ATLANTA, GA- The winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5) are coming to the Georgia Dome on Sunday, October 20, at 1:00 p.m. to face the Atlanta Falcons (1-4) in what will surely be a tough division matchup for both teams. The game will be featured on the FOX network.
For both teams, this 2013 season can almost be loosely compared to Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”
Allow me to explain the offbeat reference. Both teams had high hopes for their season very early on. The Buccaneers’ acquisition of veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis certainly improved their defense during the offseason. However, when it comes to offensive production and consistency, Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson alone didn’t have enough talent to get their team over the hump.
The Falcons, during the offseason, were being touted as a highly powerful offensive team. Then Roddy White suffered an ankle injury which he downplayed. This started a snowball effect of injuries to key defensive and offensive starters. All injuries combined, the Falcons lost almost half of their starting lineup, thus exposing the relatively weak roster depth the team has.
Both teams posses an extreme amount of talent and both teams have lost at least three games by less than seven points. It was the offseason of hope, and the regular season of despair.
With both teams just 0-1 in the division and that loss stemming from the New Orleans Saints, they look almost evenly matched in different categories. The Buccaneers are able to stop the run most of the time; on average Tampa Bay is only allowing 76 rushing yards per game. In the NFL if you can hold any team under 100 rushing yards, you’re usually in a good position to win just about any game. The Buccaneers also have nine takeaways compared to the Falcons, who only have four takeaways.
On the other hand Atlanta still has the most important position on the field locked down; the quarterback. Matt Ryan’s body and contract are still checked out as healthy on this Falcons team. Atlanta still has to depend on a bunch of rookies like Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Levine Toilolo, Paul Worrilow, and Joplo Bartu. But this pales in comparison to having Mike Glennon, a relatively unproven rookie starter that the team took in the third round of the NFL draft, attempting to lead your team out of the winter of despair.
Only one thing is for certain. This game will be exciting due to the implications and the matchups. The only way this could be better is if Julio Jones could line up against Darrelle Revis on Sunday. That showdown alone would be worth the price of admission.
Can Matt Ryan reclaim his title of “Matty Ice” and lead the Falcons to victory? Or will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers desecrate the Georgia Dome and obtain their first victory in the process?
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