The Atlanta Falcons have allowed more yards than any team in the league and is the only team yet to register a sack. Looks like smooth sailing for their opponent on NFL Thursday Night Football. But wait--the Falcons opponent is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 35-year-old quarterback Josh McCown and the Bucs could be hard-pressed to take advantage of Atlanta's porous D. The (0-2) Bucs are the second-worst passing team in the NFL so far. And there's still time! They could still become the worst.
But the Buccaneers have run the football pretty well: fun-to-watch Bobby Rainey gained 144 yards in a 19-17 loss to the Rams last week. And the Matt Ryan-led Falcons offense ran like a brand new BMW in a week 1 victory against the Saints, 37-34. Then the Falcons managed only 10 points against the stingy Bengals at home. (That Paul Brown Stadium is a hard place to play.) The Thursday night Falcons v. Buccaneers is a conference game--the third in a row for Tampa Bay. If the Bucs don't win tonight, it's going to be a very long season. (It's just week 3, but three conference losses won't be easy to make up.) The Bucs sure would like to be at home. But they're not--the game's in Atlanta, where Ryan is far more comforable. The Falcons are giving 6.5 points in Las Vegas. The money has been moving the Falcons way too--the game opened with the Falcons just a 5.5 point favorite. New Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is already getting the pressure to unleash his weapons. Smith may know something others don't: that his team doesn't have them. 8:25 EST on CBS, Thursday night.
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