Posted in Game Previews

Game Preview: Week 9 Bucs @ Falcons

by Staff Report on November 7, 2010

The Buccaneers lead the all-time series 18-15 and have won six of the last 11 meetings with the Falcons. Since the NFC South was created in 2002, the Buccaneers own a 9-7 series edge, including season sweeps in 2002, 2005 and 2007 on the way to NFC South titles. Tampa Bay is 11-7 all-time at home against the Falcons, including wins in four of the last six meetings at Raymond James Stadium. The two teams first met in 1977, with Atlanta notching a 17-0 win at Tampa Stadium (11/27/77). The Bucs picked up their first win the next season, a 14-9 victory that evened Tampa Bay’s record at 2-2, marking the first time the club hit the .500 mark. Tampa Bay’s 48- 10 home victory to open the 1987 season represents the most points ever scored by a Buccaneer squad in the regular season, a mark that was later tied. Tampa Bay also posted a six-game winning streak in the series begin­ning with a victory in 1997.

GAME INFORMATION
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Site: Georgia Dome (71,228)
2010 Records: Tampa Bay 5-2, Atlanta 5-2
Network Television: FOX
Play-by-Play: Thom Brennaman, Analyst: Brian Billick, Sideline: Chris Myers
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
National Radio: Compass Radio Network
Play-by-Play: Chris Carrino, Color: Brian Baldinger
Last Game: Tampa Bay won at Arizona 38-35; Atlanta won vs. Cincinnati 39-32

Head-To-Head
The Bucs lead the series 18-15 (Regular Season)

SERIES BY THE NUMBERS
Overall Regular Season Series:…………….Tampa Bay leads series, 18-15
Home Record vs. Atlanta Falcons:…………………………………………11-7
Road Record vs. Atlanta Falcons:……………………………………………7-8
Current Streak:………………………………..Falcons, three games (2008-09)
Buccaneers Longest Streak:……………………….. Six games (1997-2003)
Falcons Longest Streak:……………………………… Three games (2008-09)
Regular Season Point Total:………………… Buccaneers 681 – Falcons 556
Most Points, Buccaneers:…………………….. 48, Buccaneers 48-10 (1987)
Most Points, Falcons:………………………………….43, Falcons 43-7 (1991)
Most Points, both teams:…………….. 58, twice, last Falcons 30-28 (2003)
Fewest Points, Buccaneers:…………………………..0, Falcons 17-0 (1976)
Fewest Points, Falcons:………………………….. 0, Buccaneers 27-0 (2004)
Fewest Points, both teams:……………17, twice, last Falcons 14-3 (2006)

What to Watch
Bucs O-Line vs Falcons front seven

The Bucs offensive line has been a mash unit of late, but that hasn’t stopped the filthy five from stepping up. With its most productive day on the ground, last week against the Cardinals they helped pave the way for rookie Legarrette Blount to eclipse the 100-yard mark with a 22 carry 120 yard, two touchdown performance.

This group of no names that consist of two undrafted tackles, a sixth round guard from this past Aprils draft, a third round guard who’s playing center and a former first round pick at right guard will have their hands full facing the Falcons 6th ranked rush defense. The Falcons are surrendering just a mere 95 yards a game on the ground to opposing offenses. The Bucs who have a new found ground game over the past two games are averaging 139 yards per game and a 6.36 yard per carry average over that span.

Josh Freeman vs Falcons Pass Defense
This season, Freeman has been Mr. Third-Down, completing 39 of 63 pass attempts for 422 yards, one touchdown and a completion percentage of 61.9% with zero interceptions. Of those 39 completions 22 have resulted in the Bucs picking up a first down.

On the year, he currently ranks seventh in the NFC in third down passer rating with an 86.9 QB rating and has yet to throw an interception on a third down play. His legs have been just as productive on third downs, as 10 of Freeman’s 25 runs this year have come on third down, with seven of those resulting in first downs. Six of his 10 third down scrambles have come on third-and-nine or longer. In just seven games, Freeman has already converted two third-and-11s, three third-and-fours, a third-and-nine and a third-and-16 by running.

Freeman currently ranks fourth amongst NFC quarterbacks with a passer rating of 95.4 in the fourth quarter. Making his 17th NFL start today against the Falcons Freeman has a record of 8-8 and six come-from-behind wins, in those 16 starts. He has completed 39-of-57 passes for 501 yards and 5 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the fourth quarter of those six come-from-behind victories – connecting on 68% of his passes and a passer rating of 124.96 in the fourth quarter of those six games.

Freeman has also been smart with the football this season, ranking first in the NFC and tied for fourth in the NFL with the fewest interceptions thrown with a minimum of 100 passing attempts. He currently has a streak of 132 passes without an interception.

Bucs front seven vs Michael Turner & Jason Snelling
The Bucs defense has given up on average over 150 yards rushing per game. Over the teams last two games however the defense has tightened up a bit and have allowed just 131 yards per game against the Rams and Cardinals respectively for a 4.74 yard per carry average. The duo of Turner & Snelling, have combined for 852 yards and five touchdowns for an average of 4.44 yards per carry.

For the Bucs to have any chance at upsetting the Falcons it will start up front with a depleted front four that will be with out second round pick Brian Price, whom the team placed on injured reserve and veteran Ryan Sims who has been ruled out. So look for new comers Alex Magee and recently signed rookie Al Woods to have to become major contributors if the Bucs are to escape the hostile confines of Hot Lanta with a win.

INJURY REPORT
TAMPA BAY
BUCCANEERS
Out
C Jeff Faine (quadricep)
FB Earnest Graham (hamstring)
OT Jeremy Trueblood (knee)
DT Ryan Sims (knee)
Questionable
WR Sammie Stroughter (foot)
Probable
DT Gerald McCoy (neck)
DE Kyle Moore (shoulder)
WR Preston Parker (knee)
TE Kellen Winslow (knee)

ATLANTA FALCONS
Out
TE Justin Peelle (groin)
Questionable
LB Sean Weatherspoon (knee)
FB Ovie Mughelli (hamstring)
Probable
DE John Abraham (ankle)
LB Curtis Lofton (knee)
CB Dunta Robinson (head, knee)
RB Antone Smith (shoulder)

ENEMY COACHES
Falcons Head Coach: Mike Smith
Falcons Offensive Coordinator: Mike Mularkey
Falcons Defensive Coordinator: Brian Van Gorder
Falcons Special Teams Coach: Keith Armstrong

STATISTICAL RANKINGS:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE
Overall: 21st (321.7 ypg)
Rushing: 18th (104.9 ypg)
Passing: 18th (216.9 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 18th (16)
Points Scored: 29th (19.4 ppg)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE
Overall: 25th (359.9 ypg)
Rushing: 30th (149.5 ypg)
Passing: 6th (210.4 ypg)
Sacks: 30th (6)
Points Allowed: 24th (23.3 ppg)

ATLANTA FALCONS OFFENSE
Overall: 6th (370.9 ypg)
Rushing: 5th (137.4 ypg)
Passing: 11th (233.4 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 11th (13)
Points Scored: 10th (24.1 ppg)
ATLANTA FALCONS DEFENSE
Overall: 23rd (356.1 ypg)
Rushing: 6th (95.9 ypg)
Passing: 27th (260.3 ypg)
Sacks: 15th (15)
Points Allowed: 10th (19.0 ppg)

Buc Central’s Prognostication:
As always we are not advocating gambling based on our views of the game, especially considering we typically are inclined to make such educated guesses using are heart rather the any rational thought applied to picking. We are merely giving an opinion of who we think has the best chance at securing a victory.

BUCS 20
FALCONS 27

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: