Preview: Tampa Bay at Atlanta

When: 8:25 PM ET, Thursday, September 18, 2014
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened the season with a pair of narrow home losses and now face the prospect of playing the next three on the road, beginning with Thursday night's matchup against the NFC South-rival Atlanta Falcons. The Buccaneers are trying to avoid a repeat of last season's disastrous campaign, when they opened with eight straight setbacks. "It's trying to take a deep breath, see the big picture," quarterback Josh McCown said. "We want to win right now."

Tampa Bay's injury-riddled defense will have to find a way to contain Matt Ryan and Atlanta's potent offense, which rolled up 37 points in a season-opening win versus New Orleans before coming back to earth in last week's 24-10 loss at Cincinnati. "When you turn the ball over three times, you're not going to win," Ryan said. "I have to be better." The Falcons, who went 4-12 last season and wound up tied with the Buccaneers for last place in the division, have split the past six meetings against Tampa Bay.

TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS, NFL Network. LINE: Falcons -6.5. O/U: 44.5

ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (0-2): Tampa Bay has been decimated by injuries and is expected to be without two more starters on defense after Pro Bowl tackle Gerald McCoy (broken hand) and middle linebacker Mason Foster (dislocated shoulder) were hurt last week. Starting running back Doug Martin returned to practice Tuesday after missing Sunday's game with a knee injury, but backup Bobby Rainey rushed for 144 yards in his absence. The passing game ranks 31st in the league and has yet to click under McCown, who has three interceptions versus two TDs and is averaging 181 yards per contest. The Buccaneers will be hard-pressed to slow down Ryan and company after facing a pair of lightweight passing attacks in the first two weeks.  

ABOUT THE FALCONS (1-1): Ryan tossed three scoring passes and set a franchise record with 448 yards passing in a come-from-behind win over New Orleans, but he was picked off three times and failed go get the ball in the end zone until the fourth quarter at Cincinnati. Julio Jones appears fully recovered from the foot injury that cut short his 2013 season, snatching 14 receptions for 204 yards and a TD, but fellow wideout Roddy White missed practice on Tuesday due to a hamstring injury to put his availability in doubt. While Steven Jackson has rushed for only 98 yards in the first two contests, a more pressing concern is a defense that ranks dead last in the league - allowing an average total of 472 yards.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson torched Atlanta for 20 catches for 303 yards and three TDs last season.

2. Ryan is 37-10 at home in his career, including 5-1 versus Tampa Bay.

3. Rainey rushed for a career-high 163 yards and scored three TDs in a 41-28 win over the Falcons last November.

PREDICTION: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 20 

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Tampa Bay 0-2 L2 15.5 19.5 0-2 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-2
Atlanta 1-1 L1 23.5 29.0 1-0 0-1 0-0 1-1 1-0 1-0 1-0

Last Meeting

Tampa Bay Atlanta
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/17/13 ATL 28 TB 41 410 186 224 420 152 268

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
TB M. Glennon 87.0 231 2 0
ATL M. Ryan 52.8 254 2 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
TB B. Rainey 30 163 5.4 2
ATL A. Smith 2 88 44.0 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
TB V. Jackson 10 165 16.5 1
ATL H. Douglas 6 134 22.3 1
TDs Player TD
TB B. Rainey 3
ATL H. Douglas 1
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
TB J. McCown 67.9 362 2 3
ATL M. Ryan 63.2 679 4 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
TB B. Rainey 26 156 6.0 0
ATL S. Jackson 23 98 4.3 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
TB V. Jackson 8 87 10.9 0
ATL J. Jones 14 204 14.6 1
TDs Player TD
TB J. McCown 2
ATL J. Jones 1

Quickchart Matchup

Tampa Bay Off vs  Atlanta Def
298 yards
472 yards
5.5 yards/rush
4.2 yards/rush
6 yards/attempt
9.6 yards/attempt
Atlanta Off vs  Tampa Bay Def
438.5 yards
336.5 yards
5 yards/rush
3.7 yards/rush
7.6 yards/attempt
7 yards/attempt

Live Game Odds

Lines History | All Odds
Home over/under
OPEN
-110
-5.5
-110
45
Offshore Odds
CarbonSports
-110
-6.5
-110
45
Sportsbook
-110
-6.5
-110
45
5Dimes.eu
-110
-6.5
-103
45
GTBets.eu
-105
-6.5
-110
45
Top Bet
-110
-6.5
-110
45
BetOnline.ag
-105
-6.5
-110
45
BetDSI
-115
-6
-110
45
AllYouBet.ag OFF OFF
Belmont
-110
-5.5
OFF
BookMaker.eu
-115
-6
-110
45
Vegas Odds
Westgate
-110
-6
-110
45
Mirage
-110
-6.5
-110
45.5
Station
-110
-6.5
-110
45
Best home line Recent line moves

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Tampa Bay Overall Atlanta
0-2 W/L 1-1
0-2-0 ATS 1-1-0
0-2-0 O/U 1-1-0
15.5 Pts For 23.5
19.5 Pts Against 29.0
Tampa Bay A/H Atlanta
0-0 W/L 1-0
0-0-0 ATS 1-0-0
0-0-0 O/U 1-0-0
0.0 Pts For 37.0
0.0 Pts Against 34.0