One of the most anticipated Week 12 games features an NFC South showdown between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
An Atlanta victory and they would be one step closer to clinching the division. A Tampa Bay victory, however, and the race would be back on.
Both teams have played well this season, but Tampa Bay has arguably been the better team of late, winning four straight games.
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for this NFC South showdown.
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
When: Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL DirecTV
Betting Line: Tampa Bay (+1), according to Covers
Atlanta Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
|DE John Abraham||Back|
|DT Jonathan Babineaux||Thigh|
|WR Kevin Cone||Groin|
|WR Harry Douglas||Ankle|
|TE Tony Gonzalez||Shoulder|
|WR Julio Jones||Ankle|
|S Charles Mitchell||Calf|
|LB Stephen Nicholas||Groin|
|LB Mike Peterson||Foot|
|DB Asante Samuel||Shoulder|
|RB Michael Turner||Groin|
|DT Vance Walker||
|LB Sean Weatherspoon||Ankle|
Tampa Bay Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
|WR Arrelious Benn||Shoulder|
|DE Michael Bennett||Shoulder|
|S Cody Grimm||Hamstring|
|T Jamon Meredith||Ankle|
|CB Eric Wright||Achilles|
|C Jeremy Zuttah||Shoulder|
What's at Stake?
Atlanta is close to sealing the deal in the NFC South, and with a victory over the Buccaneers this Sunday they would take one giant step towards that goal.
Tampa Bay is one of the hottest teams in the NFL and they are looking at a glorious opportunity to make some ground on the division leader.
With both teams having plenty to play for, this game is one of the more anticipated contests of Week 12.
Julio Jones, Atlanta WR
Against the league's worst pass defense, starting Julio Jones makes sense if he is healthy enough to participate. As of right now, he is questionable with an ankle injury.
Jones hasn't played well in recent weeks, posting seven receptions and no touchdowns in the past two games. Jones hasn't scored a touchdown since Oct. 28 against the Eagles.
Nevertheless, he is a great fantasy option this week (if healthy) because Tampa Bay's pass defense is atrocious.
Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay TE
Dallas Clark used to be the best pass catching tight end in the NFL. He may not be that type of player anymore but he's capable of making some big time plays like we saw this past Sunday.
Clark has only caught three touchdown passes this year but he's coming off the best statistical performance of the season posting seven receptions, 58 yards and a touchdown.
His 11 targets were the most targets he received all season.
With Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin tearing it up on the perimeter and on the ground, it leaves the door wide open in the middle of the field, and Clark has and will continue to be the beneficiary.
What They Are Saying
Tampa Bay's official Twitter feed realizes what's at stake this Sunday as the season dwindles to a close.
Bucs bring a 4-game win streak (and 5 of last 6) into this big divisional game. A win would pull them within 2 of the Falcons with 5 to go.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) November 19, 2012
This game means a lot to both teams but more specifically to Tampa Bay. Atlanta can go 2-4 in the final six games and still clinch a playoff berth, but the Buccaneers need to tally up victories to stay in the wild-card hunt.
With a game at Atlanta at the end of the season, Tampa Bay must make up some ground at home this Sunday.
Key Matchup: Atlanta's offense vs. Tampa Bay's defense
Tampa Bay defends the rush better than any team in the league. However, Atlanta does most of its work through the air which is the major downfall of the Buccaneers' defense.
For Tampa Bay to have any chance whatsoever, they must be able to play better than its No. 32 ranked pass defense.
Matt Ryan is coming off one of the worst quarterback performances of the year where he threw five interceptions against the Cardinals. He will be looking for a bounce back performance this week against the league's worst pass defense, and he most certainly has the talent around him to do major damage.
Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez have combined for 173 receptions, 2,332 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Ryan is great but the weapons at his disposal make him that much greater.
Tampa Bay will need one of its better performances of the season on the defensive side of the ball to escape with a victory.
Tampa Bay is one of the hottest teams in all of football, and Atlanta hasn't been playing particular well of late.
They haven't played a difficult schedule thus far, either. Atlanta has only defeated two teams with a .500 or better record this season and that's counting Dallas who is 5-5.
The Falcons are a solid team in 2012 but they are much more vulnerable than people think.
Tampa Bay 31, Atlanta 28