Falcons Hold Off Buccaneers in MNF Battle + More NFL News
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have kept pace with the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers in the tight NFC South race while keeping their hold on a wild-card berth.
Devonta Freeman rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown as the Falcons downed the Buccaneers 24-21 at Tampa. Freeman scored on a 32-yard run to put Atlanta ahead by 10 points midway through the fourth quarter. He also caught five passes for a team-high 68 yards and had a first-half fumble recovered in the end zone by teammate Levine Toilolo for a touchdown.
Matt Ryan threw for 212 yards and no interceptions for the 9-5 Falcons, who remain one game behind the Saints and Panthers for the division lead.
Jameis Winston threw for 299 yards and three TDs for the 4-10 Bucs.
NFL suspends Panthers linebacker
UNDATED (AP) — Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis has been suspended for two games by the NFL following his helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay's Davante Adams.
The Packers wide receiver left Sunday's 31-24 loss to Carolina in the third quarter with a concussion after being blindsided by Davis following a Carolina interception.
Davis has apologized to Adams via Twitter for the hit and has three days to appeal the punishment.
Davis was the 2015 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, but he's also considered a repeat offender by the league and was fined over $48,000 for a hit earlier this season.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— Cardinals coach Bruce Arians says he will return to Drew Stanton as his starting quarterback for Sunday's home game against the Giants. Stanton takes over for Blaine Gabbert, who went 2-3 as the starter and was just 16 of 41 passing for 189 yards and two turnovers in Sunday's loss to Washington.
— Browns coach Hue Jackson has decided to stick with rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer for this week's game at Chicago after considering a switch. Kizer leads the NFL with 19 interceptions and has been inconsistent all season, but Jackson said he hopes the pendulum swings in the right direction this Sunday.
— Nick Rose will become the Chargers' fourth kicker of the season when they take on the Jets at the Meadowlands. Rose replaces Travis Coons, who has been waived after missing an extra point in Saturday's loss to the Chiefs.
— Muhammad Wilkerson's status with the Jets remains uncertain after the star defensive end was benched by the team for its game at New Orleans on Sunday. Coach Todd Bowles says Monday that Wilkerson was at the team facility Monday, but would not say whether the 2011 first-round draft pick would practice or play this week. According to several published reports, Wilkerson was benched for being late to a team meeting on Friday.
— The Panthers have announced Tina Becker has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer and been given full control of the day-to-day management of the organization. The move comes as the NFL investigates alleged sexual and racist misconduct by longtime owner Jerry Richardson. The 81-year-old Richardson is stepping away from the daily operation of the team and will focus on the pending sale of the franchise.