Originally written November 25, 2012 on Grits Blitz:
  The 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are piecing together a much longer impressive streak than last season.  Remember when those silly pirates beat not only the Saints but the Falcons on their way to an impressive 4-2 record last year?  If you said, "very vaguely," then congrats, you are in my boat.  Problem was they never won a game after going 4-1 and weren't even competitive in the remaining 10 games.  That "youngry" team refused to tackle Michael Turner who rumbled for 172 yards and his 2nd best YPC of his Falcon career.   I do fear the muscle hamster.   Tampa is a completely different team from last year and will give our Falcons a tough day.  More after the jump.   Hey, remember how I was just talking about how the Bucs tackle as well as our secondary poorly?  Times have changed.  For the Bucs, not our secondary.  The Bucs shut it down when it comes to opponents run game.  They are 1st in run defense while the Falcons are 28th in run offense.  I think it would be most sensical to just have Matty Ice kneel down on run downs.  The Bucs front 7 is killing it.     Is Michael Turner anti-effective?  The Bucs run defense has nothing to do with Atlanta because we are 28th running the ball.  To that point, I've seen little to no difference between elite run defenses and terrible run defenses, if only the opposite outcome you would expect.  Michael Turner puts up 80 yards (5.7 YPC) against the #3 run defense and 15 yards (1.2 YPC) against the #32 run defense.  Weird, right?  Maybe Turner is anti-effective.  He could run for 500 yards on Sunday but I have to go with the odds and say he will disappoint me.   Doug Martin will likely own our souls.  And if you have Doug Martin in fantasy, or, sadly, played against Doug Martin, you know Muscle Hamster doesn't care he lost his two best offensive linemen and is now runing behind some mediocre guards.  Martin is averaging nearly 150 yards and a  touchdown his past four games and is likely ready to slice up our weak run defense.  Expect Mike Nolan to run more three defensive tackle alignments that worked so well at plugging the run against the Eagles and Cowboys.  Well, expect it if we are lucky.  We may see our base formation and Martin will easily reach 150 yards.   Fantasy football advice: start all Falcons pass catchers.  The game will be far more than running the ball.  At least it better be if we are going to win.  The Bucs are a very Bucs 32nd in pass defense.  Not to mention they traded away Aqib Talib and have Eric Wright nursing a leg injury.  The Falcons and their 4th ranked passing offense (just a few yards out from 2nd, FWIW) should carve up their terrible secondary and mediocre pass rushers.  At this point should be a given.  Roddy White and Julio Jones are some of the more physical wide receivers in the league and will likely get physical with these scrubby corners.  The bigger question is whether or not we can stop their passing attack.   Vincent Jackson is a monster.  Jackson has been a favorite of mine for years.  He has tight end size with kick returner speed and is tallying up an absolutely ridiculous 20.5 yards per catch this season.  With the help of Jackson, Josh Freeman is putting up some pretty nice stats with his ridiculous run game taking some heat off him.  Freeman is looking more comfortable at QB at looking much more like his sophomore season.     Josh Freeman has improved.  Brent Grimes used to be Freeman kryptonite, usually pulling away even well thrown balls for interceptions.  With Grimes out and Asante Samuel currently a game-time decision, Robert McClain and Dunta Robinson may have to step up against Vincent Jackson on the outside.  Atlanta will need a great game out of Jonathan Abraham against Donald Penn to get Freeman out of his comfort zone and get his timing off.   Expect a tough game.  Tampa is a very good team that will probably give us fits today.  I think if they can pass the ball effectively this game will get unnervingly close.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Antrel Rolle: Amukamara improved after losing virginity

High school football player dies after suffering head injury

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

10 most shocking developments so far in 2014 NFL season

WATCH: Matthew McConaughey gives pep talk to Longhorns

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Amukamara better after lost virginity?

H.S. player dies after suffering head injury

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.