The potent offense of the Atlanta Falcons has been good this year, but their defensive woes have trumped over their offense. Now, the offensive struggle some Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town and the Falcons are hoping that they can provide enough offense to win. The Falcons come into the game 1-4, while the Bucs are coming off a bye and sit at 2-2.
This should be a good game for the Falcons as they are at home and their lone win has come at home. For the Falcons, this is a must win because falling to 1-5 in the NFC could spell trouble for their playoff hopes. The Bucs need a win too as they sit in third in the NFC South behind two teams with one loss each. The Falcons are the favorites to win the game by 3.5 points.
Buccaneers Looking to Get Back on Track
The Buccaneers got off to a blazing fast start with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the quarterback position. He threw for over 400 yards in his first three games of the year and combined for 11 touchdowns against four interceptions. In the last outing, he struggled throwing for just 126 and no touchdowns.
Fitzpatrick is 7th in the league in touchdown passes, 10th in the NFL in completion percentage and he is 4th in the NFL in QB rating. Even though he is completing passes at a 67.4 percent clip, he is out as the starting quarterback. Jameis Winston returns this week from his suspension and will take over the starting job from Fitzpatrick.
The Bucs are scoring 28 points a game and moving the ball a ton with 444.8 yards a game which include 69.5 yards a game on the ground. The defense though is not good. They have allowed 457 yards a game and give up an average of 34.8 points a game. They struggle to defend the pass and with a good quarterback on the horizon, it won’t get much better for them going forward.
Atlanta Also Struggling
The Falcons have always been able to move the ball and score it, and this year is no different. Matt Ryan is throwing the ball well but the Falcons are having trouble stopping opponents when needed. Three of their losses have been by six points or less and they just got run over by the Steelers.
Ryan has thrown for 1,601 yards and 11 touchdowns while only throwing two interceptions. The defense has allowed 32.6 points a game and gives up 411.4 points a game. They have allowed 163 points this year while scoring 133 of their own. With Jameis Winston, they will have a new look to face as they will have to defend against a mobile quarterback, something they have struggled with in years past.
Falcons Down Buccaneers
This game is going to be very important between two NFC South rivals. The Falcons are in last place in the division while the Bucs are just ahead of them in third. Whoever wins this game will keep their playoff hopes alive and it will take a little bit of defense to be able to stop the other team. Both teams are going to score a lot and the game will come down to who is able to stop the pass better.
I am looking forward to seeing a shootout between two quarterbacks who can really throw the ball and I look for the Falcons to come out on top. Winston hasn’t played a game yet this year, but is getting the start so I think he will struggle early on and be forced to try and claw back into the game. Take the Falcons -3.5.