Week 9 TNF Preview
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8:35PM EST at Raymond James Stadium
76F – 72F Partly Cloudy with 5-6 mph winds
ATL -3.5 O/U 51
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) will host the Atlanta Falcons (5-3) for a NFC South showdown in this week’s Thursday night game. This is the 47th regular season meeting with the Bucs leading the series 24-22. The NFC South is competitive this year and the outcome of this game could have playoff implications.
The Bucs are banged up
Jameis Winston’s best performance of this season came against the Falcons in the season opener. He had a passer rating of 125.1 and threw for four touchdowns in that game. Now in week 9, three of the four players he threw touchdowns to are injured or no longer with the team. Martin, Sims, Rodgers, Jackson, Murphy and Shorts will all be absent from this game. The Bucs running back committee Thursday night will consist of Peyton Barber, Antone Smith, and Mike James. Their cumulative total for this season is 21 carries for 113 yards.
Ryan is on fire
Matt Ryan is entering the fourth season of his five-year, $103.75 million contract. He is having his best season statistically, completing 193 of 279 passes for 2,636 yards with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has a passer rating of 115.8, which is second only to Tom Brady’s 133.9.
Know your enemy
Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter was Atlanta’s offensive coordinator from 2012-2014. The Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was the Falcons head coach from 2008-2014. The Tampa Bay coaching staff may know the Falcons team better than their own coaches. This insider knowledge gives the Bucs an undeniable edge and they will need that advantage if they hope overcome their injuries and win on Thursday night. Tampa Bay has won the last three meetings against the Falcons, each of which were decided by seven points or fewer.
Tevin Coleman (RB-ATL)- Out (hamstring)
Jacob Tamme (TE-ATL)- Out (shoulder)
Doug Martin (RB-TB)- Out (hamstring)
Jacquizz Rodgers (RB-TB)- Out (foot)
Russell Shepard (WR-TB)- Doubtful (hip)
Check us out on Twitter @thedklegends for last minute injury updates.
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