Week 13 is upon us and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a three game lead in the NFC South. With the New Orleans Saints losing to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night, the Buccaneers are in control with five weeks left to go.
This week the Buccaneers face a different NFC South foe in the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta (5-6) is now second in the division only after the Saints lost Thursday. Let’s take a look at q few things to watch for on Sunday.
As is the case with any game, Sunday the turnover battle will be key. This week though, the 5th team in turnover differential (Tampa Bay) will face off against the 27th overall team. The Buccaneers played a close game last week against the Colts but the five turnovers helped them seal the deal. If the Falcons can swing the tide in their favor they could have a shot against the defending champs.
Quarterback Matt Ryan hasn’t played at his usual level so far this season in terms of protecting the ball. This season he has 11 interceptions with seven of those coming in the past five games.
With a lack of talent at wide receiver and Ryan averaging less than seven yards per pass, Tampa Bay could win the battle outside I would expect the Buccaneer’s defensive backs to have their eyes on the quarterback ready to jump a pass.
Brady vs Atlanta
Last week quarterback Tom Brady continued his dominance against the Indianapolis Colts. This week he has a chance to go 4-0 against Atlanta since joining the Buccaneers.
Brady, as we all know, is nearing the end of his career but still wants to win every game he is in. Records like this one matter to a player with a storied career like Brady. Going undefeated in that many matchups is very impressive no matter the opponent. With the talent discrepancy between these two teams, the Buccaneers and Brady have a chance to at least sweep the teams’ matchup for two straight years.
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win Sunday they will have built an almost insurmountable lead in the NFC South. The turnover battle does favor the Buccaneers in this game and Tampa Bay is the objectively better team. Weirder things have happened in the NFL though. Can Brady add another notch to his belt with an undefeated record against the Atlanta Falcons? There may not be a better opportunity for Brady to have an MVP-like performance this year.