The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in a must-win game. The Bucs are 5-6 and in the playoff race, and knocking off a division rival will be a crucial step towards actually winning that race. While a loss won't quite disqualify them from the playoffs, they'd have to be perfect the rest of the way and get lucky with other results around the NFC to sneak into the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons are still in position to grab one of the wild card spots but the euphoria from the start of the season has completely evaporated. Matt Ryan and company have won just one game since starting the season 5-0, and that one win came against the Tennessee Titans who have proven themselves to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Falcons are in free fall after losing the past four games and need to turn things around quickly, but they simply haven't played well enough to do so, instead finding novel ways to lose every week. Matt Ryan may even be the worst quarterback in the NFC South right now.
The Bucs beat the Falcons in the Georgia Dome earlier this season, though the overtime win happened mostly because the Falcons fumbled the ball twice with no provocation, and turned the ball over a total of four times. The Bucs got lucky then -- but they've turned into a better team, and the Falcons have instead regressed. Sunday's game will be a good test to see just how far both teams have come.
Here's everything you need to know to watch the game.
Nuts and bolts
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, November 6
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
TV: FOX (do you get the game?)
Announcers: Dick Stockton and David Diehl
Enemy blog: The Falcoholic