Sports

Falcons get tough, end 5-game losing streak with 'line drawn in the sand' against Buccaneers

  • Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Kroy Biermann (71) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown (12) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Kroy Biermann (71) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown (12) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)  (The Associated Press)

  • Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) leaps away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Bradley McDougald (30) for a 1-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)

    Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) leaps away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Bradley McDougald (30) for a 1-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)  (The Associated Press)

The Atlanta Falcons ended their five-game losing streak by coming off their bye week with a tough approach up front.

Coach Mike Smith gave more help to Atlanta's offensive line, which has had four starters suffer season-ending injuries. Tackle Gabe Carimi started at tight end in the "jumbo" formation, adding more muscle to the offensive front and more punch to a running attack that has struggled most of the season.

Steven Jackson ran for a season-high 81 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-17 win at Tampa Bay. The win provided relief from the losing streak that prompted questions about Smith's job security.

Smith says "there was a line drawn in the sand" with an emphasis on winning the line of scrimmage.

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