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McCoy, David inactive for Buccaneers against Falcons

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

While the Bucs fell out of the playoff hunt weeks ago, the Falcons remain postseason contenders as they try to find their way back to the Super Bowl for a second straight year. The Falcons' win eliminated the Packers from playoff contention.

The Buccaneers deactivated Martin for their game against the Falcons. Jameis Winston was responsible for three of those, but still managed to bring the team back from 21-7 to 21-21 with two late scoring drives.

From there, Tampa Bay eventually regained possession when Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald dumped quarterback Matt Ryan for a 3-yard sack on third-and-9 just past the two-minute warning. Heading into Monday night, the Buccaneers will have to play without star defensive players Lavonte David, Gerald McCoy, and Vernon Hargreaves III.

On the ground, Devonta Freeman rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown in 24 attempts while Tevin Coleman added 32 yards in nine carries. Winston posted two of his top three passer ratings last season against the Falcons, recording a 7:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in those two games.

The additions of DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard, to go along with Pro Bowler Mike Evans and rising tight end Cameron Brate, were supposed to transcend the Tampa Bay passing game from good to great, but that has yet to really materialize.

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If the Bucs didn't have bad luck, they had no luck.

The question now is, can the Falcons close out with strong efforts against the Saints and Panthers?

Earlier in the week, Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter suggested that he would use 10 players to cover Julio Jones in tonight's matchup.

Freeman also caught five passes for a team-high 68 yards and had a first-half fumble recovered in the end zone by teammate Levine Toilolo for a touchdown.

What ultimately swung this game was Tampa Bay's depleted defense. Thirteen of the last 17 contests were settled by 10 points or less. After playing Atlanta, the Buccaneers play Carolina on Christmas Eve and the Saints on New Year's Eve to complete their regular-season schedule. Even while playing at full strength, Tampa Bay has been the single worst pass defense in the National Football League allowing over 270 passing yards a contest. Fans can also listen on Buccaneers.com and the Buccaneers mobile app.

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