Sunday's game between the Falcons and Bucs is a match up between two of the worst teams in the NFL. You would have to give the edge to the Falcons for the simple fact they defeated the Bucs back on September 18th, 56-14. Both teams have been on a downward spiral since that game. The Falcons have lost five straight while the Bucs have regressed on both sides of the ball.
Even with Josh McCown starting this week, the Bucs offense should be able to move the ball consistently. NFL Films Greg Cosell, who joined Fan Interference Thursday, said the Bucs offense should put up some numbers. "This is in some ways a litmus test game for the Bucs," Cosell said. "If this is a bad offensive performance then we probably won't be having a pleasant conversation next Thursday."
Part of the reason for optimism if you are a Bucs fan is that Atlanta doesn't generate much of a pass rush. The Falcons have sacked opposing quarterbacks a league-low seven times. "Again, we're 32nd in the league in sacks," Mike Smith said. "I think we have shown some improvement. It hasn't necessarily shown up on the sack tally, but I do feel that we've shown some improvement." Defensively, the Falcons are last in the league in yards allowed per game at just under 409. The Bucs offensive line is also coming off maybe it's best performance against the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday. Going against a bad defense is always a nice remedy for a struggling offense and that's exactly what the Bucs will encounter this Sunday.
On the flip side, the Falcons have become a one dimensional team on offense. With their offensive line struggling, the team has relied on quarterback Matt Ryan more so than they would like. Cosell agrees with this assessment. "They tend to move in that direction because they want to the ball in the hands of Matt Ryan," Cosell told Jim Lighthall on 98.7 the Fan. "He's essentially a pocket quarterback so with an o line that struggles that's a tough go." Gerald McCoy wants to build off of his dominating performance last weekend and going against Atlanta's offensive line should allow him to do that again this week.
I'm going to devote a whole story on the special teams in this game. It was a huge factor last time these two teams met and there is a good chance it will impact this game again on Sunday.
The Falcons are a bad team but once again there is an opportunity for the Bucs to get a win. Will it happen? Like most weeks, probably not.
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