TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner The disastrous season continues for the Falcons after they were taken apart at home by the powerful Seahawks. The Falcons had designs on postseason glory at the start of the season, but they are just playing for pride at this point. Matt Ryan has already beaten the Bucs earlier this year, and he will try to use his accurate passing to pick apart the vulnerable Tampa Bay secondary.
Mike Glennon has been a decent addition to the starting lineup. While he is not the most gifted quarterback, he keeps his cool in the pocket and he appears to read defenses well. Head coach Greg Schiano has learned that Glennon will pass the ball accurately if his offensive line gives him protection and that he will usually make the right decision with the ball and his decision-making is solid.
Offense
Winner The Falcons would like to run the ball with Jacquizz Rodgers and Steven Jackson, but they had no success with their running attack against the Seahawks. The key to the Falcons' offense will be Ryan’s ability to get the ball to wideouts Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez (toe) and Harry Douglas. White returned in the loss to the Seahawks, but he should be ready to have a better game against Tampa Bay.
The Bucs took a big hit with the loss of running backs Doug Martin and Mike James, who are both out for the season. Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey will take over the RB chores. Vincent Jackson is an explosive wideout who can dominate smaller defensive backs. While Mike Williams is a capable receiver, he is also very inconsistent.
Defense
The Falcons have struggled all season with their defensive play as they are regularly at a disadvantage when it comes to size and strength. Injuries have taken their toll, but they have also allowed backup linebacker Paul Worrilow to play and he is an active hitter. He followed up an 18-tackle against Carolina with a 19-tackles game against the Seahawks.
Winner The Bucs have played much better on the defensive side than they have on offense. There is little problem with the Bucs’ overall effort, however they have been hurt badly by poor decision making this season. Linebacker Lavonte David has not been immune to mental mistakes, but he is the team’s best tackler and he is also the team’s best sacker.
Special Teams
Winner The Falcons continue to compete on special teams and they are not going to have many lapses with their coverage teams. Rodgers has a chance to break a long return, but he has not been able to turn a game around yet this season. Matt Bosher is having a fantastic year, connecting on 13-of-14 FG attempts.
The Bucs have struggled with their special teams and their biggest issue has been punt return differential, which favors their opponents this season. Rain Lindell has been solid as a kicker, but the Bucs have often had to eschew FG attempts because they are so far behind. Punter Michael Koenen is below average.

The Winner Is

(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Winner Atlanta Falcons
3 out of 4

The Bucs would like to find a way to beat this hated divisional opponent, while the Falcons are merely playing for pride at this point. Falcons head coach Mike Smith has to be concerned about his job, so he can’t afford to let any game slip away.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Restaurant Week 365

Listen Live