Guest of the League
Afternoon Flex
FFL: Offseason | NFL: Championship

Jones' INT return in OT lifts Falcons over Bucs 28-22

Sun Dec 29 4:59pm ET
By FRED GOODALL
AP Sports Writer

Players: Matt Ryan, Cameron Brate, Mike Evans, Breshad Perriman, Jameis Winston, Chris Godwin, Ronald Jones II

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) sacks Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) celebrates with cornerback Carlton Davis (33) at Barrett sacked Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)


Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) intercepts a pass by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston intended for tight end Cameron Brate (84) and returns it for the game-winning touchdown during the overtime of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) intercepts a pass intended for Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate and returns it for the game-winning score in overtime of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws a passagainst the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Deion Jones intercepted Jameis Winston on the first play of overtime and returned the ball 28 yards for a touchdown to give the Atlanta Falcons a 28-22 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Winston became the first Tampa Bay quarterback to pass for 5,000 yards in a season, but another non-playoff year ended on a sour note. The Falcons (7-9) tied the game with a field goal on the last play of regulation and won for the sixth time in eight games when Jones became the seventh opposing player to score on a pick-6 off Winston this season.

Matt Ryan completed 30 of 51 passes for 313 yards and one touchdown for the Falcons, who saved coach Dan Quinn's job by rebounding from a 1-7 start to go 6-2 over the second half of the season. Atlanta will finish second in the NFC South despite posting a losing record for the second year in a row.

Winston threw for 201 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, hiking his NFL-leading total to 30. Ronald Jones II had the first 100-yard rushing performance and Breshad Perriman topped 100-yards receiving for the third straight week for the Bucs (7-9), who miss the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year.

Ryan only got the Falcons into the end zone once, throwing a 35-yard TD pass to a wide- open Ty Sambrailo, a 6-foot-5, 311-pound backup offensive tackle. Younghoe Koo kicked field goals of 27, 33, 45, 42 and 33 yards, while his Bucs counterpart, Matt Gay, was 0 for 3 on field goal attempts.

Winston began the day leading the NFL in passing yards and finished with 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns - both franchise single-season records. He threw TD passes of 2 yards to Cameron Brate and 24 yards to Perriman to help the Bucs escape an early 10-0 hole.

Perriman, who stepped up in the absence of injured Pro Bowl receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, had five catches for 134 yards. Jones rushed for 106 yards on 11 attempts.

INJURIES

Falcons: Cornerback Kendall Sheffield (ankle) limped off in the second quarter and did not return.

Buccaneers: Godwin was inactive for the second straight week with a hamstring injury, finishing the season with career highs of 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. ... Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting left in the second quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. ...Defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches (foot) left in the third quarter and did not return.

UP NEXT

Falcons: The Falcons announced earlier in the week that Quinn, who guided Atlanta to the Super Bowl three years ago, will return for a sixth season in 2020. General manager Thomas Dimitroff will keep his job, too, and assistant head coach Raheem Morris will take over responsibilities as defensive coordinator.

Buccaneers: The biggest offseason decision will be whether to retain Winston, who earned $20.9 million this season in the final year of the contract he signed as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. The Bucs have never signed one of their starting quarterbacks to a second contract. Coach Bruce Arians has said no decision on the fifth-year pro's future would be made until after the season.

