The 6-5 Atlanta Falcons will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the 5-6 Buccaneers on Sunday Afternoon. Both teams are coming off disappointing losses where they each had difficulty scoring the ball. The Falcons were beat 20-10 by the Minnesota Vikings while the Buccaneers were defeated 25-12 by the Indianapolis Colts. The Falcons have now lost 4 games in a row and their offensive production has been in decline. They have averaged only 16 points per game in their past 6 games where they averaged 32 in the first 5 games. For the Buccaneers the loss to the Colts was a setback but they have won 3 of their last 5 games.
Matt Ryan had another mixed game as he completed 22 of 31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown. He also threw 2 interceptions and was sacked twice for a loss of 20 yards. He has now thrown 5 interceptions in his last 2 games and has 12 on the year. His favorite target was Roddy White who had 6 receptions for 60 yards. The running game had some success as Tevin Coleman rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries. They weren’t much better on the defensive end as they allowed Adrian Peterson to rush for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. They also didn’t have any sacks and had only 1 tackle for a loss. However, they were able to intercept Teddy Bridgewater in the second quarter which led to a Falcon field goal. Atlanta started the season with 5 consecutive wins but have gone 1-5 since and their chances of making the playoffs are in doubt.
Tampa Bay was leading 12-6 at halftime but were shut out in the second half which included a missed field goal and interception. Jameis Winston struggled in this game but he didn’t get any help from his offensive line. He completed 20 of 36 passes for 245 yards and touchdown but he also threw an interception. He was also sacked 5 times for a loss of 33 yards. His favorite receiver was Vincent Jackson who had 4 completions for 76 yards. The Buccaneers had some success running the ball as Doug Martin had 14 carries for 97 yards. Defensively, they did a great job stopping the run but didn’t have an answer for T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. The Colts had 342 total yards of offense but had only 27 rushing yards on 26 carries. Hilton caught 6 passes for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns while Moncrief had 8 receptions for 114 yards.
The Falcons 4 game losing streak began on November 1st at home against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay won 23-20 in overtime and Matt Ryan had 2 costly turnovers in that game. They could be getting a boost with the return of Devonta Freeman who missed last week’s game with a concussion. The Falcons are 4-7 against the spread this year and the Buccaneers are 6-5. The spread is even for this game and while the game will be played in Tampa Bay, Vincent Jackson is listed as questionable on the injury report.
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