Will The Atlanta Falcons Stay Motivated Against The Buccaneers?
With nothing on the line for the Atlanta Falcons in today’s match-up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will they be able to stay motivated? BetDSI Sportsbook line showing the Atlanta Falcons as only slight favorites over the Buccaneers shows that the concern is a valid one. Atlanta head coach Mike Smith had this to say about the prospect of resting his starters “ We’re going to play the game to win. We are not going to do anything like we did last time. “. This would lead us to believe he will in fact play his starters throughout the game in hopes of bringing momentum into the playoffs.
The Atlanta Falcons at 13-3 thus far this season have clinched the first seed in the NFC locking up home-field advantage through the playoffs. They have not let up one bit with their foot on the throttle going 4-1 in their last fives games they should look to close out the season on a high note and play their starters as noted above.
Last week the Falcons took to the road to pummel the Detroit Lions 31-18. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan continued his impressive season going 25/32 for 279 yards and four touchdowns. The running game has slowed down some with Michael Turner, but he is still a bowling ball of a running back and along with being near impossible to stop in the red zone can pick it up on any given day and give a defense fits.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a disappointing season despite showing improvements with a record of 6-9 under first year and most hated coach in the league (probably due to this bush league attempts of getting to the football during opponents kneel down plays) Greg Schiano. Tampa Bay could have made a solid case to be in the playoffs had they of not lost their last 5 games consecutively
However most importantly QB Josh Freeman has improved dramatically from last season and if you take away his past two games where he had a total of 8 interceptions he would at this time have 25 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions for the 2012 season. Last week against the Rams in a 28-13 loss Freeman’s inability to get much going and throwing 4 interceptions one returned for a touchdown was a major reason for the loss.
With the way Josh Freeman has been playing terribly towards the end of this season, and the huge slump his team has been on coupled with the fact the Atlanta Falcons have been unrelenting in their regular season dominance, I have to take the Atlanta Falcons -3 ½ points over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.