By Sean McQuilkin
The reigning NFC champions, the Atlanta Falcons, edged past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night. The Falcons moved a game closer to a playoff berth, separating themselves from the rest of the wild card contenders by winning their ninth game. The Falcons, who are now 9-5, were able to beat the Falcons behind the work of Running back Devonta Freeman, who ran the ball 22 times for 126 yards and a touchdown, also lead the Falcons receiving with 68 yards. The Falcons also outgained the Buccaneers in total yards by a margin of 410-373 yards. The Buccaneers were led offensively by Jameis Winston, who threw for three touchdowns and 299 yards. However, the Buccaneers fell behind by 10 in the fourth quarter, and that ended up being too much for Tampa Bay. They rallied to score a touchdown to cut the lead to three, and had a chance to tie the game with 5 seconds left, but the 57 yard field goal attempt sailed wide right. The Buccaneers have now failed to make the playoffs every year since 2007, the 4th longest (has a chance to become the third longest if the Rams can clinch this weekend).