Top Headlines
The Paur Report

Interview with a Champ

Player Notes
Matthew Stafford Jan 24 12:20am ET

The Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford will reportedly part ways this offseason, with Detroit exploring trade options for the former No. 1 overall pick. The Lions will likely look to take a rookie quarterback early in April's draft, something that will likely limit the overall effectiveness of their passing attack. As for Stafford, teams like the 49ers and Colts could be interesting landing spots that would see Stafford's fantasy arrow trending up.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Brown Jan 23 5:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster on Saturday, and he's now on track to become the first player in NFL history to play for two different teams in the same postseason. Williams started the playoffs with the Ravens before signing with the Packers. More importantly, Williams' elevation to the active roster could be a sign that cornerback Kevin King (back), who is questionable for the NFC Championship game against the Buccaneers, won't be available on Sunday. King landed on the injury report on Friday and didn't practice, so he could be on the wrong side of questionable. Losing King would be a downgrade for Green Bay's defense against a Tampa offense that has plenty of aerial weapons, even with Antonio Brown (knee) not playing.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Stills Jan 23 5:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kenny Stills has been promoted from the practice squad to the active roster for the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Bills signed Stills to their practice squad after he was cut by the Houston Texans late in November, and he was initially brought on for wide receiver depth when Cole Beasley injured his knee in Week 16. The 28-year-old has not played in a game since Week 11 with Houston, but he could have a small role if rookie Gabriel Davis (ankle), who is questionable for Sunday, is unable to play. Stills' elevation from the practice squad could be a sign that Buffalo doesn't expect Davis to play. Isaiah McKenzie could also have a slightly larger role behind Stefon Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley if Davis is inactive.

From RotoBaller

Kansas City Chiefs Jan 23 12:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland (concussion) has cleared the league's concussion protocol and has no game status for Sunday. He will play in the AFC Championship against the Buffalo Bills. It's good news for a Chiefs secondary that will be trying to slow down All-Pro wide receiver Stefon Diggs and breakout quarterback Josh Allen as they try to secure back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl. The 29-year-old Breeland was hit with a four-game suspension during the regular season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, but he still managed to record 38 combined tackles, two interceptions, nine passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 11 games in 2020. KC's defense allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts this year, so they'll need Breeland in order to contain Buffalo's passing game.

From RotoBaller

Gabriel Davis Jan 23 12:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday's playoff matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was able to get in some limited work late this week, but it sounds like the team is still unsure if he'll suit up. His absence could mean more targets for Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley (knee), and possibly Isaiah McKenzie gets more involved. DFS players might want to stay away from Davis even if he does suit up for this game. It doesn't sound like he'll be 100 percent healthy, so it's unlikely he puts up productive numbers.

From RotoBaller

Dawson Knox Jan 23 12:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox has shown some signs of life in the second half of the season. However, the Bills still don't have a significant role for him in the offense. Last week, Knox hauled in two receptions for 18 yards in the win over the Baltimore Ravens. He has been playing better lately, but is still the fourth or fifth option in this offense. It's unlikely that he gets enough targets to make a significant impact versus the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend.

From RotoBaller

John Brown Jan 23 11:50am ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown surprisingly had a solid game against the Baltimore Ravens last week. He hauled in eight receptions for 62 yards in the win. Brown has battled injuries all season long, but plays well when he's actually on the field. The Kansas City Chiefs are likely going to do everything in their power to slow down Stefon Diggs. That means, Brown could be against some below average defenders, which could mean he has a solid game. DFS players should highly consider using Brown for this matchup since he has plenty of upside.

From RotoBaller

Cole Beasley Jan 23 11:50am ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley (knee) was removed from the injury report ahead of Sunday's matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. This is great news considering Beasley has been dealing with lingering knee issues for a few weeks. It's unclear if Beasley will be limited at all for this matchup. He finished with a goose egg last week versus the Baltimore Ravens. Beasley does have plenty of upside, but might be too risky for DFS players this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Devin Singletary Jan 23 11:40am ET

