Bucs vs. Falcons: 3 key matchups

The Buc's pirate ship. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

 

 

 

The Buc's pirate ship. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Falcons DE John Abraham vs. Buccaneers LT Donald Penn: It’s usually a good battle when these two Pro Bowlers meet. Abraham, 33, is a 12-year veteran who racked up 13 sacks last season. He had two in this season’s opener against the Bears. Penn, a former undrafted free agent, is a self-made player who has started 62 consecutive games — the fifth longest streak among active tackles in the NFL. Penn, who has held his ground against Abraham, has respect for Abraham’s ability to power through blocks as a change of pace to his speed rushes.

Falcons WR Roddy White vs. Buccaneers CB Aqib Talib: In Week 1, Talib returned an interception for a touchdown against Detroit. White, who led the NFL with a franchise-record 115 receptions last season, is off to a slow start. Defenses have bracketed White and left the middle of the field open. White, who has 11 catches for 84 yards and one touchdown, is well off his pace of last season.

Falcons LT Sam Baker vs. Buccaneers DE Adrian Clayborn: After facing Chicago’s Julius Peppers and Philadelphia’s Trent Cole, Baker will face the Bucs’ highly touted rookie, the 20th pick in the 2011 NFL draft. Against Baker, Cole had one sack, three quarterback hits and one tipped pass a week after Peppers had a big game. The tenacious Baker kept fighting before settling down on the Falcons’ two 80-yard drives late in the game against the Eagles.

SERIES HISTORY

 36th regular-season meeting. Buccaneers lead series, 18-17. Falcons coach Mike Smith has won five straight games against the Buccaneers after dropping his initial meeting with them in Tampa.

TALE OF THE TAPE

A look at how the teams match up in the latest NFL rankings:

Category                  Tampa Bay                Atlanta

Total Offense                               20th (325.0 ypg)                       17th (352.0 ypg)

Rushing Offense                          25th (80.5 ypg)                          9th (124.0 ypg)

Passing Offense                         t14th (244.5 ypg)                        21st (228.0 ypg)

Total Defense                            28th (414.5 ypg)                          27th (412.0 ypg)

Rushing Defense                        31st (156.0 ypg)                          18th (110.5 ypg)

Passing Defense                           19th (258.5 ypg)                         27th (301.5 ypg)

Points Scored                               t18th (22.0 ppg)                            16th (23.5 ppg)

Points Allowed                              18th (23.5 ppg)                            t29th (30.5 ppg)

Sacks                                                   t28th (2)                                           t14th (5)

Sacks Allowed                                     t9th (4)                                             t30th (9)

Turnover Margin                            t10th (-1)                                               t9th (-1)

Team Leaders      Tampa Bay                   Atlanta

Rushing Yards                        LeGarrette Blount (86)                  Michael Turner (214)

Passer Rating                           Josh Freeman (84.4)                          Matt Ryan (85.1)

Receptions                                  Earnest Graham (13)                    Tony Gonzalez (12)

Receiving Yards                          Preston Parker (142)                    Tony Gonzalez (155)

Sacks                            Mason Foster, Sean Jones (1.0)                   John Abraham (2.0)

Interceptions                              Aqib Talib (1)            K. Biermann, Kelvin Hayden (1)

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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53 comments Add your comment

Josh B

September 23rd, 2011
9:32 am

Josh B

September 23rd, 2011
9:33 am

But to actually comment, this game is winnable for the Falcons..I just hope all those players on the injury report and Ryan will be able to be effective

JONESBORO SLIM

September 23rd, 2011
9:46 am

I see the Birds playing much better Sunday…I think we will see the passing game really pick up…and OL will look much better also.,..

bigcrimson75

September 23rd, 2011
9:55 am

Falcons need to take care of business Sunday!! The Bucs, not the Falcons are quite fortunate to be .500 right now. The Falcons are just better than the Bucs & need to show it!! Birds 33 Bucs 12.

SirReal

September 23rd, 2011
10:08 am

D Led,

Those defensive stats look atrocious. Whats really going on here? Is it BVG, the players, or Smitty? I know its still very early in the year but man…this has been a problem for the last THREE.

SeenThisB4

September 23rd, 2011
10:15 am

Bucs win by 13. falcan’ts won’t stop the Buc’s rush offense.

JONESBORO SLIM

September 23rd, 2011
10:27 am

@DOL

Didn’t the NFL last year say that all players had to wear “pads”?

