9:00 AM EST, Sun December 17, 2017
1 hour ago
One reason to feel confident, one reason to be nervous about Falcons - Buccaneers in Week 15

One reason to feel confident, one reason to be nervous about Falcons - Buccaneers in Week 15

Atlanta just has to be wary of a letdown. This one’s going to be a lot simpler than most of my one reason to be confident, one reason to be nervous writeups. The reasons for that are simple: There are many reasons to feel confident, and only one real one to not feel confident. This is, on paper and likely on the field, the simplest and easiest matchup left to Atlanta. It’s also a critically important one. The Falcons need to get their ninth win to stay ahead of the pack and potentially allow them to absorb one loss in their final two games against the Panthers and Saints, both...
3 hours ago
Falcons - Buccaneers Monday Night Football schedule, announcers, odds, and channel

Falcons - Buccaneers Monday Night Football schedule, announcers, odds, and channel

When the 8-5 Falcons meet up with the Buccaneers on Monday night, they’ll be looking to stay ahead in the playoff race. The Atlanta Falcons, as we’ve written many times in recent weeks, need at least two wins over their last three games to make the playoffs. Winning out would guarantee a spot in the postseason, which would mark the second straight year in the big dance under Dan Quinn. That’s an important milestone, but more importantly than that, the Falcons have the talent to make a second straight Super Bowl run. Of course, those wins won’t be easy to come by, but this one looks...
11 hours ago
Atlanta Falcons talk: What does Atlanta need to do to beat Tampa Bay this time?

Atlanta Falcons talk: What does Atlanta need to do to beat Tampa Bay this time?

“Show up” is an unfair answer. There’s no point in sugarcoating it: This is the easiest game left on the schedule for Atlanta, and thus one that’s dangerously easy to overlook. The Buccaneers do have talent, but they’re a rudderless football team the Falcons already dispatched once this year, and they have to face a motivated Falcons team without Gerald McCoy. There are many ways Atlanta could win this game. They could pound the ball with a relatively fresh Devonta Freeman, taking advantage of a soft Tampa Bay front seven all game long. They could feed Julio Jones again, since...
17 hours ago
NFL Saturday football open thread, December 16 edition

NFL Saturday football open thread, December 16 edition

It’s Lions-Bears and Chargers-Chiefs. Full disclosure: I love Saturday football games. Particularly around the holidays, when nobody really wants to be writing about the NFL on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, Saturday football is like a breath of fresh air. I’ll love watching these games today, even if neither of them have huge implications for the Falcons. The first is Lions vs. Bears. This one is sort of important because a Bears win would effectively eliminate the Lions, who are already clinging to the playoffs by the skin of their teeth. Chicago’s going to fire John Fox and...
20 hours ago
Julio Jones is the NFC’s leading fan vote-getter at wide receiver

Julio Jones is the NFC’s leading fan vote-getter at wide receiver

The GOAT. Julio Jones is the best wide receiver in the NFC, and perhaps the NFL. I will accept your arguments in favor of Antonio Brown, even if I disagree with them, but I won’t entertain the idea that Odell Beckham Jr. is currently a better player. Also, he is injured, which stinks. That’s why it is little surprise that Julio was the top vote-getter at his position in the NFC when it comes to the fan vote. He’s a household name with over 1,000 yards and a signature effort against the Buccaneers that saw him put up over 250 yards, and no matter how much fans may argue, everyone’s...
21 hours ago
Intriguing players to watch in Falcons vs. Buccaneers

Intriguing players to watch in Falcons vs. Buccaneers

As the 8-5 Falcons take on the 4-9 Buccaneers on Monday Night Football, here are some players to monitor during the game. We’ve reached Week 15, and the final three game stretch of the season. Atlanta is sitting at 8-5, and despite being one game behind both the Saints and Panthers, still control the outcome of the NFC South. All that will be for naught, however, if the Falcons fail to take care of business on Monday Night Football against the reeling Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This match-up has had a tendency to be weird during the Dan Quinn era, with the Falcons inexplicably blowing their...
23 hours ago
Could the Buccaneers stop Julio Jones by covering him with ten players?

Could the Buccaneers stop Julio Jones by covering him with ten players?

Dirk Koetter raised the possibility, so we’ll answer the question. Earlier this week, Dirk Koetter made a crack about covering Julio Jones with 10 of his 11 defensive players. Koetter was not serious—at least I hope he wasn’t, or Mohamed Sanu is going to have the game of his life—but it made me wonder whether such a strategy could actually stop Julio Jones. AJC: Koetter plans to use ‘Cover 10’ on Julio. Early Bird - https://t.co/ns4rVStJlH pic.twitter.com/S6glhpHzLn— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) December 15, 2017 First, you have to consider that Julio could likely...
Dec 16, 2017
Sean Payton slapped with $10,000 fine for running on the field versus Falcons

Sean Payton slapped with $10,000 fine for running on the field versus Falcons

This should ensure the next game is lively. Even by the standards of the rivalry, the Falcons-Saints game last Thursday night was pretty nuts. It featured three Matt Ryan interceptions, multiple Saints injuries, officiating that was bad enough to inspire some hilariously bad conspiracy theories, and of course, Sean Payton running on to the field of play. That last one cost the Saints the game, ultimately, because it gave the Falcons an automatic first down and allowed them to kneel out the clock. Yesterday, the NFL followed up on that by merrily hitting Payton with a $10,000 fine. Sean...
Dec 16, 2017
The Falcons went on a torrid scoring streak to end 2016, and hope to repeat it in 2017

The Falcons went on a torrid scoring streak to end 2016, and hope to repeat it in 2017

Atlanta stomped their last three opponents in the regular season. Can they do it again? Over the final three weeks of the 2016 season, Atlanta went a little nuts. They not only picked up three wins in three weeks, but they also put up a combined 112 points, nearly 1,500 yards of offense, and cruised into the playoffs as the NFC South champions. That was Atlanta more or less at the peak of their powers. No one’s expecting those kinds of bonkers numbers again in 2017, not with the way this offense has been chugging along in 2017. They’re scoring fewer points, putting up far fewer yards,...
Dec 15, 2017
Atlanta Falcons talk: Will Ben Garland hold up?

Atlanta Falcons talk: Will Ben Garland hold up?

The versatile guard may have to start down the stretch. With reports circulating that Andy Levitre may or may not out the rest of the season, it is truly uncertain whether the Falcons will have their best guard available over the last weeks of the year. It’s a big, important question, one that’s made more urgent by the fact that Wes Schweitzer is solid but not great at right guard. We’ll have to deal with the reality, though, if Levitre does miss multiple weeks. That raises another important question: Are the Falcons going to be able to lean on Ben Garland? Garland is one of the...
Dec 15, 2017
Tevin Coleman and Andy Levitre miss yet another practice, both unlikely to play Monday

Tevin Coleman and Andy Levitre miss yet another practice, both unlikely to play Monday

Adrian Clayborn is merely limited, however. With the Falcons rounding out their practices for the week, we’re more or less where we were coming out of the Saints game: With injuries to Tevin Coleman and Andy Levitre that will likely keep them out of the game, plus the added wrinkle of a limited Adrian Clayborn. The Falcons will be fine without Coleman, which is no indictment of his ability. They’re facing off against a ragged Buccaneers defense without Gerald McCoy, their best defensive lineman, and Devonta Freeman is uniquely suited to take advantage of that matchup. They’ll miss...
Dec 15, 2017
By the Numbers stats preview: Falcons vs. Buccaneers

By the Numbers stats preview: Falcons vs. Buccaneers

Heading into a Week 15 Monday Night Football match-up, how do the Falcons and Buccaneers compare statistically? Week 15 is here, and the 8-5 Falcons have yet another primetime match-up—this time on Monday Night Football. That’s actually great for Atlanta, who enjoy a “mini-bye” of sorts coming off a Thursday night game, and their opponent is also arguably the easiest remaining on their schedule. Tampa Bay just fell to 4-9 after a disappointing loss to Detroit, and saw any hope of avoiding a losing season disappear. Even though the Buccaneers aren’t a playoff contender, they are a...
Dec 15, 2017
Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Fascinating Four for Week 15

Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Fascinating Four for Week 15

Can the Falcons continue their playoff push heading into the final stage of the season? After surviving a grueling five-day stretch against Minnesota and New Orleans, the Falcons’ first place push is on. They are on the right path heading into the final three games of the season. A win over Tampa Bay would set up a potential first-place showdown (Carolina could squash those plans) against the Saints on Christmas Eve. Dan Quinn will assure everyone that his team won’t be looking past Tampa Bay. Similar to Atlanta, they are playing every team in the division to finish the season. The...
Dec 15, 2017
The Falcons intend to have Vic Beasley focus on rushing the passer over the final three games

The Falcons intend to have Vic Beasley focus on rushing the passer over the final three games

More time at defensive end for Vic Beasley, but what does that really mean? The Vic Beasley-at-linebacker experiment appears to be drawing to a close, for better or for worse. With the team getting a healthy, performing corps of linebackers back on the field, they’re ready to get Beasley closer to the line of scrimmage and back to doing what he should do best: Rushing the passer. What Quinn is actually suggesting here, though, isn’t quite so straightforward. On one hand, yes, the Falcons are clearly going to play Beasley less at linebacker and give those snaps to De’Vondre Campbell,...
Dec 15, 2017
Adrian Clayborn, Andy Levitre miss Thursday’s practice

Adrian Clayborn, Andy Levitre miss Thursday’s practice

The team’s leading sack artist and starting left guard could both miss this game. Tevin Coleman remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol, and may well be out for Monday night’s game against the Buccaneers. That’s not surprising at all, but we did get two unpleasant surprises in Thursday’s injury report. The first was the news that Andy Levitre may miss the rest of the season as he recovers, which is unwelcome news indeed. Ben Garland filled in admirably against the Saints, but had some struggles in pass protection, and is not Andy Levitre. The Falcons will be hard-pressed to not...