Rapid Reaction: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 21

ATLANTA -- I’m heading downstairs for interviews and will be back with full analysis in a bit. But, first, here’s Rapid Reaction to Atlanta’s 27-21 victory against Tampa Bay.

What it means: The Falcons have sole possession of first place in the NFC South with a 6-2 record. But they’ve got a very real competitor in the Buccaneers. Atlanta played well overall, but the Buccaneers hung with the Falcons and made them really earn the win.

What’s next: Atlanta has a short week. The Falcons host the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. The Bucs return home to host Carolina on Sunday.

Heroes: Atlanta’s defense. The Falcons struggled much of the day, but they came up with a huge goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter.