Falcons vs. Tampa Preview

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The Falcons run for the playoffs started last Monday night when they bested an undefeated on Monday Night Football, Russell Wilson and The Seattle Seahawks. It was a clock run off of 7 seconds left after a missed 52-yard field goal attempt by the Seahawks. The Falcons look to continue their winning ways on Sunday afternoon against The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay (4-6) will once again be without their starting Quarterback Jameis Winston (shoulder injury). The Buccaneers are on a two-game winning streak, building up their confidence with backup Quarterback veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Falcons seem to be finding their stride offensively, averaging over 30 points in their last two games. In this crucial NFC South duel- the defending NFC Champions, The Atlanta Falcons can ill afford to lose this game. This will be the first of two meetings this season between The Falcons and The Buccaneers, who will play again in week 15.

The Bucs have dropped six of their last seven road games while the Falcons have won six of eight at home. Look for Atlanta to win and continue the team’s late season playoff run and successfully defending their division title.

Key Matchups:

Falcons CB Desmond Trufant vs Bucs WR Mike Evans- Evans has given the Falcons a run for their money in his young career- racking up five TDs in the last six meetings. Pro Bowl CB Trufant who missed the Super Bowl last year is showing off his speed and dermination of helping his team to get back to the big dance. Trufant will likely cover Mike Evans and try to slow him down all afternoon.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson vs Falcons CB Robert Alford- with Trufant covering Evans, that leaves Alford keeping up with a speedy and versatile WR DeSean Jackson. Alford has been penalized twice this season for Pass Interference and defensive holding but has yet to intercept a pass. Look for Alford to stay with Jackson.

Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu vs Bucs CB Ryan Smith- Julio Jones may be the best WR in NFL but his counterpart on the other side has something to say for himself. Sanu has come on strong and come up with some big time catches in the trenches for the Falcons this year when they really needed it. Sanu is a versatile player who can run the Wildcat and even throw a pass or two, as he did in 2014 season against The Bucs. Ryan Smith is going to likely see a lot of Sanu as Smith is the bigger of the two starting CB’s for the Bucs and has shown improvement in his second year in the league.

Bucs G J.R. Sweezy vs. Falcons DT Grady Jarrett- Jarrett has been somewhat of an unsung hero in The Falcons defense. Jarrett has only 1.5 sacks on the season but he’s very quick and disruptive in the middle of the Falcons front. Jarrett leads the team with 10 tackles for a loss, which is a very high total for a defensive tackle who lacks a large amount of sacks. Sweezy does have a size advantage over Jarrett. Sweezy and The Bucs front have done well this season protecting their Quarterback. If Sweezy is strong at point of attack against Jarrett- the Bucs could possibly clear room for Doug Martin to run.