Bucs at Falcons: Pewter Preview and Predictions
It’s GAME DAY at Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux – Come watch Bucs football all season long!
BUCCANEERS at FALCONS
WHEN: Sunday, January 8, 2023 | WHERE: Mercedes Benz Stadium | KICK OFF: 1:00 p.m. ET | TV: FOX
GAME-BY-PLAY: Adam Amin | ANALYST: Mark Schlereth | NIJLINE: Kristina Pink
RADIO: 98 ROCK 97.9 FM | GAME-BY-PLAY: Gene Deckerhoff | ANALYST: David Moore | NIJLINE: TJ Rives
With game day approaching, it’s time for the Pewter Report staff to provide their weekly game predictions and our game preview of this week’s matchup. Let us know what you think in the article comments section and add your prediction as well.
Scott Reynolds: Bucs finishes with a winning record
Tom Brady and most of the Bucs starters will play against the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday. We don’t know how much longer the starters will play, but what we do know is that Tampa Bay is motivated to finish the year with a winning record after beating Carolina last week to improve to 8-8 this season and the to win title. NFC South. I’m not sure what the Falcons are supposed to be playing for, other than pride. She snapped a four-game losing streak last week with a 20-19 victory over the Cardinals. But Atlanta will either finish 6-11 with a loss or 7-10 with a win over Tampa Bay. The Falcons were 7-10 last year, so there has been no improvement in the two years of the Arthur Smith regime.
As for the Bucs, we should see some of Blaine Gabbert at quarterback and hopefully a lot of Kyle Trask. It would be great to see what Trask could do with starting caliber players around him for a change. I wrote about how the Bucs squandered this opportunity to get a good look at him by not starting him in Week 18. The Falcons are definitely getting a good look at their rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder, who will make his fourth NFL start on Sunday.
The Bucs are the more talented team and as long as they slow down rookie running back Tyler Allgeier, who is in a 900 yard rush this year, they should sail to a double-digit win. Tampa Bay led Atlanta 21-10 before allowing two late touchdowns. I would expect Todd Bowles’ defense to go after Knight and record a bunch of sacks. Marcus Mariota was sacked five times in the first game this season. I would like to see rookie defensive tackle Logan Hall go back to the QB before the season ends.
REYNOLDS’ GAME PREDICT: Bucs 26, Falcons 16
REYNOLDS’ SEASON RECORD: 7-9
Matte Matera: Winning bucs in a TEAM effort… Because everyone plays
It’s not the easiest game to predict for the Bucs given how much or how little the starters will play. We now know what’s at stake – Tampa Bay won the NFC South last week and can’t move up from the fourth seed, so all the Bucs need to play for is a winning record. The Falcons have been eliminated from contention and may undergo a post-game coaching change.
I think all three quarterbacks will play on Sunday. Tom Brady gets the start and keeps going until halftime, while local hero Blaine Gabbert gets the third quarter and Kyle Trask rounds it out in the fourth. According to Todd Bowles, the Bucs still have things to work on, so the offense is trying to pick up where they left off the previous game by putting points on the board. Let’s not forget that Chris Godwin has nearly 100 catches and 1,000 receiving yards, so he’ll play and get the ball. The Bucs always help their players with incentives. We’ll see who gets their quota.
The Bucs have always had better defense, so even though Carlton Davis, Logan Ryan and Carl Nassib are out, they have players who can be productive. Anthony Nelson and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka have been forced to play, so it’s nothing new for them. The Falcons are still figuring out whether Desmond Knight is their quarterback of the future. The Bucs didn’t face him the first time around, so this is a chance to continue all the turnovers they’ve made over the past few weeks. If the Bucs build a lead, the Falcons won’t really be motivated to make a comeback. It’s a three-game winning streak for the Bucs heading into the postseason.
MATERA’S GAME PREDICT: Bucs 31, Falcons 18
MATERA’S SEASON RECORD: 8-8
JC Allen: Bucs offense comes to life against Falcons
The Bucs have already rounded out the division and are guaranteed at least one playoff home game. With that being said, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not the team should rest its starters to avoid injury in what amounts to a pointless game. The flip side of that, though, is that a win against the Falcons on Sunday would see the Bucs finish with a winning record heading into the playoffs. And if they can duplicate last week’s offensive output, give them momentum heading into the Divisional Round.