FalconFan

September 23rd, 2011
10:32 am

2-1 after this weekend, then with Seattle the next week, it’s 3-1. We are about to get rollin guys. Just be patient.

jc

September 23rd, 2011
11:18 am

I saw something in the eagles game that concerns me …does any one else percibed the afraid gesture in Smitty ?? …we are lucky to be .500. i really expect a different team against the bucs.
Coaches making better decisions , OL protecting, a secondary that picks balls, a real kicker in bosher, wheems playing like last year, Spoon being less flamboyant and acting…and a smart QB.

Loyal Falcon

September 23rd, 2011
11:21 am

Let’s go falcons!!!

ASHCAN.

September 23rd, 2011
11:33 am

Ok i see a lot of people are looking past tampa bay.That would be a big mistake,this team(Falcons) haven’t yet arrived, or will they?

ASHCAN.

September 23rd, 2011
11:36 am

Falcons are not a good road team bucs win!

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

September 23rd, 2011
11:41 am

Falcons win this one handily. 38-17

Derrick Orlamdo Ledbetter

September 23rd, 2011
11:46 am

Do you get paid by the piecemeal?

Steve-O

September 23rd, 2011
12:09 pm

SeenThisB4

September 23rd, 2011
10:15 am
Bucs win by 13. falcan’ts won’t stop the Buc’s rush offense.
________________________________________________________________________

SeenThisB4, you are pure genius. The 25th ranked rushing offense, really? You are a pathetic troll and nothing else.

North FLA Falcon

September 23rd, 2011
12:29 pm

Our run defense is solid, it was probably the one bright spot vs the Bears. Protect Ryan, run the ball … on defense get some pressure and contain Campbell and tighten up our “soft zone” coverage … and the Falcons win this one.

ctfalconsfan

September 23rd, 2011
12:32 pm

DOL why didn’t you ask Weems why he has allowed 2-3 punts to roll inside our 1-3 yard line. This is not acceptable and must stop ASAP!
Maybe call Eric for a follow up question.

Injury Faker

September 23rd, 2011
12:36 pm

AJC Sports headline monday morning: FALCONS PLUNDER BUCS BOOTY!

ctfalconsfan

September 23rd, 2011
12:45 pm

I’ve been to Tampa and it’s a great place to watch a game. I wish we had an outside stadium.

Falcon fans rise up and make the trip!

hiramsaint

September 23rd, 2011
12:48 pm

wow- that and 3 winning seasons…what a legacy!

Falcons SUPERBOWL bound

September 23rd, 2011
1:31 pm

I doubt Tampa has 32 degree weather and snow like we do in the winter/ No outdoor stadium here, unless it’s retractable!
Falcons win 27-16! Book it Danno!!

ctfalconsfan

September 23rd, 2011
2:03 pm

Falcon SB Bound u need to toughen up!!!!!!!

32 degrees and ATL gets a lot of snow down there???lol.. NO you don’t!

Yes we need an outside stadium, not retractable.

Let’s get this done Mr. Blank, the Dome is like a maesoleum..

Chandler Going Deep..

September 23rd, 2011
2:05 pm

“It won’t surprise me at all if, in 10 years, we look at the careers of the two quarterbacks in this game and say Freeman’s been a better pro than Matt Ryan. And believe me, that’s not meant to be a knock on Ryan. It’s how strongly I feel about Freeman.” What?

An NFL Expert said what? Enough said…..Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chandler Going Deep..

September 23rd, 2011
2:06 pm

1-2, a lock on Sunday!

Michael M.

September 23rd, 2011
2:11 pm

Abraham and Friends will give Josh Freeman some group hugs during the Game ! The Clean hits are coming ! Stay Tuned !

Damage Inc.

September 23rd, 2011
2:13 pm

Chandler- just who do you root for? At least STB4 uses logic. You just use your mouth.

Michael M.

September 23rd, 2011
2:14 pm

Agree, they just can’t stand it, Got to run here, da bills are due..lol

Chandler Going Deep..

September 23rd, 2011
2:15 pm

The library’s open for business! lol

Chandler Going Deep..

September 23rd, 2011
2:17 pm

Dont get mad @ me? The expert made that quote? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Damage Inc.

September 23rd, 2011
2:25 pm

Why aren’t my comments posting?

Damage Inc.

September 23rd, 2011
2:28 pm

what expert?

