The Falcons have been en fuego lately, and that's started with their quarterback, Matt Ryan. "Matty Ice" has been flat-out nails this season, and especially during the Falcons' 5-game winning streak. During that run, Ryan has passed for 1300 yards and 10 TDs to only 1 interception.
A big secret to the Falcons’ success during this stretch has been superior protection of the football. The Falcons haven’t turned over the football in the past 4 games and, if the streak stretches to 5 games on Sunday, would set an NFL record for most consecutive games without a turnover.
A big part of Ryan’s productivity has been the protection that his veteran offensive line has provided him. Center Todd McClure, the veteran anchor of that line, has started in a team-record 139 consecutive games and leads a physical group of linemen who, collectively, have not missed a start this season. Tackles Sam Baker and Tyson Clabo have done an outstanding job protecting Ryan, as evidenced by the fact that the Falcons have allowed only 17 sacks this year, which ranks 6th-fewest in the NFL. They've also plowed the road for Michael Turner at an average of 4.4 yards per carry.
As such, much will be expected of the Bucs' defensive line on Sunday. They've managed to triple their sack total in the past 3 games. However, the Falcons have allowed only 4 sacks in the last 5 games, 2 of which came to premier pass rusher Terrell Suggs. It'll be a case of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object to some degree.
If the Bucs hope to win today, the former better have the better day.
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