Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons- 9/18/14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
NFL Football: Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 8:25 pm (Georgia Dome)
The Line: Atlanta Falcons -4.5 -- Over/Under: 45 See the Latest Odds
The Falcons and Bucs meet up in Atlanta on Thursday night in a battle of NFC South rivals.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed signs of life in their season opening defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers as they were very much in the ball game until the final whistle but ultimately it was Carolina’s defense that made the difference and gave the visitors a season opening win. Fast forward a week later and the Bucs looked like a completely different team and struggled against a very undermanned St. Louis Rams team that has no right beating anybody at the moment and all of the optimism that was floating in Tampa has dissipated. The Bucs have a pretty solid defense ranking 14th overall in total defense but their offensive woes have been well documented as they have the worst passing attack in football and despite being able to run the ball well their offense comes in at 28th in the NFL. The Bucs will need to find a way to slow down the Falcons aerial attack and with Matt Ryan and CO. seemingly firing on all cylinders at the Georgia Dome it could be a very quick game for the Bucs if they fail to do so.
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Atlanta stunned the Saints to open the season as they won in a shootout with their division rivals and with a win on Thursday they can move to 2-0 in the division and 2-1 overall after a disheartening loss on the road against Cincinnati last weekend. The Falcons are one of the best teams in the league through the air as Matt Ryan has a ton of offensive weapons at his disposal but they became one dimensional against a solid Bengals defense last week and the Bucs will certainly try to mimic that game plan heading into Thursday night’s show down. The Dirty Birds have been dreadful on defense and that futility is likely to continue throughout the season but luckily for Atlanta the Bucs can’t seem to throw on anybody. The line in this one currently sits at 4.5 points in favour of the home side and rightfully so and I think it’ll jump up as the week moves along. Atlanta is dangerous at home and while this is a divisional game in prime time I just don’t see the Bucs having the legs to keep pace with the Falcons especially if Doug Martin is still hampering.