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Matt Ryan leads Falcons over Bucs 43-28

TAMPA, Fla. -- About 100 Atlanta Falcons fans lingered in the stands at Raymond James Stadium, chanting "MVP! MVP! MYP!" as Matt Ryan returned to the field for post-game interviews.

The NFL's passing yardage leader was nearly flawless again Thursday night, throwing for 344 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions to help the NFC South leaders tighten their grip on first place with a 43-28 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"He had a real locked-in look about him," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "Matt's really been on point with where to go with the ball."

Julio Jones had eight receptions for 111 yards and a TD as the Falcons (6-3) avenged a 31-24 season-opening loss to the Bucs (3-5) in Atlanta. Tampa Bay has dropped two straight on the heels of a three-game winning streak that got them back in the division race.

"They played a little better than we did that day. I feel like we have continued to improve," Ryan said. "For me, the best thing from a confidence standpoint is that we continue to get better, week in and week out."

Jones, who's closing in on another 1,000-yard receiving season with 970 through nine games, caught a 3-yard scoring pass in the third quarter, when Ryan led TD drives of 86 and 82 yards to break it open.

Levine Toilolo, Patrick DiMarco and Austin Hooper also caught TD pass from Ryan, who leads the NFL with 2,980 yards and 23 touchdowns vs. four interceptions.

Jameis Winston threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns for Tampa Bay, including scoring passes of 3 and 24 yards to Evans, who had 11 receptions.

Both of Tampa Bay's young stars finished the game on the sideline, with Evans being evaluated for a possible concussion and Winston limping off after being shaken up when he was tackled trying to score on a two-point conversion play with just under seven minutes remaining.

Koetter didn't provide much of an update on either's condition, other than to say "Jameis told me he's fine" and that Evans was in the concussion protocol after taking a hard hit along the sideline after making a catch in the fourth quarter.

Winston was tackled around the ankle by Atlanta's Brooks Reed and also hit by cornerback Jalen Collins. The first overall pick in last year's draft said he was fine and did not leave the game because of injury.

"The coach took me out," said Winston, who later did a little dance move to demonstrate to reporters that he was OK.

Mike Glennon finished up for the Bucs, taking his first regular season snaps since 2014. He threw a late TD pass to Cameron Brate to cut into a 23-point deficit.

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

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