TAMPA BAY (8-8) at ATLANTA (6-10)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, Fox
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Falcons by 4 1/2
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Buccaneers 4-11; Falcons 8-8
SERIES RECORD: Buccaneers lead 30-28
LAST MEETING: Buccaneers beat Falcons 21-15 on Oct. 9, 2022, at Tampa Bay
LAST WEEK: Buccaneers beat Carolina 30-24; Falcons beat Cardinals 20-19
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (12), RUSH (32), PASS (2), SCORING (24)
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (7), RUSH (15), PASS (8), SCORING (T8)
FALCONS OFFENSE: OVERALL (25), RUSH (3), PASS (31), SCORING (T19)
FALCONS DEFENSE: OVERALL (29), RUSH (24), PASS (26), SCORING (23)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Buccaneers minus-2; Falcons minus-4
BUCCANEERS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Chris Godwin. While WR Mike Evans (10 catches, 207 yards, three touchdowns) is coming off the second 200-yard receiving performance of his career, Godwin is two receptions shy of his first 100-catch season. He had nine catches for 120 yards last week vs. Carolina and has a history causing headaches for Atlanta’s defense. In 10 career games against the Falcons, the sixth-year pro has 55 receptions, averaged 82.4 yards per game and scored nine TDs.
FALCONS PLAYER TO WATCH: Rookie RB Tyler Allgeier is a big reason Atlanta ranks third in the league with 159 rushing yards per game after finishing 2021 ranked 31st with 85.4. Allgeier enters the game with 900 yards on the ground and leads the NFL with 5.65 yards per carry since Nov. 1. Overall, he has averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Allgeier still shares time with Cordarrelle Patterson, but has emerged as the favorite to open 2023 as the starter.
KEY MATCHUP: Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette vs. Falcons defense. While Evans and Godwin are difficult matchups for Atlanta's 26th-ranked pass defense, Fournette's 72 receptions rank third among NFL running backs. He had 10 catches for 83 yards and added 56 rushing yards in the first game against the Falcons this season.
KEY INJURIES: Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles has said he does not intend to hold any healthy starters, including Tom Brady, out of the regular-season finale to avoid the risk of injury. ... LB Carl Nassib (pectoral) returned to practice this week after missing last Sunday’s NFC South-clinching victory over the Panthers. ... CB Carlton Davis (shoulder), DT Vita Vea (calf) and LT Donovan Smith (foot) did not practice early in the week. Their availability may not be determined until game day. ... Falcons RB Avery Williams (foot) made a full return Wednesday. ... TE Feleipe Franks (concussion protocol) and LG Elijah Wilkinson (calf) had limited participant early in the week.
SERIES NOTES: Tampa Bay has won the last five games in the series. ... Atlanta's last win was a 28-22 overtime decision on Dec. 28, 2019, at Tampa Bay. ... The Falcons have lost three straight home games in the series since beating the Buccaneers 34-29 on Oct. 14, 2018.
STATS AND STUFF: Brady is second in the NFL with 4,610 yards passing and has thrown for 24 touchdowns vs. nine interceptions. ... The seven-time Super Bowl champion has won 19 division titles and led his teams to the playoffs 14 consecutive years. He’s coming off throwing for a season-high 432 yards and three TDs without an interception against Carolina and overcome double-digit deficits in the fourth quarter to win each of the past two games. He needs nine completions this week to break his own NFL single-season record of 485 set in 2021. ... Brady has thrived in his career against Atlanta, posting an 11-0 record including one of his six Super Bowl wins with the New England Patriots. He’s thrown for 3,692 yards, 29 TDs and four interceptions in those games and appears set to start even though the Bucs have clinched the division title. ... Evans is the first player in NFL history to begin a career with nine consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving. Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (11) and Tim Brown (9) are the only others who’ve had streaks of at least straight seasons. ... Godwin needs 32 yards receiving to reach 1,000 for the third time in his career. He has five-plus catches in 13 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the league. ... Former Falcons WRs Julio Jones (24 receptions, 299 yards, two TDs) and Russell Gage (48 catches, 411 yards, four TDs) are finishing their first seasons with the Bucs. ... Rookie WR Drake London leads Falcons with 66 catches for 746 yards and four TDs. ... London has at least five receptions in the last four games, the longest streak by a rookie in the league this season. ... Rookie QB Desmond Ridder is still looking for his first TD pass after making three starts. He also has not thrown an interception. ... LB Rashaan Evans has a career-high 154 tackles, the fifth-most in the league. ... DT Grady Jarrett leads Falcons with six sacks.
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