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Falcons vs. Buccaneers predictions

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football tonight, which means we need to make some predictions.

The Bucs actually beat the Falcons earlier this season in Atlanta, 31-24, but both teams have gone in slightly different directions since then. The 5-3 Falcons have grabbed hold of the division lead and don’t appear to be letting go, mostly because of their dominant offense, while the Bucs have struggled in almost every game since then.

The Bucs probably can’t stop the Falcons offense — holding them to 24 points in week one already involved quite a bit of luck — and they’ve struggled to put up points for weeks on end. Still, I’m hopeful they’ll at least be competitive, as these division games tend to be, and a win certainly isn’t out of the question.

Ultimately, though, I expect the Bucs to lose this one. They just won’t be able to keep up with the power of Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. I say this is a 31-24 loss, the score flipped from last game, and the Bucs will have to wait for a home win just a little longer.