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Winston gives Bucs fans reasons to be excited in win

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The Buccaneers blew a big lead for the second straight week. But they recovered in overtime for a stirring 23-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Here's what we learned:

1. This game was the Full Jameis Winston Experience. There was a lot to like, including some big third down throws in overtime. He showed composure and pocket presence throughout the game. There was also a lot to shake your head at. He was not consistently accurate. On the go-ahead drive in overtime, he short-armed a potential game-winning score and threw one pass right at the Falcons (they dropped it). Overall, Winston again gave Bucs fans plenty of reasons to be excited about the future. Now 3-4, they are exciting to watch again.

2. All of the Falcons' luck from the first seven weeks slipped away in this game. They dominated the first half, yet trailed 13-3 at halftime because of unforced errors. The Falcons fumbled three times in regulation, losing them all three times. One was on a bad snap and another was on a bad exchange between Matt Ryan and Devonta Freeman. Ryan was also picked off. The Bucs scored 20 points off four Falcons turnovers. The Falcons largely looked like the better team, out-gaining Tampa, 496-290. 

3. The 6-2 Falcons have won a lot in some mediocre performances by Matt Ryan. Sunday they lost on a day when he was excellent. He threw for 397 yards and two scores. Other than one ugly pick, he was very sharp throughout the day. At one point, he completed 19 of 20 passes in a flawless second half, 17-point comeback. Give the Bucs' defense credit for pressuring Ryan in overtime to win the game.

4. The decision didn't pay off, but we love Lovie Smith's call to go for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 40-yard line late in regulation. The Bucs would have won the game if they picked up the yard. Instead, the Falcons stuffed Winston on a run-pass option. The Falcons went on to tie the game with the excellent field position, but it makes sense to be aggressive.

5. Tampa's defense loaded up to stop the run and dared Ryan and Julio Jones to beat them. Jones responded with 162 yards and a game-tying score. Seemingly every Jones catch was on an in-breaking route over the middle.

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