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary remains the workhorse lead back for this offense while Zack Moss (shoulder) is sidelined. However, Singletary didn't see many carries during the victory over the Baltimore Ravens last week. He rushed seven times for 25 yards and hauled in three receptions for 12 yards through the air. It's unlikely that his production increases by much against the Kansas City Chiefs. Maybe there's some low-end appeal here, but it's tough to imagine Singletary finding much room to run on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Jan 23 11:40am ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs continues to put up video game numbers and it seems like no defense has an answer for him. Last week, Diggs hauled in eight receptions for 106 yards and one touchdown in the win over the Baltimore Ravens. Honestly, it seems like Diggs goes over 100 receiving yards in just about every game. He'll continue to see plenty of targets versus the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend. He should be considered a must-have DFS option.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Jan 23 11:30am ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is one win away from a ticket to the Super Bowl. Last week, he threw for 206 yards with one passing touchdown in the win over the Baltimore Ravens. Allen is a dual threat quarterback that has been lighting up opposing defenses all season long. The Kansas City Chiefs are not exactly a bad defense, but Allen hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. He'll remain a top tier DFS option for the playoff games this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Green Bay Packers Jan 22 10:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers cornerback Kevin King (back) is listed as questionable for the NFC Championship game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Defensive lineman Kingsley Keke (concussion) was ruled out. King popped up on the injury report on Friday and did not practice. Mid-week additions to the injury report are usually never a good sign, especially this late in the week. Jaire Alexander will likely be matched up against Mike Evans on one side of the field this weekend, but a King absence could benefit Scotty Miller or rookie Tyler Johnson the most in Tampa's passing attack with veteran Antonio Brown (knee) already ruled out. Chris Godwin could also have a big game for the Bucs out of the slot.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Floyd Jan 22 9:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams impending free-agent LB Leonard Floyd is a player head coach Sean McVay hopes to re-sign this offseason.

From TheHuddle

Nelson Agholor Jan 22 8:43pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders impending free-agent WR Nelson Agholor may be too expensive for the Raiders to re-sign this offseason, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Paul Gutierrez.

Fantasy Spin: Agholor is coming off a career season and probably will receive interest from multiple teams. He should have fantasy value no matter where he signs but probably will not be a weekly starting option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Matt Judon Jan 22 8:33pm ET

Baltimore Ravens impending free-agent LB Matt Judon has been looking for $20 million per season in a new contract, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jan 22 7:10pm ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense prepares to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. Tampa Bay had a strong showing against the Saints last week, creating four takeaways, though they didn't register a sack. They will need to put more pressure on Rodgers than they did Brees, or they'll have a long day. If the Buccaneers follow their Week 6 formula- they sacked Rodgers four times and intercepted him twice- they'll be in a great position to win, as well as delivering for fantasy managers who turn to them.

From RotoBaller

Cameron Brate Jan 22 7:00pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate is playing well heading into a playoff matchup with Green Bay. Brate has at least 50 receiving yards in each of his last two games and has seen 11 targets in that span. However, he's been out-snapped by Rob Gronkowski in both playoff wins, which makes it hard to trust him fully. Both tight ends could have good games, with Gronkowski being more of a touchdown favorite- and Brate more of a between-the-20s guy.

From RotoBaller

Rob Gronkowski Jan 22 6:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski takes on the Packers in the NFC Championship game on Sunday. Gronkowski has been out-produced by his teammate Cameron Brate lately, but the former has been on the field far more than the latter. The former Patriot also saw the same amount of targets as Brate last week and even had a touchdown catch fall just out of his reach. Both players could have good games, but Gronkowski is due for a strong performance- and he's no stranger to big games. Bet on Gronkowski seeing more looks with Antonio Brown (knee) sidelined against Green Bay, a team who allowed a 5-78-1 line to the big tight end in Week 6.

From RotoBaller

Jamaal Williams Jan 22 6:23pm ET

Green Bay Packers RB Jamaal Williams (ankle) was limited during practice Friday, Jan. 22, but is not on the injury report for the NFC Championship game.

Fantasy Spin: Williams should see a decent amount of carries in the championship game but will be facing one of the better run defenses in the NFL. He can be a possible flex option in some leagues but can be benched if better options are available.

From TheHuddle

Chris Godwin Jan 22 6:03pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (quad) was limited in practice all week but was removed from the injury report for the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.

Fantasy Spin: Godwin's availability takes on a little bit more importance with Antonio Brown getting ruled out Friday. While Tampa Bay has plenty of depth at receiver, Godwin will likely be asked to do a bit more now. Although his expected matchup in the slot with Chandon Sullivan is not an easy one, Godwin could end up being a great contrarian play in DFS if the market is off of him after a bit of a disappointing effort last week when his 4-34-0 dud - which included a drop in the end zone - ended a four-game scoring streak.

From TheHuddle