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Falcons vs Bucs; Week 3 – They Don’t Like Each Other

Posted By Josh Brown On Sep 23 2011 @ 11:05 am In Atlanta Falcons | 1 Comment

So those words came from Bucs coach Raheem Morris. The Falcons and Bucs don’t like each other. Of course they shouldn’t, since they are both in the competitive NFC South.

This game will be one to watch. Two of the NFC South’s best teams in a close match up. Many prefer the Bucs over the Falcons in this match up, but I ask them: “What are you looking at?”

True, the Bucs lead the series 18-17. But the Falcons have won the last five games. And if you do a head-to-head matchup of each position, the Falcons would win most of those.

The Falcons are coming off of one of the biggest wins since Matt Ryan became quarterback. They beat the “Dream Team” Eagles which includes Michael Vick, who was returning to Atlanta for the first time as a starter. That big, nationally televised, game brought much attention to the Falcons (who really shouldn’t need too much attention after a 13-3 season, but hey). The general public finally began to see Matt Ryan as a good, even great quarterback who has the poise to make big decisions in a big game. That should be enough momentum for the Falcons to look hot this week against the Bucs.

A lot of the Falcons’ players are injured, including Matt Ryan. He has been limited in practice by a knee injury, but he should be ready to go on Sunday. Also, John Abraham, Ray Edwards, and Kelvin Hayden were also limited in practice.

Keys To Victory:

  • Let Matt Ryan Call The No-Huddle: The Falcons’ offense seems to be at it’s best when Matty-Ice is calling the plays. The no-huddle offense runs smoothly and efficiently. The no-huddle should get the defense tired and open up the explosive plays.
  • Watch Julio Jones: The Eagles elected to play their safeties back in coverage which allowed Tony Gonzalez to be open underneath for multiple catches. The Bucs might not play the same defense as the Eagles, so Julio Jones and Roddy White could get open downfield.
  • Better O-Line Protection: The Falcons have given up 9 sacks this season already, but they have been without their offensive line leader, Todd McClure. Baring any setbacks, he appears ready to go this week.
  • Better Coverage: The Bucs don’t necessarily have the weapons Philly had last week, so this should allow the defense to play better in the pass protection. The Falcons improved run defense should be fine against the Bucs.
  • Matt Bosher and Eric Weems: The Falcons’ Rookie Punter has got to kick the ball better this week to put the Bucs in bad field position. On the flipside, the Bucs have Michael Keonen, the Falcons old punter, who is very good at punting and might put the Falcons in bad field position. Eric Weems needs to utilize his return skills.
Prediction:
This game won’t be the game every critic is making it to be, and the Falcons are clearly in the better team, in my opinion. The Falcons’ defense should be fine against Freeman, and our offense should stay on a roll. Look for more deep passes to Jones and White, considering Ryan should have more time in the pocket this week. Expect to see¬†continued¬†success against the Bucs this week.
Falcons 31, Bucs 17

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