TAMPA, Fla. — After a closer-than-expected win in Week 1 of the NFL regular season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get a needed reprieve this week when the Atlanta Falcons come to Raymond James Stadium for a Sunday afternoon game.
But, with the game still days away, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady got in some early needling of the Falcons this week when the clock behind him on a social media post read 3:28. The significance of that being 28-3 was the score of Super Bowl LI late in the third quarter before Brady led the New England Patriots on the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to beat the Falcons, 34-28 in overtime. It's a game and score that still haunts Falcons fans to this day.
And speaking of the GOAT, Brady has seriously owned the Falcons over the years. The future Hall of Fame quarterback is 8-0 against the Falcons in his career, including the Super Bowl LI victory. It also included a sweep in 2020 of the Falcons where Tampa Bay outscored Atlanta 75-54.
On the side of the field, the Falcons gave up 127 rushing yards to the Bucs in Week 17 of 2020 and gave up 173 rushing yards in Week 1 against a bad Philadelphia Eagles running game. The Falcons defense also surrendered 264 passing yards and three passing touchdowns to the Eagles in their 32-6 shellacking by Philly.
Now, the Falcons will get the challenge of trying to slow down Brady and the Bucs. Brady lit up the Dallas Cowboys secondary for 379 yards and four touchdowns in Tampa's Week 1 victory. But, the Bucs could muster just 52 yards on the ground and the team will need to get the running game going as the season goes forward.
The Bucs could also use a shot in the arm stopping the pass. Tampa Bay's secondary was demolished by Dak Prescott and after one week, the Bucs are 31st out of 32 teams in passing yards allowed, giving up 391 yards and three touchdowns.
One area the Bucs do have a distinct advantage is along the defensive line. Tampa Bay's line led by Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, and others is one of the best in the league at stuffing the run. Last season, the Buccaneers defense was number one against the run and they picked right up where they left off in Week 1 by shutting down Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys. Going against Atlanta's struggling offensive line should be just what the coaches ordered for Tampa's defense.
Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.
Location: Raymond James Stadium
Streaming: Yahoo Sports, Buccaneers official app, Buccaneers.com
Weather: Partly Cloudy, highs in the upper 80s