Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay leads 24-23 all time. The Los Angeles Rams join the Panthers and Saints as 10-win teams, and the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks have 8-6 records. For that reason, Freeman is our Falcons MVP for the Week 15 win against the Buccaneers.

The difference in the first half was simple: Falcons running back Devonta Freeman fumbled at the goal line and it was recovered in the end zone by tight end Levine Toilolo for a touchdown. Freeman had almost 200 all-purpose yards. The Bucs answered on Jameis Winston's 16-yard pass to Adam Humphries with 4:07 to play. And, well, the Falcons are way better than Tampa Bay. They'll have to play better than they did against the depleted Buccaneers, who were without star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David due to injury and without running back Doug Martin for disciplinary reasons.

It also doesn't help that the Buccaneers rank dead last in the National Football League against the pass this season, allowing 276.1 yards per game.

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We knew that Atlanta would get Tampa Bay's best fight.

After a promising 9-7 campaign in his first season as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dirk Koetter's future is already in doubt thanks to a disappointing 4-9 mark so far this season. Many of the Buccaneers' players used to play for the Dirty Birds only a few years ago. The previous meeting resulted in a 34-20 Falcons' victory, tying the all-time series between these division rivals at 24 wins apiece. They have set themselves up marvelously to make a return trip to the playoffs. Freeman ran over and around Bucs defenders, including a bruising 22-yard run in the second quarter. The Bucs actually did a good job defending Falcons receiver Julio Jones, limiting him to three receptions for 54 yards. Barber has nine carries for 29 yards. This time, Atlanta will have to go to its arch nemesis on the road and play the Saints. A loss to the Buccaneers would all but eliminate them from NFC South title contention, and seriously jeopardize their chances for the postseason. Tampa Bay will have to travel to the Queen City to take on the playoff-contending Panthers.

The Falcons and Buccaneers kick off at 7:30 p.m. CST Monday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

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