|Last 3 Games||0-3||-5.3||0-3||0-3||11.3||2.0||376.3||(5.3)||3.3||30.7||16.0||366.3||(5.9)||1.0|
|Offense (All Games)||24.5||10.5||18.9||30:09||26-113||(4.4)||19-35||55.0%||251||(7.1)||61-364||(5.9)||(14.9)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||23.5||11.7||20.3||30:26||27-117||(4.3)||22-35||62.9%||242||(6.9)||62-359||(5.8)||(15.3)|
|Offense Road Games||24.6||11.1||19.3||29:30||27-128||(4.8)||19-37||51.7%||229||(6.1)||64-357||(5.6)||(14.5)|
|Defense (All Games)||25.1||13.0||20.9||30:08||24-84||(3.5)||25-39||65.5%||303||(7.8)||63-387||(6.2)||(15.4)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23||11.4||20.3||30:05||26-114||(4.3)||22-35||62.5%||246||(6.9)||62-360||(5.8)||(15.7)|
|Defense Road Games||28.4||12.6||21.9||31:07||24-90||(3.8)||26-42||62.8%||311||(7.4)||66-401||(6.1)||(14.1)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.1||0.4||1.5||0.3||13-5||35.2%||1-0||41.2%||2-40||(20.2)||2-19||(8.8)||7-53|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.6||1.5||1.8||13-5||38.7%||1-0||47.5%||3-60||(23.1)||22-2||(9.7)||6-52|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.4||0.6||2.0||0.0||14-5||33.0%||1-1||44.4%||2-54||(22.2)||2-20||(9.5)||8-69|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.2||0.5||1.7|| ||14-6||41.5%||1-0||45.5%||2-41||(25.9)||2-27||(11.1)||7-56|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.7||1.7|| ||13-5||39.6%||1-0||50.8%||3-62||(23.1)||17-2||(8.5)||6-51|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||1.3||0.7||2.0|| ||14-5||38.9%||1-0||20.0%||2-42||(24.7)||3-39||(13.5)||8-70|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+0.5||2-1||1-2||28.3||12.7||366.7||(6.1)||0.3||16.0||7.3||417.7||(6.6)||2.0|
|Offense (All Games)||26.8||14.6||21.9||31:04||24-89||(3.7)||26-38||69.0%||286||(7.5)||62-375||(6)||(14)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||24.4||12.1||20.1||30:16||27-117||(4.3)||22-35||62.4%||243||(7)||62-359||(5.8)||(14.7)|
|Offense Home Games||25.6||14.3||20.0||30:58||25-95||(3.9)||24-36||65.4%||258||(7.1)||61-353||(5.8)||(13.8)|
|Defense (All Games)||18.5||9.8||18.7||28:56||25-122||(4.8)||21-34||61.6%||244||(7.1)||60-366||(6.1)||(19.8)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.6||11||20.3||30:16||26-110||(4.2)||22-37||61.1%||251||(6.8)||63-361||(5.8)||(15.9)|
|Defense Home Games||16.3||9.0||18.0||29:02||26-124||(4.8)||20-33||59.9%||228||(6.9)||59-352||(5.9)||(21.6)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.9||0.3||1.2||0.8||13-6||46.8%||0-0||20.0%||2-39||(24.2)||1-11||(7.6)||4-27|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.6||1.5||1.8||13-5||38.3%||1-0||48.2%||3-61||(23.4)||23-2||(9.9)||6-52|
|Stats For (Home Games)||1.3||0.3||1.6||0.9||13-5||40.4%||0-0||0.0%||1-32||(24.8)||2-13||(7.7)||4-31|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.3||0.7||2.0|| ||12-5||40.2%||1-0||46.2%||3-69||(22.2)||2-14||(9)||5-42|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.7||1.7|| ||13-5||38.6%||1-0||47.8%||3-61||(22.7)||19-2||(8.7)||6-54|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.6||0.9||2.4|| ||12-4||33.7%||1-0||20.0%||3-69||(24.2)||2-21||(10)||7-60|
|Average power rating of opponents played: TAMPA BAY 20.7, ATLANTA 19|
|12/16/2012||@ NEW ORLEANS||0-41||L||3.5||L||54.5||U||16-67||30-54-319||5||25-149||26-39-298||0|
|12/30/2012||@ ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|11/11/2012||@ NEW ORLEANS||27-31||L||-2||L||53.5||O||18-46||34-52-408||1||29-148||21-32-292||1|
|11/25/2012||@ TAMPA BAY||24-23||W||-1||T||51||U||24-79||26-32-345||2||21-50||20-31-276||0|
