The return was the 20th of Hester's career, who is in his first season with the Falcons after spending 8 seasons with the Chicago Bears. Hester was very emotional on the sideline after his record-breaking return in the 2nd quarter. It was the headline of a game that was never really close from the beginning. The Falcons scored on their first drive of the game, a 3-yard touchdown pass to Harry Douglas.
Matt Ryan threw for over 400 yards in week 1 against the Saints, but threw 3 interceptions in week 2's loss to the Bengals. Many questioned which Ryan we would see Thursday night, so he answered those critics with 286 yards and 3 touchdowns. He would find Douglas, and Julio Jones twice in the end-zone.
Not only did Hester break Sanders' record, and in Sanders' high leg kick style, but he also ran the ball 20 yards in for a score. Antone Smith and Steven Jackson also had rushing touchdowns for Atlanta, while Kemal Ishmael had a pick-6 on the night. The Falcons look to rebound from a stunning 4-win season a year ago, and they improved to 2-1 on the early season. Lovie Smith's Buccaneers fell to 0-3 with Thursday's blowout loss in Smith's first season with the team.