The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Atlanta Falcons for a battle of the NFC South basement in week twelve. Coming off another disappointing loss the Buccaneers feel like they are at a crossroads. On the other hand, the Falcons have closed out two great games against the other division rivals. Could the Falcons close out this week and make it three in a row against all three NFC South opponents.
Outside the last two weeks, the Falcons secondary has been porous. Wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should be pumped to take on this defense. Last year the Falcons held Evans to a six reception 58-yard game at the beginning of the year and then allowed him to post six reception 106 yards two-touchdown game to close out the season. Buccaneers fans are crossing their fingers for a repeat of the season finale. Evans only needs seven more yards to break 1000 yards receiving this year. That stat will tie him with only Randy Moss as the other receiver to break 1000 yards six seasons in a row.
Godwin had similar stats last year against the Falcons. Held to only 56 yards and a touchdown in the first matchup he rebounded to haul in two touchdowns coupled with 114 yards. We will have to see what secondary shows up.
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The other secondary playing in this game is just as bad. Allowing an abysmal 2,909 yards this season through the air. Second only to the Arizona Cardinals who have their bye week this week giving the BUccaneers an opportunity to catch up. With a great duo on the Falcons team, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Luckily Austin Hooper will be out this week. Can the secondary of the Buccaneers mature this week? The numbers don’t support it.
Playing to get PAID!
Shaquil Barrett is looking to get to Matt Ryan and end this two-game win streak of the Falcons. With little to no hope for the Buccaneers to make the playoffs, Barrett is playing for a contract. Will he remain a Buccaneer or play somewhere else next season? Either way, with six games left he should build upon his 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, four stops for loss and an interception. I for one, think the Buccaneers should resign him ahead of any other pending free agent.
As always, the Winston Effect
Winston’s struggles are well documents. These last six weeks will determine his and the franchise’s future. Eliminating turnovers will be the thing focus. Now, wins and losses are not quarterback stats. They are team stats. Winston though has done his fair share of aiding the team in failure. Though he has 18 interceptions on the season Bruce Arians has only laid the blame of ten of them on Winston. Can he limit his mistakes?
No win here for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 32-27 Falcons. Another season of disappointment continues as Dirk Koetter wins a revenge game.