Ichabod

September 23rd, 2011
2:34 pm

DLed, interesting list of stats, both look close, like the game will be. Thanks.

Damage Inc.

September 23rd, 2011
2:48 pm

Wow, Tampa has lost to Detroit and beat a floundering Minnesota. Not looking past, but not too concerned either.

ctfalconsfan

September 23rd, 2011
3:38 pm

I posted ” F’ the bucs” but now it’s gone, why?

Head-Mo-Fo

September 23rd, 2011
4:55 pm

The tenacious Sam Baker?

Maybe we weren’t watching the same game.

dean

September 23rd, 2011
5:02 pm

As long as ATL has a 24 point lead in the 4th, they should be ok. There is no denying that the TB qb gets really good in the 4th. Maybe it’s because the DL is dog tired after chasing him for 3 quarters, not to mention tackling Blount. That’s gotta wear. Forecast is for 89 degrees and humid as he11.

Jordan

September 23rd, 2011
9:39 pm

CuseFalcon

September 24th, 2011
12:04 am

Falcons 27 Bucs 17. Chandler takin it deep is a tool…..

FalconFan

September 24th, 2011
12:25 am

Baker will maul Clayborn. Penn will struggle with Abraham although he’s a very good LT, and Talib seems to be able to keep Roddy from having a big day. It should be a good matchup. We will win however. We’re just a better team. Another matchup is Turner vs. Mason Foster (rookie LB with Tampa).

the one and only Falcons fan in Taiwan

September 24th, 2011
5:44 am

Bucs vs. Falcons: 1 key matchup
Atlanta Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Atlanta Falcons OC Mike Mularkey……
Just give the damn ball to Jacqui22, and he’ll torture Buc’s front 7 whenever, however you want.

C from Marietta

September 24th, 2011
6:19 am

If Blout is so good. Why is he only averaging 42.5 yards a game?

nhe

September 24th, 2011
10:14 am

I’m shocked you didn’t say Bosher vs. Koenen – that matchup may determine the outcome of the came

True Falcon Fan

September 24th, 2011
11:44 am

Falcons 31 BucO’s 24

ENOUGH SAID!!!!!!!!!!!

Go Falcons

Falcons > Everyone

September 24th, 2011
12:26 pm

I don’t see the Birds having much trouble with Tampa Bay as long as our offensive line protects Ryan. Our pass rush must also make Freeman uncomfortable. They may lean on him more since Blount is banged up. This could also be the week the world is introduced to Julio Jones. Falcons 27, Bucs 13.

Ivan

September 24th, 2011
1:32 pm

I just don’t see this game as close as a lot of other folks.

Falcons play all 4 quarters, beat bucs by 14.

Heck, I think “Falcons > Everyone” posted the same score I’m predicting.

FalconFan

September 24th, 2011
4:38 pm

Not so fast, I think this game will be very good. Tampa seems to play up when they face us. I think they’ll play well, but it won’t be enough. Freeman can’t do it by himself, and we’ll take Blount out of the game. This game is on our O-line and our secondary’s ability to cover.

FalconFan

September 24th, 2011
4:40 pm

Another key match-up is Dunta Robinson vs. Mike Williams or Arrelious Benn whoever he covers but I think they’ll put him on Williams and let Grimes get Benn. Dunta Robinson has yet to prove that he’s worth 57 million. He just can’t cover. Grimes on the other hand, is our shutdown corner. You rarely hear his name anymore, and usually when you don’t hear a corner’s name, they’re playing very well.

Michael M.

September 24th, 2011
7:15 pm

Seriously, and not trying to aggrivate anyone. The Bucs-Falcons game probably be back n forth like the Philly game with the winner having the ball last, hopefully that said it being da Birds !

Captain Obvious

September 24th, 2011
10:04 pm

Won’t be close. Stats are always misleading, especially early stats. They don’t offer an accurate representation of how the teams are actually playing on the field. Bucs do not have as good a team (or quarterback) as Atlanta. 35 – 7 Falcons.

GA Fan

September 25th, 2011
10:29 am

I’m a Die hard Falcon fan but Ryan is going to have to get rid of the ball faster. He has to trust his receivers to make plays. He’s not the only qb in th NFL with a shaky o-line. The underneath passes are well scouted. The defense is trying to put it together to play all four quarters. Too many 3 and outs on offense. Ryan has got to step it up!