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Tampa Bay-Atlanta Thursday Night Preview

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Sep 16, 2014



THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Week 3 begins on Thursday night (CBS/NFLN, 8:25 PM ET) with the ATLANTA FALCONS (1-1) hosting the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (0-2) in an NFC South matchup.

Last week, Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN completed 24 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown against Cincinnati. He has 62 touchdown passes since 2012, tied for the third-most in the NFL during that span. Of Ryan’s 24 completions, wide receiver RODDY WHITE hauled in five, helping the two combine for 530 career completions, the most by any quarterback and receiver duo in the NFL since Ryan entered the league in 2008. 

Heading into Thursday’s contest at the Georgia Dome, Ryan has won 37 of 47 regular-season home starts during his career. In six home contests against Tampa Bay, he has a 5-1 record with a 100.6 passer rating. Ryan has compiled a 3-1 record in Thursday games, throwing for seven touchdowns and no interceptions.

Following a 37-34 overtime win against New Orleans on Kickoff Weekend, Atlanta lost 24-10 at Cincinnati (2-0) in Week 2. 

“It was a tough loss, but in this league it’s about bouncing back,” says Ryan. “It comes quickly for us this week. We’ll take a quick look at this game and try to make some corrections and move on. It is a good thing we’re going on Thursday.”

Meanwhile in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers look to get on track after a 19-17 loss last week to the St. Louis Rams. The Buccaneers have won two of their past three games against the Falcons and lead the all-time series between the teams 21-20.

In the last matchup (November 17, 2013), Tampa Bay wide receiver VINCENT JACKSON had 10 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown in a 41-28 victory. Since joining Tampa Bay in 2012, Jackson’s 449 receiving yards are the most of any receiver against the Falcons. Jackson is also tied with New Orleans tight end JIMMY GRAHAM for the most receptions (28) against Atlanta during that span.

Tampa Bay’s running back tandem of DOUG MARTIN and BOBBY RAINEY also seek to continue their rushing success against Atlanta. In three career games against the Falcons, Martin has rushed for 239 yards (79.7 yards per game) and three touchdowns. In Rainey’s only career matchup against Atlanta last season, he rushed for a career-high 163 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Since realignment in 2002, no NFC South team has won division titles in consecutive seasons.

The division winners in the NFC South since 2002:

 

SEASON

DIVISION WINNER

RECORD AFTER WEEK 3

FINAL RECORD

2013

Carolina Panthers

1-2

12-4

2012

Atlanta Falcons

3-0

13-3

2011

New Orleans Saints

2-1

13-3

2010

Atlanta Falcons

2-1

13-3

2009

New Orleans Saints

3-0

13-3

2008

Carolina Panthers

2-1

12-4

2007

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2-1

9-7

2006

New Orleans Saints

3-0

10-6

2005

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

3-0

11-5

2004

Atlanta Falcons

3-0

11-5

2003

Carolina Panthers

2-0*

11-5

2002

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2-1

12-4

*Bye week in Week 3

 

WEEK 3 - THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (0-2) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (1-1)

SERIES

 

BUCCANEERS

FALCONS

THURS. RECORD

2-3

5-4

SERIES LEADER

21-20

 

STREAKS

2 of past 3

 

COACHES VS. OPP.

L. Smith: 2-2

M. Smith: 8-4

LAST WEEK

L 19-17 vs. Rams

L 24-10 at Bengals

LAST GAME

11/17/13: Flacons 28 at Buccaneers 41. Tampa Bay RB Bobby Rainey rushes for 163 yards & 2 TDs. Falcons WR Harry Douglas has 134 receiving yards, including 80-yard TD.

LAST GAME AT SITE

10/20/13: Falcons 31, Buccaneers 21. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan completes 20 of 26 passes for 273 yards & 3 TDs (148.4 passer rating). Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers has 2 TD catches.

BROADCAST

CBS/NFLN (8:25 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Mike Mayock, Derek Rackley (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 93 (TB), 92 (Atl.). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (TB), 226 (Atl.). 

STATS

PASSING

McCown: 38-56-362-2-3-75.1

Ryan: 55-87-63.2-4-3-88.2

RUSHING

Rainey: 26-156-6.0-0

S. Jackson: 23-98-4.3-0

RECEIVING

Evans (R): 9-86-9.6-0

J. Jones: 14-204-14.6-1

OFFENSE

298.0

438.5 (1L)

TAKE/GIVE

-3

-2

DEFENSE

336.5

472.0

SACKS

3 tied: 1

---

INTs

---

McClain: 1

PUNTING

Koenen: 45.7

Bosher: 47.0

KICKING

Murray (R): 7 (4/4 PAT; 1/2 FG)

Bryant: 17 (5/5 PAT; 4/4 FG)

NOTES

 

BUCCANEERS: In last start vs. Atl. (9/26/04 with Az.), QB JOSH MC COWN had 76.9 comp. pct. (20 of 26) & 97.9 rating. Tied career-high with 2 rush TDs last week…RB DOUG MARTIN has 3 rush TDs in past 3 meetings. In past 2 vs. Atl., has rushed for 189 yards (94.5 per game). In last meeting, RB BOBBY RAINEY had career-high 163 rush yards & scored 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.). Rushed for 144 yards last week…In past 2 vs. TB, WR VINCENT JACKSON has 20 catches for 303 yards (151.5 per game) & 3 TDs. Among active players (min. 200 catches), has NFL-best 17.3 rec. avg…Since 2013, LB LAVONTE DAVID is only player in NFL with 150+ tackles (161), 5+ sacks (7) & 5+ INTs (5). In last meeting, DT GERALD MC COY had career-high 3 sacks.  Has 8.5 sacks in past 10. LB MASON FOSTER had 37-yard INT-TD in last game vs. Atl. S MARK BARRON is 1 of 3 S with 100+ tackles (103), 2+ INTs & 2+ sacks since 2013… 

 

FALCONSIn 6 home starts vs. TB, QB MATT RYAN is 5-1 with 100.6 rating. In career, has won 37 of 47 home starts. In 3-1 on Thurs. with 101.7 rating (7 TDs, 0 INTs)…RB STEVEN JACKSON has rushed for 347 yards (86.8 per game) & TD in past 4 meetings. RB ANTONE SMITH had 50-yard TD run in last game vs. TB. In last home meeting, RB JACQUIZZ RODGERS had career-high 2 rec. TDs…In 4 meetings, WR JULIO JONES has 19 catches for 394 yards (98.5 per game) & 3 TDs. Since 2007, WR RODDY WHITE ranks 3rd in NFL with 636 rec. & 4th with 8,598 rec. yards. WR HARRY DOUGLAS has 13 catches for 283 yards (141.5 per game) & 2 TDs in past 2 meetings…Since 2010, S WILLIAM MOORE is only S in NFL with 3+ sacks (3.5) & 14+ INTs (14). DE OSI UMENYIORA had 2 sacks in last meeting.








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