The Buccaneers are not the only team that's shocking people with their surprising success this year, but they're the first one I'll be showcasing in this article. This young team is overachieving behind the play of quarterback Josh Freeman and rookie wide receiver Mike Williams. Williams has caught 32 passes from Freeman for 470 yards and four TDs. On top of that, Freeman has only thrown three TDs in eight games.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bucs have no real outstanding stats with the exception of one—they've forced 18 turnovers, 14 from interceptions. Teams that win the turnover battle generally win games.
When you look at the Falcons, they have the sixth-ranked offense in the league. Matt Ryan is doing enough to win games with out looking too spectacular, while running backs Michael Turner and Jason Snelling spearhead the leagues fifth-rated running game.
On defense, the Falcons are only really showing up against the run. This doesn't mean much in this game, as the Bucs aren't really a running team. Their also having trouble keeping leads, and they almost had an epic collapse two weeks ago against the Bengals. The Falcons led 24-3 at halftime, but they let the Bengals take the lead in the fourth quarter before finally winning the game.
The only teams that the Buccaneers have lost to are the Steelers and the defending champion Saints, and after Sunday I suspect this will still be the case.
Buccaneers 20, Falcons 17