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Falcons 17, Bucs 6

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) It doesn't seem to matter who carries for Atlanta, the Falcons usually find a way to run the ball.

The NFL's top rushing team lost Warrick Dunn and Jerious Norwood within a span of five plays of the 3rd quarter, but seldom-used Justin Griffith came in to finish a 71-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown burst that helped the Falcons beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-6 on Sunday.

Dunn limped off the field with a left calf injury after gaining 9 yards to boost his season total to 997. Norwood hurt his right knee four plays later, opening the door for Griffith, who only carried 6 times for 34 yards before Sunday.

Atlanta's defense did its part, too, forcing 2 turnovers to set up 10 points, including Demorrio Williams' 54-yard fumble return for a touchdown that wiped out a 6-0 lead Tampa Bay took with help from Falcons errors.

Atlanta (7-6) has won two straight after losing four in a row to nearly drop out of playoff contention. Tampa Bay (3-10) has lost six of seven and has been limited to 3 field goals by Matt Bryant the past two weeks.

Griffith finished with a team-high 57 yards rushing on 12 carries. The Bucs held Michael Vick in check on the ground (5 yards), but the quarterback was effective enough throwing to complete a sweep of the season series between the NFC South rivals.

Bruce Gradkowski led a pair of 1st-half field goal drives for Tampa Bay. However, coach Jon Gruden benched the rookie in favor of Tim Rattay late in the 4th-quarter.
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