Falcons 3 - Bucs 2
For the last two weeks, I've predicted blowouts and been burned badly, so I'm done with that nonsense. The Bucs are going to be a tough challenge. Doug Martin has had somewhat of a career revival over the past few weeks and he could be the difference in this game. I still think Winston can be beaten through his own mistakes, but the Falcons must play a more efficient game on offense than they have in several weeks if they're going to win comfortably.
Falcons 30 - Bucs 21
Tampa Bay had their way with Washington in the first half last week, but completely collapsed in the second. The Bucs will come out mad and will try to spoil Atlanta's day, and with the Falcons in a sort of funk, this game could be close. Ultimately, I expect the better team to win here, but Atlanta has kept it too close for comfort these past several weeks. If we're to right this ship soon, it should be this week with Tampa allowing the most points per game (29.8) in the NFL.
Falcons 24 - Bucs 21
Some of you may scoff at the close score, but I'm done predicting blow-outs until I see a consistent effort out of our team. I do think we put up more points, due to being at home, but I think the Bucs are more of a challenge than people are going to give them credit for. Even with a rookie at QB, they have some formidable weapons in Doug Martin and Mike Evans. While I think the Falcons offense improves somewhat, I think the bigger improvements won't hit until after the bye week. Falcons win, but fan frustrations may continue.
Falcons 35 - Bucs 27
I wanted to follow in The DW's shoeprints and be a little more conservative, but man, this lines up so well for the Falcons. At home, facing a Buccaneers team fresh off a demoralizing loss, and a Buccaneers team that could very well be missing its best tight end and second best receiver. There will be some close moments and aggravating failures in this one, I have no doubt, but I say Atlanta starts to get back on track and wins this one by more than a touchdown.
Falcons 27 - Bucs 15
Obviously our predictions around here have been wr... wro... showing room for improvement. Maybe we should stop predicting blowing out lesser teams, and base the Falcons off of their last three games instead of their first four games. Time to adjust my predictions against... oh, Tampa Bay? Is two touchdowns conservative enough? If I have to decide between Lovie Smith competently coaching a game or the Falcons bouncing back, the latter seems way more likely.
Falcons 31, Bucs 10
What? You thought I'd back off from predicting a blowout? Not a chance. The Falcons need to get the passing game going again, and what better opponent to do that against than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that lost last week's game after leading 24-0. Oh, and if you recall, the last time the Bucs came into the Georgia Dome, they were embarrassed in a 56-14 drubbing. Maybe that won't happen this time around, but the Falcons should still take care of business at home.
Falcons 27, Bucs 17
With Vincent Jackson out, Tampa Bay won't be able to throw downfield very often. A run-first approach seems likely, especially with William Moore sidelined this weekend. It's rare to see Matt Ryan struggle against Tampa Bay, let alone struggle for multiple games. This should be a good opportunity for him to bounce back and play mistake-free football. Doug Martin and Mike Evans should cause problems, but the lack of other options could make it a long day for Jameis Winston. It won't be over by the second quarter like last year, but it shouldn't take another fourth quarter comeback.