PFF Preview: Buccaneers @ Falcons, Week 3

Week 3 kicks off with a PFF Preview by Chris Phillips of an NFC South matchup between the Bucs and the Falcons.

| 3 years ago

PFF Preview: Buccaneers @ Falcons, Week 3

2014-Prev-WK03-TB@ATLThis Thursday evening the (1-1) Falcons welcome the (0-2) Buccaneers to Atlanta. Both teams are coming off losses with the Bucs being defeated in a very winnable game at home to the Rams and the Falcons struggling with the physical Bengals defense in Cincinnati.

Atlanta’s offensive line will be a group to watch in this game with their injuries at offensive tackle. Last year this unit ranked 30th in Pass Blocking Efficiency at 71%. They have improved a bit this year to 79.4%, but that still only has them 24th.

Tampa Bay’s only solid pass rusher so far has been Gerald McCoy with a +3.1 grade, though the Bucs could be playing without him (due to a hand injury), Adrian Clayborn (placed on IR), and free agent addition Michael Johnson. They’ll be looking for more of a rush from the likes of Clinton McDonald and Akeem Spence, but if the Falcons do neutralize the Tampa pressure it could make for a big offensive day.

Here are a few other notables.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Alterraun Verner Backed up his cornerback leading +4.1 overall grade with some great work in run support. His four stops in the run game and 7.3% stop percentage rank him second in terms of Run Stop Percentage for cornerbacks.

Josh McCown  Currently ranks 31st out of 35 quarterbacks with a -4.5 passing grade. He ranked ninth overall last year with a +16.0 passing grade.

Lavonte David  Has graded at +4.3 in the run game thus far due to his league leading 10 stops. His Run Stop Percentage of 16.4% ranks third out of all 4-3 outside linebackers.

Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan – In Week 1 his +5.7 passing grade was his best passing grade in over a year. Last week he struggled with a -1.7 pass grade and -0.7 overall evaluation. Even after last week’s game Ryan still has the top overall quarterback grade at +5.2.

Paul Soliai  His five stops in the run game ranks third out of defensive tackles. He has anchored the Falcons’ run defense and his +2.5 grade overall is exactly what the Falcons picked him up for.

Desmond Trufant  He’s averaging 16.8 Coverage Snaps Per Reception allowed and his +2.8 coverage grade ranks 10th.

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You can follow Chris on Twitter: @PFF_CPhillips


  • Chris

    I’m going to assume McCoy isn’t playing, and the Bucs are going to generate almost zero pressure on the Falcons below average line. With Matt Ryan having all day to throw, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a repeat performance of the Saints game in the opener. And we know the Bucs can’t keep pace with that kind of production.

    And speaking of the Bucs, they’ve lost at home to two teams using backup QBs. How are they going to fare traveling on a short week to face an offense that can put up 30+ easily?

    Bad teams usually need all the prep time they can get because they have to scheme to beat their opponent. As a result most bad teams really struggle on Thursday nights, especially teams with bad offenses like the Bucs.

    34-10 wouldn’t surprise me at all, but with the under usually hitting on TNF due to less prep time I’m gonna go with 27-10.

    • Marcus

      That was a pretty accurate assumption. I wonder if McCoy could have made that much of a difference, but then again he’s one of the best interior lineman in the league.

      • Chris

        The Falcons have a below average line and interior pressure is so much more disruptive for a QB. Wouldn’t have won the game for Tampa, as their offense is total crap, but at least they could’ve slowed the Falcons a bit and been competitive.