The injury-ravaged Falcons held on for a 31-23 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak.
The Falcons once considered Super Bowl contenders improved to 2-4 while the Buccaneers dropped to 0-6 after the NFC South battle at the Georgia Dome.

With quarterback Matt Ryan passing to Harry Douglas and the defense gambling more with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan on the sideline the Falcons built a 17-point lead but needed an onsides kick recovery by Thomas DeCoud in the final minutes to preserve the win.

Seven players who opened the season in the starting lineup against New Orleans were not available against Tampa Bay.

On offense the Falcons were without opening-day starters in wide receivers Julio Jones (foot surgery/out for season) and Roddy White (hamstring/ankle) left tackle Sam Baker (knee) running back Steven Jackson (hamstring) and fullback Bradie Ewing (shoulder). On defense linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (foot) and defensive end/linebacker Kroy Bierrman (Achilles surgery) were missing from the opening day lineup.

It was the first game the White has missed since being drafted in 2005 ending his streak of 133 straight games played in.

The reserves and a few minor tweaks to the defense were needed to hold off the Bucs who were led by rookie quarterback Mike Glennon making his third NFL start.

With the victory the Falcons are now 5-1 following their bye week under Smith.

Ryan led the way by completed 19 of 25 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns. Harry Douglas caught seven passes for 149 yards.

The Falcons jumped out to a 24-10 halftime lead.

Douglas had six catches for 140 yards and a touchdown at halftime. His previous highs were eight catches and 133 yards against the Saints on Nov. 13 2011.