Friday, November 24, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC division playoff: Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. Sunday

RECOMMENDED READING


NFC: Seahawks (12-5) at Falcons (13-3)

The Falcons hope to erase memories of three one-and-done playoff appearances over the past five seasons, this time against a Seahawks team that has won six in a row.

Time: 1 p.m. today TV/radio: Ch. 13; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

Coaches: Seahawks — Pete Carroll (25-23, 2-1 in playoffs at Seattle; 58-54, 3-3 overall); Falcons — Mike Smith (56-24, 0-3 playoffs)

Stat pack

Breaking it down

Seahawks game-breaker: Yes, Russell Wilson is quite a quarterback as his 100.0 rating suggests. But the Falcons should be wary of his running ability. A third of his rushes have resulted in first downs.

Falcons game-breaker: Wilson should be mindful of where S Thomas DeCoud lines up. The Falcons' interception leader looks to add to his six picks during his best season.

Why the Seahawks will win: Seattle's physical and aggressive play wears on the Falcons, who showed some weaknesses in a Week 17 loss to the Bucs. Can the Falcons match that after a bye week?

Why the Falcons will win: For one, Atlanta is as good a home team as there is in the NFL. But more than that, its offensive playmakers (WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White and TE Tony Gonzalez) can match up with Seattle's superb defense. Few teams can.

Look out for: Seahawks rookie DE Bruce Irvin makes his first career start after top pass-rusher Chris Clemons tore his left ACL last week. Irvin has big shoes to fill but must create pressure on QB Matt Ryan.

Prediction

Seahawks 26, Falcons 23

Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer

Rushing yards

passing yards

total yards

Rushing yards allowed

passing yards allowed

total yards allowed

falcons

seahawks

87.3 (29th) 161.2 (3rd)

281.8 (6th) 189.4 (27th)

369.1 (8th) 350.6 (17th)

365.6 (24th) 306.2 (4th)

242.4 (23rd) 203.1 (6th)

123.2 (21st) 103.1 (10th)

Comments
Cannon Fodder podcast: Eye on Julio Jones, new stadium

Cannon Fodder podcast: Eye on Julio Jones, new stadium

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman is back for one more Bucs-Falcons preview podcast, looking at Julio Jones’ rank among the all-time Bucs’ opponents, the new stadium in Atlanta, our story on game balls and much more. Listen below: ...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Bucs-Falcons: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Falcons: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

The Bucs face the defending NFC champion in its new home Sunday in Atlanta.Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s predictions for Tampa Bay’s 1 p.m. game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:MATTY ICE-FOLLIESRick Stroud, @NFLStroud: T...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Will Gholston glad to return from ‘knee-buckling’ neck injury

Bucs’ Will Gholston glad to return from ‘knee-buckling’ neck injury

Bucs defensive end Will Gholston will make a healthy return Sunday in Atlanta after missing two games with a neck injury, and he's thankful and relieved not to have to deal with anything more severe."It was knee-buckling," Gholston said. "I was stand...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Published: 11/23/17

Koetter says Bucs not distracted by Jameis Winston’s off-field issue

The Bucs are 1-0 since news broke last Friday of Jameis Winston being accused by an Uber driver of groping her during a ride in March of 2016.That's really all the evidence coach Dirk Koetter needs to say the issue has not been a distraction to the t...
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/23/17
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macy’s parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.’’It’s a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/23/17
Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

TAMPA — The Bucs have some positive momentum with back-to-back wins, but DT Gerald McCoy said it’s too soon to say his 4-6 team has turned a corner."We haven’t turned a corner yet," McCoy said Wednesday, preparing for Sunday’s game at Atlanta. "It’s ...
Published: 11/22/17
McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

The Bucs aren't faring well in early Pro Bowl fan voting, with DT Gerald McCoy as the only Tampa Bay player ranking in the top 10 at his position.McCoy, seeking his sixth straight Pro Bowl selection, ranks seventh among NFL defensive tackles, one wee...
Published: 11/22/17
NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Happy Thanksgiving! It's already week 12 of the NFL season, and the football feast is set to begin. It all starts at at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, when the Lions try to win their fifth straight Thanksgiving Day game against a Minnesota team out to bec...
Published: 11/22/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucs’ Hall of Fame semifinalists

Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucs’ Hall of Fame semifinalists

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman takes a closer look at the three former Bucs who are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.He also looks at the constant churn on the Bucs’ practice squad and why Julio Jones’ stats have dropped off this season,...
Published: 11/22/17