Buccaneers - Falcons Preview: Three Key Matchups on Offense

Here are my three key matchups on offense.

Davin Joseph vs Jonathan Babineaux

Davin Joseph has just been named a Pro Bowler, and he'll get the chance to prove his status this Sunday when he goes up against Jonathan Babineaux. The big defensive tackle is one of the more underrated defensive linemen in the NFL, but he's both disruptive against the pass and stout against the run - hard to move, and a key part of Atlanta's strong run defense.

If the Bucs want to win, Davin Joseph needs to move Jonathan Babineaux in the run game and keep him from getting to Josh Freeman in pass protection. That won't be an easy assignment, but the second-time Pro Bowler has had a good season, and he should be up to the task.

Legarrette Blount vs fumbles and vision

The Bucs need to find a way to get Legarrette Blount going. He must be the foundation of this offense, especially with Arrelious Benn likely out, which will limit the Bucs in the passing game. Of course, for Blount to be the basis of this offense he must find a way to hang on to the ball, and he needs to run downhill, with power through the right holes.

Blount hasn't managed to do either recently. Fumbles found him on the bench for the entire first half at Carolina, while he hasn't had a truly productive game since week 11 against the Tennessee Titans. Can the Bucs back finally snap out of it, hold on to the ball and hit his holes with conviction?

Josh Freeman vs Brent Grimes

It's not clear whether Grimes will play on Sunday, but if he does, Josh Freeman would do well to avoid the undersized cornerback. Grimes has repeatedly picked off Freeman's passes and has turned into his own personal menace. Combine that with Freeman's turnover-heavy season, and throwing in Grimes' direction sounds like a recipe for disaster.

But the Bucs can't completely ignore one half of the field, and Freeman will have to pick on Grimes at some point during the game. The results of that matchup could very well decide the game.

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