Date/Time: Sunday, Nov. 9, 1 p.m. ET
Both the Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have something to prove in 2014 after identical 4-12 seasons a year ago. Another similarity is the fact that both teams have more talent than their records showed.
It’s now, however, time to show that 4-12 seasons are something of the past.
The Bucs spent a truckload of money in free agency to bring in some names that will immediately impact the team. Cornerback Alterraun Verner, defensive end Michael Johnson, quarterback Josh McCown, offensive tackle Anthony Collins and center Evan Dietrich-Smith are some of the names that will help upgrade this roster.
The Bucs also have a new head coach in Lovie Smith and a new general manager in Jason Licht to help turn around this franchise.
The help Atlanta has received thus far has been in filling holes like guard Jon Asamoah and, to a certain extent, defensive end Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai, who could help the Falcons usher in more of a 3-4 look on defense.
The draft will be huge for both teams, as will getting back some key players from injury. But when it comes to this game in Tampa, just like last season, the Bucs should win. This time it’ll be closer, though.
Score Prediction: Tampa Bay 28, Atlanta 23
Last Meetings (2013):
Week 7: Atlanta 31, Tampa Bay 23 (Georgia Dome)
Week 11: Tampa Bay 41, Atlanta 28 (Raymond James Stadium)