Looking to rebound after an abysmal showing against the Chiefs the defense needs to contain the Falcons’ offense. This is not a week to come in overconfident, it’s a week to show that the previous was an anomaly.
Return to Greatness
In order to meet the expectations the first three weeks established for the Buccaneers’ defense, they must do what they couldn’t last week. This starts with the discipline they lacked in week four. Maintaining gap discipline and not biting on misdirection will be at the top of the list of things to get back to. This will keep the Falcons’ run game from getting started and force them to rely on Marcus Mariota.
With Mariota being a mobile quarterback the other thing the defense must get back to is containment. Last week they allowed Patrick Mahomes to extend plays with his legs. Furthermore it made the defense have to commit to going after Mahomes outside the pocket and leave receivers open in space. There is no doubt the Falcons will look to recreate some of that success.
Pinning Their Ears Back
The Falcons will be missing a key piece in Cordarrelle Patterson but may have a suitable replacement with Tyler Allgeier. This is not a time for the defense to get cocky again. Though Patterson has carried the largest portion of the load Allgeier has been strong. They have combined to place the Falcons run game fourth in the league in yards, rushing touchdowns, and rushing first downs. It’s clear the defense needs to stop the run first and foremost.
Keeping the ball in Mariota’s hands should go a long way in terms of winning the turnover battle. This season he has had six fumbles and four interceptions. Couple that with a 58.2 completion percentage he is the weakest point in their offense.
Assuming the Buccaneers offense gets going and has the Falcons playing from behind they should be able to pin their ears back and hunt Mariota in the backfield.
Every team deserves respect. When the best team in any regards goes in thinking they can pull out an easy win then bad things happen. Hopefully this defense was humbled last week and they know not to come in over confident. Ultimately they must bounce back.
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