This is a very important game for the Bucs as they get back to action after the bye week.
First and foremost it’s important to get back to playing football and get that bad taste out of their mouth after the 48-10 drubbing in Chicago.
The bucs are 2-2 and could be 3-1 if not fora poor first half against Pittsburgh.
This is the first start for Jameis Winston who has had some outstanding games against the Falcons. It will be very important that Winston develop chemistry early on with the receivers especially DeSean Jackson. There wa a real disconnect last year with Winston and Jackson on the field. They were never able to get on the same page.
The running game has to get going at some point. Peyton Barber has been a disappointment so far in his numbers as he is averaging just 3.0 YPC. Ronald Jones just got his first game action in Chicago and was so-so getting his 3 yards per carry and dropping the first pass thrown to him with all kinds of room to run in front of him.
Jones has to get going as well. He was a second round pick and right now it looks as if the that pick was a reach.
MIke Smith talked all week about how the performance in Chicago was an anomaly and that the defense is much better than what it showed in Chicago. Smith actually said that ‘The sky is not falling.”
I hope Smith is right in his analysis. Something coaches tend to do sometimes is deal in delusion and not reality.
The facts are the Bucs are giving up 445 Yards per game and 35 points a game. That is not an anomaly those are facts. This defense stinks and has all season.
There is no help on the way for the defensive backfield as Marcus Williams was placed on IR. The Bucs are going to have to ride it out with the the three rookies and the likes of Ryan Smith,Justin Evans and Brent Grimes.
Grimes has not played well this year after missing the first two games with injuries. He needs to play better and be a better leader for this secondary.
On the injury front OJ Howard and Beau Allen may be back. They did practice this week so it will be a game time decision as to wether they can go or not.
The Falcons are reeling at 1-4 and a loss to the Bucs would pretty much eliminate them from the division title and the playoffs.
The Falcons defense has been a disappointment after the perfrormance the last two years and Grady Jarrett the DL will probably be out for this game as well.
The falcons defense is giving up 399 YPG which ranks 28th in the league. The Falcons are giving up 277 YPG in the air and 121 YPG on the ground.
On the offensive side of the ball Matt Ryan has been slinging the ball around like he always has as the Falcons are averaging 304 YPG through the air. Calvin Ridley has been a welcome addition to the receiving corp as he has 6 TD’s already this season.
WR Mohammad Sanu is questionable for the Falcons and RB Davonta Freeman has been ruled out.
One of the key matchup is going to be whatever DB covers Julio Jones. Jones has had some monster games against the Bucs and I hope Mike Smith has a plan to somehow keep Jones in check. Jones is going to make a play or two, but you can’t let him have that monster game that will beat you.
Another matchup to watch will be the play of the LB’s vs. Tevin Coleman. Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander will need to keep Coleman in check if the Bucs want to have a chance to win.
The Bucs need a win and the Falcons need a win. I think it will come down to who has the ball last. This will be a high scoring game as I don’t see the defense of the Bucs or the Falcons being able to do much to slow down the opposing offense.
This will not be an impressive game for the defense. The offense will have to win it for the Bucs. I think Jameis Winston and company make one more play than the Falcons and win the game 38-37.