TV Schedule: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Raymond James Stadium
Weather: High 82, Low 70
Line: Atlanta (-1)
Coming into the season, people believed that the Atlanta Falcons would be contending for a Super Bowl this season behind the strong arm of Matt Ryan. However, the team has severely underperformed and the Falcons are just 2-7 and it looks like a lot of the struggled have come because of Julio Jones‘ injury depleting the pass game. Ryan has passed for 2,614 yards and 16 touchdowns on the year while hitting Harry Douglas 45 times for 620 yards and a touchdown, attempting to replace Jones’ 580 yards and two touchdowns in the first few weeks of the season before his devastating injury. Steven Jackson has been nearly non-existent in the run game this season especially because of his injury problems. Jacquizz Rodgers leads all rushers with 251 yards and two touchdowns while also catching 38 passes for 219 yards and two scores.
Greg Schiano had seemingly lost control of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but a win in week 10 over the in-state rival Miami Dolphins restored even the smallest bit of hope in the coach. The Buccaneers improved their record to 1-8 after the win, but it has been a total disaster of a season down in Tampa and a lot of that has to do with the unsettling quarterback situation in which the team saw Josh Freeman released and rookie Mike Glennon thrown into the fire. Glennon has 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns in just a handful of starts this season while replacing Freeman. Vincent Jackson has given the young quarterback a solid target to throw to, catching 46 passes for 662 yards and four scores. Doug Martin has been injured and will likely be out for quite a while, rushing for 456 yards and a touchdown on the year.
Defensively, the Falcons have been less than average this season. In fact, Atlanta is a lower-tier team on defense this season, ranking in both total yards and passing yards allowed while ranking 27th in passing yards allowed and 29th in points allowed per game. Tampa Bay, surprisingly, has been much better than Atlanta, ranking 14th in both total yards and passing yards while ranking fifth in rushing yards allowed with just 95 per game.
PREDICTION: Falcons 31, Buccaneers 21