The offense will miss starting left tackle Donovan Smith, who has been ruled out with an injury. Brandon Walton will start in his place, but the rest of the offense is ready to play against the Falcons. After an offensive explosion that saw the team reach 30 points for the second time this season, the team hopes to finish the year on a high note and Atlanta’s porous defense gives them that opportunity. The Falcons defense ranks 29th in the league with 370 yards per game, 237 of them through the air. Tom Brady and the league’s second best passing offense should be licking their chops on this game.
The Bucs defense will miss several starters with Vita Vea, Carlton Davis, Logan Ryan and Carl Nassib all ruled out. While Jamel Dean and Mike Edwards are doubtful for Sunday’s tilt. Anthony Nelson and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka will face rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder for the fourth time in a row. The Falcons are one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to passing the ball, but they boast the second best rushing offense that will test the Bucs defense without the strong Vita Vea in the lineup. It will be a good test for rookie Logan Hall, who is about to get more playing time. While this game is pointless in the sense that it won’t affect the Bucs’ playoff position, a win is in the forefront for this team to finish with a .500+ record heading into the postseason.
ALLEN’S GAME PREDICT: Bucs 33, Falcons 16
ALLEN’S SEASON REPORT: 6-10
Bailey Adams: Brady stays perfect against Atlanta to get Bucs to 9-8
Okay, hand up: I was the only Pewter Reporter to predict a Bucs loss last week. I had a bad feeling about that, but the team proved me wrong and is now going into week 18 with the division wrapped up. I’m glad I’m wrong. There’s been a lot of discussion about Todd Bowles getting a chance to rest his starters ahead of the playoffs, but it certainly sounds like the coaches and especially Tom Brady are firmly of the opinion that anyone who can play should play against the Falcons.
And that’s why I like the Bucs’ chances to get a third consecutive win and finish 9-8. While Tampa Bay is locked into the NFC’s No. 4 seed, I think there’s some value in fleshing out some things in this game. Now the counter argument might be, “If they haven’t figured it out by now, the regular season finale definitely isn’t going to make anything magical happen.” But if Brady is playing against the Falcons, how can I pick against them? The man does not lose to Atlanta. He is 11-0 against that franchise. Not only that, but I’ve never been that high on Desmond Ridder, and I think this Bucs defense has a good shot at continues his takeaway streak in this one.
The Falcons will likely give the Bucs a fight as nothing drastic can happen to their draft position in Week 18. It’s almost impossible for them to fall out of the top 10 and while a win could cost them a few places (depending on other results), I’m not sure there’s going to be any refueling here. Nevertheless, I like that Tampa Bay wins its third game in a row to close out the regular season. Doing so would see the Bucs finish above .500, preserving Brady’s flawless record throughout his career and keeping him undefeated against Atlanta.
ADAMS’ GAME PREDICT: Bucs 23, Falcons 14
ADAMS’ SEASON RECORD: 9-7
Josh Queipo: Bucs wins predictably
Lost in all the “who will play how many snaps” discourse currently hovering around the Bucs is the fact that if this team loses to the Falcons in Week 18, they will go into the playoffs with not only a negative point difference (currently 22nd in the league at -32), but a losing record. That doesn’t bode well for a team that had Super Bowl ambitions after a divisional round loss to the Rams last year.
I think that influences the decision making of head coach Todd Bowles and his staff. A win against the Falcons and the team can improve their point difference, which is a good measure of the talent level in the league, secure a winning record and send the Bucs to the playoffs on a three-game winning streak.
The Falcons have fully embraced their rebuild and turned to rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder. Knight, for his part, looked like a rookie in every way who still has a lot to develop. The Bucs defense played well against the Falcons for three and a half minutes when the two teams last met. I expect the defense to play the entire match against Ridder and Co. will play just as well. a WL to put them at 16-3. The backups come in in the second half to prevent a Falcons comeback and the Bucs win a game that is closer than they need to be.
QUIPO’S GAME PREDICT: Bucs 23, Falcons 19
QUIPO’S SEASON RECORD: 11-5
#Bucs #Falcons #Pewter #Preview #Predictions