By Kevin Knight
The Falcons (1-4) take on the Buccaneers (2-2) on Sunday in what is a must-win game if Atlanta wants to keep any hope at a miraculous playoff run alive. For once, things actually appear to be favorable for the Falcons: Tampa Bay has been struggling mightily on defense, and they are going through a bit of a QB controversy after Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for Jameis Winston. Hopefully, Atlanta can turn all that into a victory in Week 6—but those have been extremely hard to come by in 2018.
Let’s take a closer look at how the Falcons and Bucs compare statistically on offense and defense.
The Falcons offense took a significant hit in Week 5, dropping to the fringe of the top 10 in most statistics. Atlanta is T-9th in total points, 9th in total yards, and 6th in yards per play. In the passing game, the team is 6th in yards, 6th in yards per attempt, and T-8th in passing TDs. On the ground, the Falcons have struggled since that great Week 5 performance: they’re currently 26th in yards, T-22nd in yards per carry, and T-4th in rushing TDs. Atlanta has been great on third down, with a 47% success rate that ranks 2nd in the NFL. They’re also protecting the football well, with a +2 turnover margin through five games (good for...