The Bucs continue their 2-game road trip Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Falcons, a team they defeated 48-25 at Raymond James Stadium in Week 2.
While a road divisional matchup is never a gimme, this shouldn’t be super stressful.
The GOAT owns the Atlanta Falcons, and 28-3 is just the beginning.
In Tampa Bay’s Week 2 matchup against the Falcons, TB12 threw for 5 TDs. Last year against the Dirty Birds, he managed to throw for over 700 yards and 6 TDs over the two matchups.
Don’t expect any changes in that trend.
The Falcons’ secondary got a boost with the emergence of last year’s first round pick A.J. Terrell as a bonafide lockdown corner, and now Atlanta’s a top-10 group against the pass. But the numbers might be a little deceiving. The Falcons’ strength of schedule, especially in regards to opposing teams’ offenses, has been below-average at best.
They’ve faced the Dolphins, Jets, Giants, Panthers and Jaguars, all teams with well-documented quarterback problems, and their only competition has been these Bucs and the high-flying Dallas Cowboys (who the Falcons lost to, 43-3).
So while it’s been impressive that Atlanta's shut down the teams they should shut down, they still have extensive trouble (as many defenses do) against high-caliber NFL offenses.
So again, while the Falcons are certainly not a team to overlook, the Bucs should win handily 38-24. The Bucs’ secondary may continue to struggle, but with the Falcons’ star wideout Calvin Ridley still out with personal issues, Tampa Bay’s issues defending the pass might be a bit less noticeable.
In some good injury news, Bucs guard Ali Marpet has been practicing and should be set to return for Sunday. Starting corner Carlton Davis has also been participating in practices and is confident that he will be able to return on Sunday. Marpet and Davis might not be needed for the Bucs to beat the inconsistent Falcons, but they would certainly be welcome in the effort on Sunday.
A Bucs’ victory would certainly be a welcome sight, too, especially following this tumultuous week with Antonio Brown and Mike Edwards being suspended for COVID-19 violations. Nothing like a football team winning a game to make everyone forget about the real problems and issues of the world.
See you Sunday.