Tampa Bay takes on Atlanta in pivotal home finale
Slow down Calvin Ridley
This was a big problem for the Buccaneers the last time they played Atlanta. Ridley racked up 163 yards on 10 catches when he faced Tampa Bay’s secondary the last time around and the second-year player is still amongst the league’s best. The Buccaneers’ will have to employ multiple looks against the Falcons in order to slow down the production of Ridley. If Matt Ryan and Ridley develop a connection early in the ball game, it could be a long day for Tampa Bay’s defense.
Tom Brady, offense is humming
If the last game has told us anything about Tampa Bay, it’s that the offense is humming now with Brady at the controls. The 43-year old has set a new team record for touchdowns in a single season with 36 and could be adding to those totals against an Atlanta defense that ranks in the bottom five versus the pass. Brady went 22-of-27 for 348 yards and four touchdowns in the first half versus the Lions, but they were also without multiple defensive staff members. The future Hall of Famer did throw for a season-high 390 yards against the Falcons a couple of weeks ago and could be primed to go off again.
Lockup the No. 5 seed
A win versus the Falcons and Tampa Bay takes and locks themselves into the highest Wild-Card seed at No. 5. Why it may mean something more this season is because the NFC East is currently, record-wise, the worst in the NFL and the team to emerge from the division may not have seven wins when it’s all said and done. Washington Football Team could win the division at 7-9 but a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and a win by the New York Giants over the Dallas Cowboys could put the Giants into the postseason at 6-10. The Cowboys need to win and a WFT loss to put Dallas into the playoffs. Nonetheless, whoever wins the NFC East, Tampa Bay at the No. 5 seed would figure to be the favorite to win.
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