The Falcons meet with the division leading, and defending Super Bowl champion, Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the second and final time this season, looking to break a losing streak in the head-to-head matchup and to thrust themselves into the NFC’s playoff picture.
This is a rivalry which could not possibly be any closer, from a historic head-to-head perspective. Tampa Bay won the matchup in Week 2, and that tied the all time series at 28-28.
The Bucs have now won three consecutive meetings, which is their longest winning streak against Atlanta since they swept the Birds in 2015 and then won the season opener in 2016. The Falcons bounced back with five consecutive wins against Tampa right after that, and will hope for a repeat of that good fortune this time around.
This is the fifth separate time in which Tampa has beaten the Falcons in three consecutive meetings. That’s tied for the second most successful string of games the Bucs have enjoyed at Atlanta’s expense. The most successful run came between 1997-2003, when they won six straight games.
If the Bucs win this game, they will take over the series lead for the first time since the Falcons tied the series at 24-24 with a 2017 sweep.
Tampa Bay’s most lopsided win in the series was a 48-10 victory in 1987. Dave Archer and Scott Campbell were Atlanta’s quarterbacks in that game; they combined for a statline of 14-33, 171 passing yards, one touchdown (thrown by Campbell) and two interceptions (both thrown by Archer). The Bucs, meanwhile, were led by Steve DeBerg, who threw for 333 passing yards and five touchdowns.
Atlanta’s most lopsided win came on Thursday Night Football in 2014, and was by a score of 56-14. Devin Hester broke Deion Sanders’ record for most career return touchdowns on this night. The Falcons led 56-0 after three quarters before calling off the dogs. Matt Ryan registered a 155.9 passer rating, throwing for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Mike Glennon and Josh McCown were Tampa’s QBs.
The Falcons met the Bucs in Tampa Bay in Week 2 of this season, and it was a game that nobody expected them to win.
The Bucs got off to a 21-7 lead late in the first half, and took a 21-10 advantage into the break. Rob Gronkowski terrorized the Falcons with two touchdown catches to open the game.
The Falcons, behind the heroics of Cordarrelle Patterson, fought back to make it a 28-25 game in the fourth quarter. Patterson had two touchdowns, and tallied 69 yards from scrimmage.
Tom Brady was masterful, however, throwing for five touchdowns against zero interceptions against Atlanta’s overmatched defense. It was the Tampa defense which put the game away, however, behind two Mike Edwards pic 6s in the fourth quarter to take the decisive 48-25 lead and to secure the win.
The Falcons fell to 0-2, and the Bucs started the campaign out 2-0. Tampa is still leading the division, while the Falcons are still looking to get themselves above .500. It’ll help if they can get back to .500 tomorrow.