By Dave Choate
The Atlanta Falcons should be able to throw all over Tampa Bay. That would be true if the Falcons were not at full strength and Tampa Bay was, but because the situation is quite nearly the opposite, this one has the potential to look utterly outlandish.
As of the moment, Tampa Bay’s top cornerbacks are Brent Grimes (who is allowing opposing quarterbacks a perfect passer rating), Carlton Davis (who is hurt), and unproven options in Ryan Smith and M.J. Stewart. Nominal fifth cornerback Marcus Williams is also hurt. This group is neither great nor fully healthy, though Davis, Smith and Stewart all have legitimate upside.
We’ve seen Julio Jones eat with lesser options around him than he has now against Tampa Bay, and that was against a slightly more inspiring group of Buccaneers corners. Add in some shakiness at safety, the addition of Calvin Ridley, and Tampa Bay’s lack of a pass rush and you have a recipe for a game that I hope will wash away a little bit of the stink left by the last three weeks.
The Falcons need to right the ship after putting up just 17 points against Pittsburgh. The good news is that they couldn’t be walking into a much better matchup for it....