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Buccaneers pass Falcons in drops

12/20/2011

With Atlanta’s Roddy White suddenly holding onto passes, the Falcons no longer lead the NFC South in dropped passes.

That honor now belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have dropped 26 passes, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That ties the Bucs for fourth in the NFL, while the Falcons are tied for eighth with 25 team drops.

The New Orleans Saints are tied for No. 11 with 22 drops. The Carolina Panthers are No. 24 with 15 drops.

White remains tied for the league lead (with Cleveland’s Greg Little) with 11 individual drops. Teammate Julio Jones has four drops, but the Bucs have moved ahead of the Falcons by using more of a team approach to dropping the ball.

Tampa Bay receiver Mike Williams is tied for third in the league with seven drops. Fellow receiver Arrelious Benn and tight end Kellen Winslow each have five drops. Running backs Kregg Lumpkin and LeGarrette Blount each have pitched in with two drops.

For the sake of comparison, I looked back at last year’s files and that was revealing. The Bucs and Falcons didn’t have major problems with drops in 2010. Tampa Bay was tied for No. 25 in the league with 21 drops. The Falcons were No. 29 with just 19 drops.

But drops were a problem for Williams last season. He was tied for No. 9 in the league with eight drops. I'll do the math for you -- in less than two full seasons, Williams has dropped 15 passes. Last season, White had only three drops while making 115 receptions.