Top Performances from 2010: #9 - Run Micheal, Run....Part Deux

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 07: Micheal Spurlock #81 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers returns a punt and avoids a tackle by Michael Koenen #9 of the Atlanta Falcons for a touchdown at Georgia Dome on November 7 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It'd been a rough day for the Buccaneers on both sides of the ball.  Josh Freeman was having an off game.  Aside from a 21-yard run, the Bucs' one-two punch of LeGarrette Blount and Caddy was averaging less than 2 yards per carry combined on the ground.  The Falcon offense had been methodically marching up and down the field all game behind the steady play of Matt Ryan and Michael Turner

Following the Falcons' fifth scoring drive of the game and the second of the 3rd quarter, a Matt Bryant 41-yard FG, the Bucs trailed 27-14 and were on the verge of seeing the game slip away. 

The Falcons kicked off, a low liner that up man Maurice Stovall bobbled.  The ball rolled down to the 11-yard line, where Micheal Spurlock fielded it around the numbers.  Spurlock brushed by Antone Smith of the Falcons, then juked left and past Eric Weems and Erik Coleman, shrugged off a would-be arm tackle by Spencer Adkins, cut outside, and beat Chris Koenen and Coy Wire to the sideline, taking it 89-yards to the house.

Although the Buccaneers would ultimately drop the game by that final score, 27-21, Spurlock's touchdown, the Bucs' first and only return touchdown of the season, gave them a fighting chance.  It also reaffirmed his reputation as a dangerous returner and that the decision to keep him over Clifton Smith as the team's return man was a good one.  For the year, Spurlock had four returns of 40+ yards and ranked 7th in the NFL in yards per return out of all kick returners with 20 or more returns. 

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