A Falcoholic QA: Eric Schmidt

Those of you who have been listening to the weekly NFC South Report should know this fellow already. Eric's a blogger covering all sorts of sports topics and teams, but most notably, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You can catch his prolific amount of work over at Rant Sports and can follow him on twitter at the user name bucco40.

Follow the jump for the fun!

The Falcoholic: What do you believe will be the Bucs D's key for success against the Falcons offense?

Eric Schmidt: Well the keys are going to be the same as in any NFL game, Limit the big plays and stop the run. Enough of the cliches though, if the Buccaneers continue to play strong against the run as they have in the past few weeks with Michael Turner in the backfield, they have a pretty good chance in this weeks game. Tampa's pass defense has been solid this season. Aqib Talib will likely be on Roddy White, but the loss of rookie S Cody Grimm in the secondary is going to be a big loss for the Bucs.

TF: What matchup, Bucs O to Falcons D, do you like the best?

ES:  I like the Bucs chances throwing against the 27th ranked pass defense of the Falcons. Josh Freeman has proven he isn't turning the ball over as he did last season. I look for Mike Williams to have a score. And Arrelious Benn to play a factor in the receiving game as well. TE Kellen Winslow has not been much of a factor for the Bucs this season, but he could get some key catches underneath.

TF: Besides Freeman, who should the Falcons fear the most from the Bucs' offense?

ES: LeGarrette Blount. Blount's failed touchdown attempt in Atlanta prevented the Bucs from winning in the Gerogia Dome 4 weeks ago. Blount was an incredible pickup for the Buccaneers and the way that the Buccaneers are using Carnell Williams and Blount in the running game is fantastic. If the Bucs don't have to play from behind, and can feed the ball to Blount 25 times a game, he just wears down a defense. 6 feet and 255 pounds of a running back that simply runs over people.

TF: For which team would this be a more important win; Falcons or Bucs?

ES: Of course this game is much more important to the Buccaneers. The Bucs are already 2 games back from the Falcons in divisional standings and have lost head to head once already. Tampa Bay needs to win this game in order to stay in the playoff hunt. Atlanta has two games against Carolina and a home game against the Saints on December 27th. The NFC South divisional title is theirs to lose.

TF: If the Bucs lose this game, do they make the playoffs?

ES: Bucs in the playoffs? Playoffs? I feel like Jim Mora in a Coors Light advertisement. I've followed this team since their creation in 1976. I predicted that they would finish this season 6-10, possibly 7-9 and now just as they have for the past 30 plus years, they continue to surprise me. Coming off a 3-13 season, I didn't think there would be any Buccaneers discussion this late in the season. In order to make the playoffs, I feel the Bucs have to win four of their last five games, one game against a divisional opponent. I really don't think a 10-6 record in the NFC is going to be an automatic playoff berth this season with teams like the Giants and Packers hanging around and the Saints above the Bucs in the standings.
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