Lavonte David has been doing his thing for the Bucs as he has seven tackles and Foster has three tackles to go along with his interception.
Ryan has 135 passing yards but he has completed nothing down field as many completions have been short crossing routes, which highlights the effectiveness of the Bucs in pass coverage in the first half.
The Bucs have been soaring with confidence, so much so that they attempted an onside kick after Rainey’s first touchdown, which they recovered. As the drive stalled, punter Michael Koenen fake punted, but his pass fell incomplete. In another moment of trickery, Rainey attempted a pass himself, but he threw too high over his intended receiver and the ball sailed out of bounds.