The Atlanta Falcons (6-1, second in the NFC South) welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4, fourth in the NFC South) to the Georgia Dome on Sunday in a battle between divisional rivals.
Dan Quinn's team is heading into the game after last week's 10-7 win over the Tennessee Titans. The Falcons were far from impressive but did enough to win the ball game, with Julio Jones scoring the only touchdown of the game for Atlanta. The Buccaneers squandered a 24-point lead in the second half of their game against the Washington Redskins, eventually losing 31-30.
Things to Watch For:
Julio Jones - Tampa Bay's Secondary: The 5th year wideout has emerged as a superstar in recent seasons and after a fantastic start to this year, Julio Jones will be aiming to take advantage of an extremely weak secondary. The Buccaneers' have given up 15 touchdowns to opposing receivers through six games and have their hands full on Sunday with Jones, who has five total touchdowns through his first seven games.
Jameis Winston - Atlanta's Secondary: Winston has had his ups and down already in his rookie year and faces a stern test as he battles against the Falcons secondary. Atlanta has given up the seventh most passing yards this season but lockdown corner Desmond Trufant will be aiming to ruin the former-Florida State quarterback's afternoon.
Vic Beasley - Donovan Smith: Rookie - Rookie. The Falcons took Beasley to strengthen their pass rush while Donovan Smith was selected by the Buccaneers to protect their new franchise QB, and they two will square off on Sunday in an appetizing matchup. Smith struggles with quick pass rushers and Beasley may be in for a big day if he can take advantage.
Atlanta Falcons: Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and safety William Moore have been ruled out of Sunday's game with hamstring injuries. Wide receiver Nick Williams is considered questionable while Jonathan Babineaux and O'Brien Schofield were limited in practice this week but remain probably.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Wide receiver Louis Murphy was placed on injury-reserve after suffering a torn ACL last week. Fellow receiver Vincent Jackson is expected to miss the NFC South matchup while tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will miss at least one more week. Safety Major Wright is doubtful with a hamstring injury, as is Clinton McDonald with a pectoral issue.
Tackle Reid Fragel will miss Sunday due to a concussion, as will defensive tackle Tony McDaniel with a groin injury.
Prediction: As divisional matchups are usually tightly fought, the Falcons will be aiming for their first division win of the season as they play catch up to the Carolina Panthers. Julio Jones seems to have fully recovered from any nagging injuries and despite both run games flourishing, it's tough to see past Dan Quinn's men winning this one.
Falcons 31-20 Buccaneers