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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons: By the numbers, what they're saying

Bucs vs. Falcons

4:15 p.m., Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Radio: 620-AM, 103.5 FM

Line/over-under: Bucs by 11/2; 451/2

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17
Lions

Lions 27, Bucs 20

(0-1)

at Vikings

Bucs 24, Vikings 20

(1-1)

Falcons

4:15 p.m. today

Colts

8:30 p.m. Oct. 3, ESPN *

at 49ers

4:05 p.m. Oct. 9, Ch. 13

Saints

4:15 p.m. Oct. 16, Ch. 13 *

Bears #

1 p.m. Oct. 23, Ch. 13

at Saints

1 p.m. Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

Texans

1 p.m. Nov. 13, Ch. 10 *

at Packers

1 p.m. Nov. 20, Ch. 13

at Titans

1 p.m. Nov. 27, Ch. 13

Panthers

1 p.m. Dec. 4, Ch. 13 *

at Jaguars

1 p.m. Dec. 11, Ch. 13

Cowboys

8:20 p.m. Dec. 17, NFL *

at Panthers

1 p.m. Dec. 24, Ch. 13

at Falcons

1 p.m. Jan. 1, Ch. 13



The poll

Which was the biggest play in the Bucs' 24-20 victory against the Vikings last week?

52 percent: LeGarrette Blount's 27-yard touchdown run

18 percent: Preston Parker's 6-yard reception on third and 4

13 percent: Dez Briscoe's 19-yard catch (plus 15-yard roughing the passer penalty)

9 percent: LeGarrette Blount's winning 4-yard touchdown run

8 percent: Arrelious Benn's 25-yard touchdown reception

Total: 458 votes

By the numbers

0-4 Bucs' record against the Falcons since Raheem Morris took over as coach

5.8 Bucs' average margin of loss in the four games

74.0 QB rating of the Bucs' Josh Freeman in his four games (all losses) against Atlanta

65.9 QB rating of the Falcons' Matt Ryan against the Bucs, his worst against any team; still, he is 5-1 against them

0 Bucs sacks of Ryan in the past two meetings

What they're saying

For Tampa Bay, the challenge of stopping Matt Ryan and Michael Turner and Roddy White and … (deep breath) … Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones and Harry Douglas and all the rest will be formidable enough given the Buccaneers will go into the game with a defense ranked 28th in the league, including 31st against the run at 156 yards per game. They better control the ball — and the clock — and get LeGarrette Blount involved often.

Chris Harry Sports Illustrated

This was a great win on the road, particularly coming from 17 down, but Josh Freeman and the Bucs need to get going earlier in the game. That said, he may be the best fourth-quarter QB in the game. The Bucs will take this momentum into their divisional matchup with Atlanta.

Brian Billick, Fox Sports

The picks

Terrific comeback last week for Josh Freeman. There's something about this kid that's impossible not to like. It won't surprise me at all if, in 10 years, we look at the careers of the two quarterbacks in this game and say Freeman's been a better pro than Matt Ryan. And believe me, that's not meant to be a knock on Ryan. It's how strongly I feel about Freeman. Bucs, 20-16.

Peter King Sports Illustrated

This is the first division game for both. The Falcons haven't been as good on defense as they expected. The Bucs haven't been as good on offense. I look for a physical game with a lot of Michael Turner. The Bucs have speed issues on offense, which will show up against the Falcons. Look for a big game by the Atlanta running game. Falcons, 23-17.

Pete Prisco CBS Sportsline

Both offenses look to be hitting their stride. The Falcons get the edge on the road because of the sharpness of Matt Ryan, who has won his last five starts against Tampa Bay. Falcons, 28-24.

Sam Farmer Los Angeles Times

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons: By the numbers, what they're saying 09/24/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 24, 2011 4:07pm]
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