FINAL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22, Atlanta Falcons 17
Atlanta (13-2) clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs last week in Detroit. Sunday's game has zero playoff implications for either team. With that said, it will be interesting to see how long Atlanta's starters stay on the field throughout the day.
According to a post by D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Falcons plan on playing the game "to win."
If the Falcons do win, they will tie the franchise record for a regular-season record at 14-2 (1998). While that mark may be nice, Smith will undoubtedly consider the potential for injury through the course of the game. If Atlanta gets up big, starters might start to file out. To this point in the year, not a single player on the Falcons roster has thrown a pass but Matt Ryan.
That could change Sunday.
A win by the Buccaneers would snap a five-game losing streak that sent them tumbling out of the NFC playoff picture. There's no doubt this will be a frustrated bunch of Bucs.
Tampa Bay has no notable injuries, with Dallas Clark expected to play. Atlanta will surely sit Roddy White and William Moore to avoid further injury. Both White and Moore should be completely healthy for the Falcons' first playoff game in a few weeks.