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Falcons have a slim lead on Buccaneers in tight game

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trail the Atlanta Falcons 9-7 at half time, as the Bucs ran the ball all over Atlanta and the Falcons consistently found ways to get short gains, but both teams struggled to turn the yardage into points on the board.

Doug Martin is the focus of the Bucs' offense so far, as he has 15 carries for 55 yards, and a catch for five yards. But the big plays are coming out of Jameis Winston and the passing game, with the quarterback completing seven of 11 attempts for 103 yards, and running in a five-yard touchdown to give the Bucs a lead.

The difference in the game came late in the second quarter when, after a brilliant throw and catch on the sideline between Jameis Winston and Mike Evans, the two then combined to produce an ugly interception on a high throw, tipped by Evans. The Falcons got their third field goal off that play and took a 9-7 lead.

The Bucs defense will need to find a way to take the ball away from Matt Ryan once or twice, because he's finding it far too easy to march into field goal range now -- though they're at least locking it down in the red zone. Meanwhile, the Bucs need a little more out of their offense. But the game is close and either team can win. This should be a good second half!