The Tampa Bay Buccaneers return to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, where they will face the Atlanta Falcons, both of whom have two wins and two losses. The Buccaneers are currently riding a two game losing streak after their most recent 31-41 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. This week, they’re facing off against the Falcons in hopes of ending this streak. Going into the game, I have identified two keys that will help insure a Buccaneers victory.
Focus on the Run
Going into week five, the Falcons have the fifth highest rushing attempts per game at 32.8 attempts per game. In contrast, the Falcons are second to last in the league in passing attempts per game, averaging only 21.7 passing attempts per game. The Falcons’ offense has made the ground game the focal point of their offense
In their two wins this season, the Falcons have averaged 179.5 rushing yards per game and have scored a total of four rushing touchdowns. In their two losses, they’ve averaged 146 rushing yards per game and have only scored two rushing touchdowns. It’s evident that if the Falcons want to win, they need to run the ball.
The Buccaneers have been quite good at stopping the run this season, allowing only 106.8 rushing yards per game which is the 12th best in the league. In order to stop the Falcons from running the ball, the Buccaneers will need to keep their focus on stopping the run.
Force Mariota to Throw
The Buccaneers have been one of the best teams in the league at forcing turnovers this season, averaging the third most takeaways a game with 2.8 takeaways a game. In contrast, the Falcons have been one of the worst teams in the league at protecting the ball, averaging 2.0 turnovers a game, which is the second worst in the league.
The Buccaneers need to keep the defensive play consistent to how they’ve been playing all season and let Mariota make some mistakes. If they can do that, they’ll be in good shape to win the game.
I believe that if the Buccaneers can focus on stopping the run and forcing Mariota to throw, they will come out victorious against the Falcons. My final score prediction is 24-9 in favor of the Buccaneers.