The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons this weekend in a game that will determine the division lead. The game itself will be entertaining, but the thing that will make it even better is a few bold predictions.
These are predictions that may seem unlikely, but are not intended to be crazy off the wall thoughts. Each comes with logic and reasoning. So without further ado, here are three bold predictions for the Bucs against the Falcons.
Cade Otton Break Out Game
With starting tight end Cameron Brate in the concussion protocol, it seems unlikely that he will play this weekend. That means that Cade Otton will likely get his first start. This is an opportunity that I believe he will capitalize on.
Through his first three games, he has been used primarily as a blocker. He has been up and down as you would expect from a rookie, but has looked like he belongs. Now with an expanded role he will have a chance to show off the receiving skills that we saw from him in college.
With the deep threat of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin over the middle getting most of the defense’s attention, a guy like Otton can hurt Atlanta in the intermediate passing game. We saw former tight end Rob Gronkowski do this regularly, although I am not predicting Otton to be the next Gronk.
What I am predicting is that Otton makes his mark this week. I anticipate 50+ receiving yards and his first NFL touchdown. After an emotional few weeks for this young man, I will type this one into existence with all of my might.
The Bucs Defense Holds Atlanta To Single Digit Points
A week ago this might not have been a hot take. The Bucs had allowed scores of 3, 10 and 14 in the first three games. However, after a brutal game against the Chiefs this defense will be looking to bounce back.
The strength of this Atlanta team is their offense. They have a young star wide receiver in Drake London who is off to a great start. This won’t be an easy game for the defense to dominate. But with tight end Kyle Pitts out it’ll be a lot easier.
I think this is a matchup that favors Tampa Bay in every way. The Bucs have the big body corners who can limit a big receiver like London. They also have the pass rushers who can cause problems for an offensive line that is average at best.
It’s also worth noting that Cordarrelle Patterson was put on injured reserve this week after a great start to the season. So with a lower tier quarterback in Marcus Mariota, receivers who don’t match up well and a back up running back, that can only mean one thing. This will be the Bradley Pinion revenge game.
Bucs Young Pass Rushers Get Home
I mentioned that this Falcons offensive line isn’t great. They will be doing their best to slow the Buccaneers stars, like Shaq Barrett and Vita Vea down in this game. This means the unestablished guys like Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Logan Hall will be an afterthought.
This would be a mistake on the Falcons part. Both Tryon Shoyinka and Hall have looked good in their young careers. They are both excellent athletes for their position and are ready to take advantage of their opportunity. Against this offensive line, opportunity is knocking this week.
I believe that both Tryon-Shoyinka and Hall will each get a sack in this game. This would more than double their season total to this point in the year. Don’t let these numbers fool you though, these two have been playing well so far this year.
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