clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buccaneers-Falcons: Monday night football preview

The Bucs and Falcons play on tonight’s edition of Monday Night Football.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have three games left to save their coaches’ jobs, and that starts tonight against the Atlanta Falcons. Fitting, because the main two people potentially on the chopping block are Mike Smith and Dirk Koetter, who both spent time as coaches on the Falcons’ staff.

Can they save their jobs tonight? Let’s go to thre preview.

Reviewing the Falcons’ last four games:

Atl 34, Sea 31 W

TB 20, Atl 34 W

Min 14, Atl 9 L

NO 17, Atl 20 W

It seems the Falcons have found their groove after a 3-game losing streak at the beginning of the season. After that losing streak, the Falcons have a 5 – 2 winning record. Included in that winning set is a Bucs beat down delivered by the Falcons offense. The Bucs used their red sails and pretended to play matador for the Falcons’ offense – just letting them pass right through us.

Falcons Defense

Pass Advantage: Bucs

Rush Advantage: Falcons

Points Advantage: Falcons

While the Bucs are a passing team, it results in very little scoring. Recently, the Bucs have found an offensive line that fits one of their running backs to establish a run game. Peyton Barber’s north-south running style fits the make shift new offensive line set up. It is a power running scheme more than a zone blocking scheme, which Martin excels in. I just hope Licht does not see this improvement and once again state the offensive line is good enough like last year, but I digress

Game plan: Do not get into a shootout with the Falcons. Limit Atlanta’s scoring and you improve your chances of winning; we do that by cutting the game down with the run game.

Bucs Defense

Pass Advantage: Falcons

Rush Advantage: Falcons

Points Advantage: Falcons

Tampa has no advantage defensively. Now, permit me to introduce who will not be available on Monday night: DT Gerald McCoy and LB Lavonte David. Those two players are the Bucs best two defensive players! McCoy has always been a Pro Bowl beast and David has 5 forced fumbled and 5 fumble recoveries this year alone.

You thought getting beat down in Atlanta was messy, this looks like the Bucs are going into a gun fight with only a sword in hand. Ahem, a dagger really, not much of a saber. Will DC Mike Smith be able to adapt while missing an arm and a leg? Can Mike Smith make the defense believe missing McCoy and LVD are simply flesh wounds? Or make believe a European swallow can carry a one pound coconut?


Monday Night football is a huge event. Winston falters in emphasized football games by the league for the nation to see.

The defense is missing two prominent playmakers. The prognosis looks to be very damning.

Is there a bright spot at all going into Monday Night Football? Yes. The Bucs are surprising stingy when playing at home. In the six home games played, the Bucs’ were able to hold opposing offenses to an average of 16.7 points per game.

Mentality for watching Monday Night football should not be expecting a win, but rather breaking down the game into individual drives. Can the Bucs win more drives on both sides of the ball and make the game competitive? In the last meeting with the Falcons, the Bucs’ offense went 2 – 5 in the Red Zone. With a new found running game and going 3 – 3 in the Red Zone last week against Detroit, can the Bucs resemble its moniker to steal away a win? Tune in Monday night with the rest of the nation, along with Bucs ownership, the Glazers.

“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!”