NFL Football
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Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Tampa Bay 7 12 6 10 35
Atlanta 10 0 3 9 22
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , November 24, 2019
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia  Attendance: 71,463

Buccaneers-Falcons Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

  1. Atlanta has swept the season series with Tampa Bay in each of the past two years and is seeking a sixth consecutive victory over the Buccaneers, which would match its longest winning streak against a divisional opponent since 2000-02 (Panthers). Each of the last three matchups have been decided by five points or less, including the Falcons' 34-29 home win in 2018.
  2. The Falcons returns home off consecutive victories at New Orleans and Carolina in which they did not allow a touchdown in either game. Atlanta, which has won 15 of its last 19 against NFC South opponents, last went three straight games without surrendering a TD from Oct. 2-16, 1977.
  3. Atlanta has produced 80.1 percent of its total net yards via the pass, the highest percentage in the NFL this season, while Tampa Bay has allowed a league-high 78.1 percent of its total yards through the air. The Falcons are one of two teams, along with the Chargers, with three players (Julio Jones, Austin Hooper, Calvin Ridley) with 600 or more receiving yards in 2019.
  4. Jameis Winston has thrown three or more touchdown passes and recorded a passer rating of 110.0 or better in five straight meetings with the Falcons, the only quarterback to do so against one team in the Super Bowl era. Only five other quarterbacks in NFL history have had five consecutive games of 3+ TD passes against a single opponent, and none have done it in six straight.
  5. Julio Jones is 118 yards away from becoming the second player in Falcons history to reach 1000 receiving yards in seven straight seasons (Roddy White, 2007-12). Jones has nine career 100-yard receiving games against Tampa Bay. Only Larry Fitzgerald (11 vs. 49ers) and Jerry Rice (11 vs. Falcons) have more against a single opponent.
  6. Mike Evans has at least 11 catches, 180 receiving yards and a touchdown in each of Tampa Bay's last two road games, the only player to do so in the Super Bowl era. Evans is seven receiving yards shy of joining Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history with six straight 1000-yard seasons to begin a career.
Team Comparison

Tampa Bay
27.7 Points 22.0
307.8 Pass Yds 319.1
94.8 Rush Yds 74.5
15 Takeaways 8
(AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

ATLANTA (AP) In a way, the 2020 season has already begun for the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With six weeks to go, neither team has a realistic path to the playoffs.

Sunday's game will be as much about the future as the present.

The Falcons (3-7) want to keep building on their stunning turnaround the past two weeks. After a six-game losing streak, they bounced back with perhaps the most surprising result of the season - a 26-9 upset at first-place New Orleans - followed by a 29-3 rout at Carolina.

Beginning a stretch of three straight home games, the Falcons can gain additional momentum heading into next season - and perhaps remove lingering doubts about coach Dan Quinn's job status.

"Yes, we wish we had been playing like this earlier in the season," Falcons safety Ricardo Allen said. "But, man, we've just got to take it for what it is, know that we're doing it now, and try to finish out the season the way we know we can."

Tampa Bay (3-7) has the same record but is heading in the opposite direction with five losses in its past six games.

The Bucs' biggest issue is whether to stick with quarterback Jameis Winston, who is earning nearly $21 million in the final year of the contract he signed as the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2015.

Winston has thrown for 300-plus yards in a franchise-record five consecutive games, but that's only part of the story. He was intercepted four times in last Sunday's 34-17 loss to New Orleans and leads the NFL with 22 turnovers, including 18 picks.

The fifth-year pro knows that he's got to clean up his game - and he may be running out of time to do it in Tampa Bay.

"Whether (the turnovers are) coming from me, whether it's anybody else - it's always my fault," Winston said. "I'm the quarterback."

Coach Bruce Arians sent a message to a roster filled with younger players when he released 2016 first-round draft choice Vernon Hargreaves for failing to hustle on a long pass completion.

"Nobody likes losing, but I'll never stop fighting," receiver Mike Evans said. "We're going to fight until the end and live with the results."

Some things to watch for in Sunday's game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:


Evans and Chris Godwin have combined for 121 receptions and 1,880 yards - the most receiving yards by a pair of teammates through 10 games since Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders (2,059) in 2014.

Evans is second in the NFL with 993 yards, seven shy of joining Hall of Famer Randy Moss as the only players to begin a career with six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Godwin has 63 catches for 887 yards. Both have seven TDs, tied for fourth in the league.

The Falcons have their own dynamic duo at receiver.

Six-time Pro Bowler Julio Jones has 59 receptions for 882 yards, while 2018 first-round pick Calvin Ridley hauled in eight catches for 143 yards and a touchdown in the victory over Carolina.

"If you like wide receiver play, this is the game to watch," Quinn said. "Both teams are capable of making explosive plays."


After a 2-2 start, the Bucs are closing in on missing the playoffs for the 12th consecutive season. Only the Cleveland Browns, who haven't earned a berth since 2002, have a longer postseason drought.

"We know that we have the talent," tight end O.J. Howard said. "We've just got to put it all together and stop beating ourselves."


The Falcons might look to Kenjon Barner to bolster the running game if Devonta Freeman continues to be hampered by an injured toe. Brian Hill got the start in Carolina but managed only 30 yards on 15 carries.

Barner had a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown - earning NFC special teams player of the week honors - and got two carries for 15 yards in his limited time with the offense.

"I'm a versatile guy. I can run the ball. I can catch the ball. I can run routes out of the backfield," Barner said. "I bring a lot to the table."


The Falcons will need to keep an eye on Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who ranks second in the NFL with 11 1/2 sacks.

"On a team that has a very good front seven in a number of spots, he stands out," Quinn said.

The Falcons have suddenly found a knack for getting to the quarterback after managing an NFL-low seven sacks through their first eight games. They piled up 11 sacks in their past two victories, led by Adrian Clayborn, Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett.


The Falcons improved play in the secondary can partly be attributed to a position change for Allen, who shifted from free to strong safety a few weeks ago.

One of the team's most respected players and vocal leaders, Allen believes he's in better position to influence the game at strong safety.

"As a free safety, you're just like the anchor of the defense," Allen said. "Sometimes, you don't get any work. Now, I'm more in the mix. I'm covering backs. I'm covering tight ends. I'm covering receivers. I'm blitzing. I'm playing zone. I'm showing how versatile I am."


While the Falcons have shown improvement against the pass, the Bucs' secondary is a mess.

Tampa Bay ranks next-to-last in the NFL in both yards allowed (290.9 yards per game) and TD passes surrendered (25). That doesn't bode well against Atlanta's Matt Ryan, who last week moved up to No. 10 on the league's career list for passing yards.


Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at His work can be found at


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AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall in Tampa contributed to this report.

Updated November 21, 2019

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