ATLANTA - Michael Turner kept battering the Buccaneers. John Abraham ran right through them.
With those two dominating Tampa Bay, the Atlanta Falcons managed to overcome their mistakes.
Turner ran for 152 yards and scored a first-quarter touchdown, Abraham had three sacks, and the Falcons finished off a sloppy performance with Jason Elam's 34-yard field goal in overtime yesterday, pulling out a crucial, 13-10 victory over the Buccaneers to tighten the NFC playoff race.
The Bucs (9-5) have back-to-back losses for the first time this season and missed a chance to possibly clinch their playoff berth. They were hampered by 11 penalties for 76 yards.
The Falcons pulled even with Tampa Bay in the NFC South behind first-place Carolina, ensuring their first winning season since 2004.
"To win a game like this, when you're not hitting on all cylinders, is huge," said Mike Smith, Atlanta's rookie coach.
Two guys deserved the bulk of the credit. Turner carried a career-high 32 times, including a couple of big runs on the winning drive. Abraham kept coming at Tampa Bay from all directions, including a possession-ending sack in overtime that caused Bucs tackle Jeremy Trueblood to throw up his hands in frustration.
On Abraham's first sack, he shoved a Tampa Bay lineman into Brian Griese. On the second, he crawled under tackle Donald Penn to get at Griese.
"This will be a fun game to sit down and watch on film," said Abraham, who had his third three-sack game of the season, giving him 15 1/2 overall.
Atlanta overcame a subpar game by quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw two interceptions and fumbled twice. But he hit Roddy White with a 14-yard pass on the winning drive.