ATLANTA FALCONS (9-1) at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-4) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)
Things are heating up in the NFC South. The Falcons own the NFC’s best record at 9-1 but the surging Buccaneers have won four in a row to improve to 6-4.
Atlanta’s defense held Arizona to 178 total net yards last week, including 41 net passing yards, in Atlanta’s 23-19 win. The
Falcons also registered a score on defense when defensive end JOHN ABRAHAM recorded a sack and forced a fumble which was returned 15 yards by defensive tackle JONATHAN BABINEAUX for a touchdown.
“It doesn’t matter how close the games are as long as we leave with a win,” says Babineaux. “This is the NFL. Teams know what type of team we are and we know we’re going to get their best shot.”
Tampa Bay rallied from an 11-point deficit to win 27-21 in overtime at Carolina last week. Quarterback JOSH FREEMAN threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver VINCENT JACKSON with 0:12 remaining in the fourth quarter and the duo connected on the ensuing two-point conversion to send the game to overtime. In the extra session, Tampa Bay marched down the field on its opening possession and scored the game-winning points on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Freeman to tight end DALLAS CLARK.
“With all the work we put in, these are the ones that really just show you if you believe and buy in, you’ll get the results that you want,” says Jackson.
Buccaneers rookie running back DOUG MARTIN, who leads the NFL with 1,319 scrimmage yards, rushed for 138 yards and added 23 receiving yards. He joined Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (1983) and EDGERRIN JAMES (1999) as the only rookies in NFL history to gain at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in a six-game span (1,019).
Source: NFL Media