Baker Mayfield's late TD pass gives Bucs NFC South lead over Falcons

Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Football

ATLANTA — Chris Godwin didn’t have a catch in the last game. But Baker Mayfield rediscovered him when it mattered most Sunday.

Trailing by a field goal and facing third and 10 at the Atlanta 47, Mayfield connected with Godwin on a 32-yard pass, then threw an 11-yard touchdown to Cade Otton with 31 seconds remaining in the Bucs’ 29-25 win over the Falcons.

It was the third win in five games for the Bucs (6-7) and moved them into first place in the NFC South. (The Bucs own the tiebreaker thanks to common opponents.)

The Bucs turned two Desmond Ridder turnovers into two scores but the Falcons quarterback made two plays to put the Bucs behind. With 6:10 to play, Ridder connected on a 45-yard, first-down pass to Drake London, then eventually scored on a 6-yard touchdown run to leave Tampa Bay trailing 25-22 with 3:23 left.

After the Falcons touchdown, the Bucs drove to the Tampa Bay 45. But Rachaad White was stopped on third and 1 for no gain. That’s when Mayfield somehow located Godwin.

The Bucs used an interception by Carlton Davis and a safety caused by a sack/fumble from Antoine Winfield Jr. to account for two scores and build a 22-17 lead.


Running backs White and Chase Edmonds combined to rush for 142 yards.

Mayfield entered the fourth quarter 10-of-18 for 88 yards, but the 31-yard catch-and-run by White for a touchdown near the end of the third was enough to make it a two-score game.

The Bucs were awful on offense from the start and only had 85 total yards in the first half but led 12-10.

Credit the even worse play by Ridder, who gifted Tampa Bay nine points.

Normally reliable Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo missed two field goals in the first half, hitting the right upright from 50 yards and missing wide left from 52 yards wide left as the first half ended.

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