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Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons - Week 13

 
 
 
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TB ATL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3) at Atlanta Falcons (5-6)

Week 13’s contest between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons pairs one team’s greatest weakness with the other’s strength. NFL coaches like to talk about the importance of establishing the run in order to win games, but that could wind up being difficult for Atlanta in this matchup.
 
The Falcons run game has been abysmal this year, ranking #29 in the league while averaging just 3.61 yards per carry. And not just in terms of efficiency, but also total yards, as they've managed just 82 yards per game on the ground, (#4-worst in football). The Falcons lack of a mobile quarterback has also been an issue. Quarterbacks average nearly 2 extra yards per carry over running backs, and that's how the most efficient teams often move the ball on the ground. But just 3.9% of the Falcons rushing attempts have come through their quarterback, #6-least in the league. Teams struggling to get the run game going can get creative and involve their wide receivers via jet sweeps and other types of misdirection (which tend to gain more yards than your typical running back handoff), but the Falcons haven’t done that, ranking just #32 in the league with 0.0% of their rush attempts going to wideouts.

The outlook for Atlanta may be gloomy this week, as the Buccaneers enter with the #3-best rush defense in the league, holding opponents to just 3.84 yards per carry. In terms of total yards, they check in at #1 and just 77 yards per game. Their run defense has been so potent in part because of their defensive tackles, which as a unit rank as the #5-best in terms of run-stopping.

Now, the run game is generally less important than the pass game, but both are important in order for a football team to thrive, and given how this matchup sets up, Atlanta may have to rely on their pass game in order to win. At the very least, though, we can say that Tampa Bay's defense has a decided advantage over them on the ground, which could make it easier for their coaching staff to game-plan for the Falcons.
 
Photo by Martha Asencio Rhine - Times
 
 
These two teams are divisional rivals. This rivalry should add extra significance to the game, and both teams are likely to be ultra motivated. The last time these two teams played each other was Week 2 in 2021. That game resulted in a road win for the Buccaneers with a final score of 31-27. This will be a back-to-back road game for the Buccaneers. The extra travel won't help the Buccaneers, and this could slightly upgrade the Falcons home field advantage.
 
This matchup has the #1 highest Game Total this week. Large Totals imply there will be a lot of scoring opportunities and also correlates to a lot of offensive yards. The Over has approximately 76% of the bets, but only 49% of the cash. Compared to all the other game action this week, the Over has the highest percentage of bets this week.
 
PROJECTION:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 33.48
Atlanta Falcons - 20.81

Win Probability:
TB 84% / ATL 16%
 
 
 
 
 
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