While both teams have an unimpressive 3-7 record, the Bucs are facing the Falcons at the most inopportune time. After losing six games in a row, Atlanta has found a way to turn things around. They beat the Saints 26-9 in New Orleans two weeks ago and stunned the nation last week by destroying the Panthers 29-3 in Carolina.
Nobody wants to play Atlanta at the moment. However, the Bucs have to.
Key To Winning: Stopping Atlanta’s Pass Rush
Through the first eight games of the season, Atlanta’s pass rush was the worst in the league, as they only managed to record seven sacks. In the last two contests, however, they found a way to turn things around. They accumulated an eye-popping 11 sacks in those two games, led by Adrian Clayborn and Vic Beasley.
Tampa Bay’s offensive line is certainly nothing to write home about. Tampa Bay could be in for yet another long day if the offensive line does not find a way to protect Winston.
Expect Big Plays By Wide Receivers On Both Sides
Even though Atlanta’s secondary has been playing better as of late, their defensive backfield is still ranked 26th in the league. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, hopefully, O.J. Howard, as well will be licking their chops. The two standout receivers should see plenty of opportunities to make plays and put their stamp on the game.
On the other hand, Atlanta has a great duo of receivers of their own. Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are undoubtedly looking forward to one of their favorite matchups of the year, as the Buccaneers’ secondary ranks 31st in the league.
So far, Tampa Bay has allowed an average of 290 yards per game. The defense has allowed 25 touchdown passes. That is simply not good enough. Look for Matt Ryan to pass for at least 350 yards in this game.
A Lot At Stake For Jameis Winston
While the postseason is pretty much out of reach for both teams, Tampa Bay should find a way to end the season on a high note. Especially Jameis Winston has a lot to play for. He is in the final year of his contract and it is still unclear whether he will be a Buc next year or not.
Winston usually plays well in Atlanta. He has six games left on the year. If he can find a way to play efficient football and limit his turnovers, chances are he will remain with the Buccaneers for the foreseeable future.
Conclusion: Bucs Lose, Falcons Record Six Sacks
The new and improved Atlanta Falcons are too much for the Buccaneers. Winston is under pressure all day. Consequently, he does not find a way to make plays. He turns the ball over three times, passes for 250 yards and one touchdown. Ryan tears apart Tampa Bay’s secondary. It is not even close this time.