Buccaneers face only one danger against the Falcons in Week 2

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Devin White, Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Devin White, Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Buccaneers are the obvious favorites against the Falcons, but what can Atlanta do to keep the game close? 

The Week 1 win against the Cowboys showed us a lot about the Buccaneers. The game was closer than most people expected, and while the defense did struggle, the offense was able to keep the team in the win column in the opener.

Dak Prescott proved he hasn’t missed a beat from last season, and the Dallas offense played well enough to win the game if their kicker was able to keep a moderate level of consistency. If other teams watched this game trying to find a way to beat the Bucs, there was one straightforward strategy in that game to keep matchups with the Buccaneers close; pass the ball.

If it isn’t obvious at this point, the Bucs are better at defending the run than they are defending the pass. The Cowboys completely abandoned the run with one of the best running backs in the league, and this decision actually worked out well in the long run of the game.

While every team in the NFL doesn’t have the right quarterback and receivers to throw the ball over 50 times against the Bucs, that is still their best hope of keeping the game close.

Dak Prescott is a better quarterback than Matt Ryan today, but that doesn’t mean Ryan is not a threat this Sunday. Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts can be great receiving options when used in the right way, and fans should expect Ryan to come out throwing early and often.

The Buccaneer secondary is still depleted, and the one that struggled with Dak Prescott last week is the same one that should be on the field against Ryan, with the exception of Jordan Whitehead for some snaps as he makes his return. The Falcons’ receiving corps is a far cry from what Dallas had last week, but Ryan still has the accuracy and the arm to get the ball to each of his players consistently.

Even if the Falcons do take the pass-heavy approach, the Bucs should be fine in their first division game of the season, but it would complicate matters slightly. Tampa would be more than happy to see each of their opponents lean on the run this season, but the Cowboys proved how much of a waste that decision is.

There may be some questions about Ryan and his receivers, but there is still enough offensive power in Atlanta to keep this game close if the plan is perfect. Fortunately for the Bucs, it’s hard to keep a perfect game plan when playing the best team in the league.

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