By Matthew Asher
With all the issues the Atlanta Falcons have had to put up with in the first six weeks of the season, it appears as though the football gods have finally decided to show them a small amount of mercy. Now that their much-needed bye week has come and gone, Atlanta returns to the Georgia Dome where they will take on the 0-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bucs on Offense
Contrary to advice from Thumper’s mother in Bambie, there’s no nice way to say this but it has to be said: Tampa Bay’s offense is terrible. Even without the Josh Freeman trade saga, Tampa Bay ranks as one of the least efficient teams regarding their offensive numbers.
The Buccaneers 12.8 points scored per game and their 290 yards of total offense each week are the second worst in the league. The 190.8 passing yards per game rank as the absolute worst in the NFL. The only saving grace for Tampa Bay is their rushing attack. The 99.2 yards they put up each game is better than their air attack, but only by comparison as it still ranks in the bottom 10 averages this season.
Signal Caller Switch
Now that Freeman is in Minnesota, Mike Glennon has taken over as the Bucs signal caller. He’s completed 50 of his 86 attempts for 466 yards with three touchdowns and interceptions apiece for a quarterback rating of 70.2. For the receiving corps, the only standout for Tampa Bay has been Vincent Jackson. He’s caught 26 passes for 406 yards and two touchdowns. He’s currently the only Buccaneer to record more than 20 receptions and more than 200 receiving yards.
The Muscle Hamster, Doug Martin, has done a respectable job of running the ball. Martin has rushed 116 times for 409 yards and one touchdown. Nobody else on the current roster has run more than five times or gained more than 25 rushing yards.
Bucs on Defense
On defense Tampa’s numbers are much better than their offensive stats, but none of them are really eye-catching. The Buccaneers best defensive statistic is the most important one: points surrendered. Currently allowing just 20.2 points a game, they have the 10th best scoring defense in the NFL.
As far as yards surrendered go, Tampa is in the middle of the pack. Their 350.8 total yards and 247.8 yards through the air allowed are both the 17th most in the league. Their 103 rushing yards given up each game are the 13th least allowed. The final important statistic to note is turnovers. Tampa is currently at a plus-zero which is better than Atlanta’s negative-two turnover ratio.
Kickoff for this game is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST. #RiseUp
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.