Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons pt. 2: Game preview

Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Today marks the final game of the regular season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Atlanta Falcons won’t be a pushover.

The regular-season finale is much more significant for the Buccaneers than the average fan would suspect. Sure, the playoffs have been clenched, but the implications from a win versus a loss vary dramatically.

With a win, the Buccaneers tie their second-highest regular-season win total in team history and lock up the first wildcard spot. This would set the Bucs’ playoff path on the road against one of the NFC East teams, which is far better than most alternatives, perhaps better than home-field advantage when considering some of the competition.

In addition to the team goals, numerous players for the Buccaneers are searching for individual glory. This is never the primary goal, team success always comes first, but NFL records are another story.

Mike Evans is only 40 yards away from setting the NFL record for most 1,000-yard seasons to start an NFL career. Expect for the star receiver to get many targets early against the weak Atlanta secondary.

In addition to Evans, Ronald Jones is 100 yards away from making it over the main hump for running backs; a 1,000-yard rushing season.

The Buccaneer offense will likely rely on these two and Tom Brady heavily, and they will need to be on top of their game today if they hope to come out with a win. Atlanta’s offense can be one of the most dangerous in the NFL, and the Buccaneers are missing several key starters in this crucial matchup.