No team in the NFL has fallen apart quite like the Falcons this season, and at least one opponent believes Dan Quinn’s team has packed it in.
Jameis Winston led a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter against Atlanta last Sunday that was kept alive by an insane 20-yard scramble on 3rd-and-19. According to Buccaneers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy, that play was made possible by Atlanta’s lack of effort.
“Go back and look at the play and look at Jameis’ speed, and how he was playing, as opposed to look at the Atlanta Falcons and the speed they were playing at,” McCoy told the Buccaneers Radio Network Wednesday, as transcribed by JoeBucsFan.com. “That had thought he was down, guys walking around, jogging to him. Even when he started running again, guys were just jogging, ‘Oh, we’ll get him down.’ And Jameis was running for his life. You could just see the difference in how he was playing opposed to how the other team was playing. I mean, you just, we want it, man.”
Here’s a video of Winston’s scramble:
What an effort by Jameis Winston on 3rd and 19. Wow!! pic.twitter.com/57VIyGqcIy
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) December 6, 2015
You can certainly see what McCoy was referring to. Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (No. 99) and linebacker Vic Beasley (No. 44) appeared to quit on the play. Linebacker Justin Durant (No. 52) could have easily finished the play by wrapping up, but he instead chose to throw a shoulder into Winston.
Winston bounced off the pile and scampered another nine yards for the first down. The Bucs were trailing by three at the time, so they would have settled for a field goal if Atlanta was able to finish the play. Instead, they ended up scoring a game-winning touchdown on a 6-yard pass from Winston to Mike Evans.
The report we shared with you about Matt Ryan and Atlanta’s offense is a major concern, but the team obviously has more issues than that. The Falcons are still just a game back in the Wild Card race, but there’s no reason to feel good about their chances.