|12/30/2012||TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|TAMPA BAY: The Bucs seem to be gearing up to do a lot of running this season. New head coach Greg Schiano oversaw a run-heavy team at Rutgers, and offensive line coach Bob Bostad oversaw Wisconsin's run-heavy power game among his previous jobs. They also added an elite left guard in Carl Nicks, a first-round back in Doug Martin and a great blocking wide receiver in Vincent Jackson. The Bucs will use primarily a zone-blocking scheme with a lot of inside runs. LeGarrette Blount and Martin will probably be close to a 50/50 share on early downs, with Martin taking all third down reps. While Blount will have his role greatly reduced between the 20's, he'll have a chance to keep goal line carries. New offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan's offense will be far more aggressive getting the ball downfield, which should be a nice match for Josh Freeman's arm strength and Jackson's downfield ball skills. The reads generally go deep-to-short and rarely side-to-side. So after Jackson, Freeman will more likely come down to Preston Parker than go across to Mike Williams. The Bucs also plan on using their backs in the passing game much more often, which is why they traded up into the first round to grab Martin. When Tampa throws in the red zone and down near the goal line, Jackson and Williams are the team's most capable targets. After allowing a league-high 30.9 PPG and ranking 30th in total defense, there's nowhere to go but up, right? Schiano is excited about young DLs Gerald McCoy and Adrian Clayborn, and also No. 7 overall pick S Mark Barron, but Tampa's schedule is jam-packed with high-powered offenses. If McCoy can remain healthy'a big 'if' for a guy who has played in only 19 games over two NFL seasons'his presence should help free up Clayborn to rush the quarterback more freely and more often. McCoy is both powerful and shifty with great feet, and Schiano has said he expects the former No. 3 overall pick to dominate opponents in 2012. Barron, meanwhile, is excellent both stopping the run in the box and in pass coverage. |
|ATLANTA: New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter isn't nearly as run-happy as departed play-caller Mike Mularkey, so this offense won't be nearly as ground-heavy as it's been in recent seasons. Atlanta was largely a man-blocking team under Mularkey, but Koetter runs a mix of man and zone, requiring an adjustment for the offensive line. As for the backs, Michael Turner is declining, and Jacquizz Rodgers has carved out a role as a change-of-pace back who will get the ball in a variety of ways. Koetter coached 5-foot-6 Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville, and while MJD is thicker, Koetter won't hesitate to use the 5-foot-6 Rodgers. Koetter tends to not mess around with a lot of play-action in the red zone, so near the goal line is where Turner will continue to earn his money. Koetter likes to get his receivers stretching the field, especially on play-action, and he's always been able to find ways to get the ball to his tight ends, which is good news for Tony Gonzalez. Roddy White should again be Matt Ryan's No. 1 target, and Julio Jones will be targeted more frequently downfield. One of Koetter's biggest challenges is to improve the screen game, which was non-existent in Atlanta. That's why Rodgers could be in for a much bigger role. He also plans on utilizing the no-huddle offense that the Falcons used effectively at times last year. The Falcons have a decent overall defense, but they lost their middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to the Saints. He'll be replaced by Sean Weatherspoon, who displayed outstanding range on the outside last season, but may take some time to adjust to the new role. The addition of CB Asante Samuel instantly improves Atlanta's secondary because he has the ability to make opposing quarterbacks pay for trying to avoid throwing at Brent Grimes, who is also an opportunistic playmaker capable of covering No. 1 receivers. DE John Abraham was the only player to surpass four sacks last season. Abraham can't keep his 10-sack production up forever, but he's still a solid tackler who has the ability to pop the football loose. Expect another productive season from the 34-year-old. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (TAMPA BAY-ATLANTA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Buccaneers-Falcons Preview* ============================
By MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer
Win or lose, the Atlanta Falcons will finish the season with the NFC's best record.
