Falcons: The Buccaneers may be the cure
In Week 3 the Falcons left the Georgia Dome with a 2-1 record, after throttling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 42-point rout; how quickly things change. Since then the Falcons have dropped five straight games and now travel to Tampa Bay looking to regain control of their season.
Quarterback Matt Ryan is still grading well, +12.6 passing grade is seventh-best in the league, but since the Week 3 match-up with the Buccaneers his Deep Passing has suffered. Ryan started the season on fire; completing 10 of his 16 deep passes (passes that travel 20 yards or more) for 267 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. However from Week 4 onwards the Falcons have struggled to go deep, with Ryan completing just 7 of 22 deep passes for 156 yards, with zero touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
The struggles of the offensive line are an obvious factor in this, deep routes take longer to develop, yet time in the pocket has become rare for Ryan. The average time for a sack was 3.0 seconds in those first three games, but has dropped to 2.76 since.
If the line can give Ryan a little more time, then finding their deep ball groove against the 1-7 Buccaneers this week could turn the Falcons season around.