Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons: Week 8 Q&A with Blogging Dirty
By David Rumsey
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Washington Redskins in week 7, but have no time to sulk on the loss as they are back on the road in week 8. The Atlanta Falcons sit at 6-1 and are in 2nd place in the NFC South. To learn a little bit more about what the matchup with the Bucs division rival might look like on Sunday we talked to Freddie Boston (@FreddieBoston) of Blogging Dirty in this week’s Q&A.
1. The Falcons got off to a hot start, but then lost to the Saints and had close games with the Redskins and Titans. Do you think the same struggling team will show up on Sunday?
It’s tough to say, because the Falcons have been unstoppable at times and sloppy at others. There was no evidence to suggest the offense had gotten back on track against Tennessee, and that has to be a concern for Dan Quinn. If Atlanta plays the way it did last week, Tampa Bay will win.
Having said that, I don’t expect the Falcons to play as poorly offensively as they did last week. Being at home, they will lean on Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones to come up with some big plays.
2. Obviously Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman are the best play-makers on offense. Besides those two is there anyone else on the Falcons offense that the Bucs need to worry about?
Right now—no. Roddy White doesn’t look the player he was, and while he has made some plays, they have been few and far between. Leonard Hankerson hasn’t been consistent and a hamstring injury puts his status for Sunday in doubt. The Falcons have had to rely heavily on Freeman and Jones to produce without many options elsewhere.
If the Buccaneers can find a way of slowing down those two, they could find the same success defensively as the Titans did last week.
3. Your head coach, Dan Quinn, obviously has a great defensive background coming from Seattle. How do you expect the defense to try and attack and confuse Jameis Winston on Sunday?
First of all he will want to stop the threat of Doug Martin. They have done a good job at this, allowing just 78.6 rushing yards per game. Only the Jets allow fewer.
Quinn will also want to generate some pressure on a rookie quarterback, but this has been an issue for the Falcons. Atlanta has registered just eight sacks all season, fewest in the NFL. Allowing Winston time to pick out his receivers can’t happen, and this will be a point of emphasis for the Falcons.
4. What is your prediction for the game?
Unfortunately for Falcons fans, this won’t be a blowout like last year. The Buccaneers keep it close with good defensive play, but Atlanta is able to slow down Tampa Bay and put up some points in the fourth quarter to win. I’m going 28-14 Atlanta, but only if there are some serious improvements offensively.