Still, given their lack of playoff success with Mike Smith as coach and Matt Ryan under center, the South champs definitely don't want to head into the postseason on a down note.
The Falcons will try to match a team record for wins and finish 8-0 at home on Sunday when they close out the regular season against a free-falling Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that will miss the playoffs for a fifth consecutive year.
Led by a career high-tying four touchdowns from Ryan - who threw three the week before in a 34-0 home victory over the New York Giants - Atlanta (13-2) won 31-18 at Detroit last Saturday to clinch the No. 1 seed in the conference.
The Falcons will host a divisional playoff game on Jan. 12 or 13, but they know - probably better than most - that regular-season success doesn't always translate to postseason wins.
Atlanta is 0-3 in the playoffs under Smith and Ryan after losing 24-2 at the New York Giants in last season's wild-card round. The year before, the top-seeded Falcons were routed 48-21 by Green Bay in the divisional round.
Smith felt his team was overworked heading into that Packers defeat, so he's easing up on the players this time, giving them three days off following Saturday's victory.
"We'll handle it differently with our workload and the days that we're going to work during our bye week and what our schedule will be," he said. "We're not going to do anything like we did the last time."
Ryan is one shy of setting the franchise record for passing TDs with 32 after what Smith called the best "back-to-back" games of his career. But the Falcons' signal-caller - as well as Michael Turner, Roddy White, Julio Jones and other key starters - might watch some of Sunday's game from the sideline.
Still, there will be no let-up as the Falcons' goal is to open the playoffs with three straight wins.
"We're going to play the game to win," Smith said. "That's how we're going to approach it. All games are important, and in terms of the importance, does it have no bearing? It really does because we want to win every time we go out and play."
While the Falcons look to match the team record for wins set in 1998 when they advanced to the franchise's only Super Bowl, the best the Buccaneers (6-9) can hope for is to avoid another lengthy skid heading into the offseason.
Tampa Bay, which ended last season on a 10-game slide after a 45-24 New Year's Day loss at Atlanta, has dropped five in a row since winning four straight. The Falcons ended that run with a 24-23 victory on Nov. 25.
Rookie running back Doug Martin, who ran for two 1-yard scores in that defeat, has given first-year coach Greg Schiano reason for optimism - he's third in the league in total scrimmage yards with 1,766 - but there are still questions if fourth-year quarterback Josh Freeman can lead this offense.
Freeman has completed just 54.9 percent of his passes this season and he's been intercepted four times in each of the last two games to double his season total.
"I've got to take the blame as the quarterback," Freeman, who has thrown for a Bucs single-season record 3,843 yards, said after last Sunday's 28-13 loss to St. Louis. "Saints game (a 41-0 loss on Dec. 16), this game, not really the brand of football I want to play."
The Buccaneers, though, are a top-10 passing team with Freeman under center. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson deserves plenty of credit for that, as he's set career highs in receptions (69) and yards (1,334) in his first season with the team.
Jackson needs one TD to match his best output and 89 yards to break the 23-year-old franchise record set by Mark Carrier.
"For me to step in here, there's a lot of great tools around me that allow me to be successful," he said. "For me, I just have to go out there, continue to work as hard as I work, have fun, enjoy it and we'll see how the season ends. Right now, it's about wins."
Atlanta, winner of four straight with the Buccaneers in town, is going for its 12th consecutive victory at the Georgia Dome and first 8-0 home record in 14 years.
|Last Updated: 9/15/2014 6:31:40 AM EST|