Bucs vs. Falcons
1, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa.
Radio: 620-AM, 103.5-FM
Line/over-under: Falcons by 1; 50
The Bucs have won five of their past six after a 1-3 start. Which victory was the most fun to watch/follow?
27-21 (OT) over Carolina: 50 percent
36-17 over Minnesota: 22 percent
42-32 over Oakland: 20 percent
34-24 over San Diego: 6 percent
38-10 over Kansas City: 2 percent
Total: 856 votes
Inside the numbers
19-18 Bucs' record against the Falcons, although the Falcons have won six of the past seven
2-2 Record of Falcons QB Matt Ryan in four trips to Tampa Bay.
5 Yards per carry allowed by the Falcons, 30th in the NFL
6/10 Touchdowns and interceptions the Bucs' Josh Freeman has thrown in his past five games against Atlanta
106.1 Passer rating of Freeman since Oct. 1 with an NFL-best 8.58 yards per attempt
What they're saying
"Their whole front is relentless. These guys don't quit until they hear the whistle. They play extremely hard. That jumps right off the tape at you. For us to be successful, we're going to have to outwork their front."
Dirk Koetter Falcons offensive coordinator, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Even with two head-to-head games remaining with the Falcons, it is probably too late to catch them. But the Bucs are in prime position to earn a wild card spot.
Brian Billick Fox Sports
As part of an offseason spending spree that drew plenty of attention but not nearly as much praise, the Buccaneers shelled out a five-year, $55.55 million contract to wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Many criticized the move as Jackson's off-the-field issues and contentious relationship with San Diego management raised plenty of red flags. Some called it a roll of the dice. If that's the case, it's a roll that has the Buccaneers collecting chips rather than heading back to the ATM machine.
Joe Fortenbaugh National Football Post
A tough one to call. It's in Tampa. Both teams are 5-1 since Oct. 1. The Falcons have been just okay the last two weeks (Falcons 50, Foes 50) with seven turnovers. I think John Abraham pesters Josh Freeman — who has become a very good clutch player — into a turnover or two. Falcons, 20-16.
Peter King Sports Illustrated
A month ago, who thought this game would be so important? The Bucs are in the playoff race thanks to their offense. The defense is still struggling. I think the Falcons take advantage of that with a good offensive showing. Falcons, 38-30.
Pete Prisco CBSSports.com
Bucs are scaring everyone with their offense. They will scare but not beat the Falcons. Falcons, 30-27.
Barry Wilner Associated Press