Sunday, April 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs (1-8) vs. Falcons (2-7)

Projected starters

BUCS

Offense

WR: Vincent Jackson 83

LT: Donald Penn 70

LG: Jamon Meredith 79

C: Jeremy Zuttah 62

RG: Davin Joseph 75

RT: Demar Dotson 69

TE: Tim Wright 81

WR: Tiquan Underwood 11

QB: Mike Glennon 8

RB: Bobby Rainey 43

FB: Erik Lorig 41

defense

DE: Daniel Te'o Nesheim 50

DT: Gerald McCoy 93

DT: Akeem Spence 97

DE: Adrian Clayborn 94

LB: Jonathan Casillas 52

MLB: Mason Foster 59

WLB: Lavonte David 54

CB: Darrelle Revis 24

CB: Johnthan Banks 27

SS: Mark Barron 23

FS: Dashon Goldson 38

Special teams

P/KO: Michael Koenen 9

PK: Rian Lindell 4

LS: Andrew Economos 48

KR/PR: Eric Page 17

Falcons

offense

WR: Harry Douglas 83

LT: Lamar Holmes 76

LG: Justin Blalock 63

C: Peter Konz 66

RG: Garrett Reynolds 75

RT: Jeremy Trueblood 65

TE: Tony Gonzalez 88

WR: Roddy White 84

QB: Matt Ryan 2

RB: Steven Jackson 39

FB: Patrick DiMarco 84

defense

DE: Osi Umenyiora 50

DT: Corey Peters 91

DT: Jonathan Babineaux 95

DE: Peria Jerry 94

SLB: Joplo Bartu 59

MLB: Paul Worrilow 52

WLB: Sean Weatherspoon 56

CB: Desmond Trufant 21

CB: Asante Samuel 22

SS: William Moore 25

FS: Thomas DeCoud 28

Special teams

P: Matt Bosher 5

PK/KO: Matt Bryant 5

LS: Josh Harris 49

KR: Jacquizz Rodgers 32

PR: Robert McClain 27

Injury report

BUCS Out: LG Carl Nicks (foot). Questionable: DE Da'Quan Bowers (concussion), WR Chris Owusu (foot). Probable: CB Michael Adams (knee), S Mark Barron (knee), CB Danny Gorrer (groin), WR Vincent Jackson (knee), G Davin Joseph (knee), T Donald Penn (calf), DT Akeem Spence (wrist).

Falcons — Out: DE Malliciah Goodman (calf). Questionable: WR Harry Douglas (knee), TE Tony Gonzalez (toe), DT Peria Jerry (toe), DT Corey Peters (knee), RB Jason Snelling (knee). Probable: RB Steven Jackson (toe), LB Sean Weatherspoon (foot), WR Roddy White (shoulder).

Buoyed by their long-awaited first win of 2013, the Bucs begin their second lap through the NFC South facing a Falcons team that beat them 31-23 four weeks ago. The Falcons have gotten healthier while the Bucs have added injuries since that first meeting. But Atlanta has lost three straight since beating Tampa Bay.

What the Falcons do best

Let QB Matt Ryan throw downfield to whoever is healthy. WR Julio Jones is on injured reserve. TE Tony Gonzalez (toe) might not play, and WR Roddy White is coming off a hamstring injury. Still, Atlanta is sixth in the NFL with 275 passing yards per game.

How you beat the Falcons

Stuff the league's worst running game and get Matt Ryan to continue his recent funk (seven interceptions and three touchdowns over the past three games). Atlanta hasn't scored more than 13 in a game in their three losses since beating the Bucs on Oct. 20.

Falcons' top offensive player

Nearly by default, it's WR Harry Douglas (above), who went off for 149 yards and a score against the Bucs last month. He has stepped up with other injuries, already setting career highs in catches (45) and yards (620). The touchdown against the Bucs is his only one of the season, and he had exactly one in each of his first four seasons.

Falcons' top defensive player

Atlanta is among the NFL's bottom 10 in rushing and passing defense, so there are not a ton of candidates. But we'll take former Giants DE Osi Umenyiora, who has a team-best 41/2 sacks and a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Bucs must avoid …

Letting this turn into a shootout. Mike Glennon threw 44 passes in the first meeting. And Tampa Bay has fared better in recent weeks with a shift to running the ball — even if it's with Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey.

The pick

Falcons 21, Bucs 17



1, Raymond James Stadium | TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 103.5-FM, 95.3-FM | Line, O/U: Pick 'em, 43½

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