Mark Barron's teammates were proud of the Tampa Bay rookie safety, who slapped away a fourth-down pass intended for perennial Pro Bowl TE Tony Gonzalez to snuff out Atlanta's last threat with 2:02 remaining.
Like most rookies, the first-round draft pick out of Alabama had struggled this season in coverage for the league's most porous pass defense.
"I think that was a perfect ending to the game,'' DT Roy Miller said of Barron's only pass breakup of the afternoon. "The ending couldn't have been any better. That guy is going to gain a ton of confidence ending like that.''
Barron said the Bucs were in a Cover 2 zone scheme as Matt Ryan dropped back to pass on fourth-and-10 from the Falcons 33-yard line. "I figured Ryan was going to hit that route because that's the weak zone in that coverage,'' Barron said.
"I just jumped on it. We wanted that really bad. The season hasn't been what we wanted it to be. We're not going to the playoffs, so we just wanted to come out and finish strong.''