TAMPA, Fla. — Matt Ryan threw for 344 yards and four touchdowns Thursday night, helping the Atlanta Falcons tighten their grip on first place in the NFC South with a 43-28 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Julio Jones had eight receptions for 111 yards and a TD as the Falcons (6-3) avenged a season-opening loss to the Bucs (3-5). Tampa Bay has dropped two straight on the heels of a three-game win streak that got it back to .500.

Jones, closing in on another 1,000-yard receiving season with 970 through nine games, caught a 3-yard scoring pass in the third quarter, when Ryan led TD drives of 86 and 82 yards.

Levine Toilolo, Patrick DiMarco and Austin Hooper also caught a TD pass from Ryan, who leads the NFL with 2,980 yards and 23 touchdowns against just four interceptions.

Jameis Winston threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns for Tampa Bay, including scoring passes of 3 and 24 yards to Evans, who had 11 receptions.


SEAHAWKS: Cornerback Richard Sherman ripped into the NFL, questioning the league’s officiating and saying the decline in television ratings is due in part to the league simply not being fun anymore.

Sherman was critical of the calls after Seattle’s 25-20 loss to New Orleans last Sunday. The Seahawks were flagged for 11 penalties versus two for the Saints.

He said at one point, “We probably lead the league in NFL apologies the next day.”

RESEARCHERS SAID they found a traumatic brain disease in former Eagles and Patriots fullback Kevin Turner, who was the lead plaintiff in a concussion lawsuit against the NFL.

Turner died in March at 46 of complications from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

49ERS: Running back Carlos Hyde said he suffered an AC joint injury in his shoulder that may prevent him from playing Sunday against New Orleans.

BILLS: Running back LeSean McCoy returned to practice to test his left hamstring injury, though his status remains uncertain for the Monday night game at Seattle.

PACKERS: Linebacker Clay Matthews appears ready to return after sitting out another game with a hamstring injury.

JETS: Center Nick Mangold, left tackle Ryan Clady and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson were among seven players to not practice for a second straight day because of injuries.

BRONCOS: Cornerback Aqib Talib was sent to California to seek a second opinion about his ailing lower back. Coach Gary Kubiak said he “got good vibes … from the visit.”

BENGALS: The team waived cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris and closed in on a deal with defensive end Wallace Gilberry.

EAGLES: Philadelphia cut wide receiver Josh Huff, two days after he was arrested on gun and drug charges.