NFL Capsule: Falcons at Buccaneers

Associated Press Published: November 21, 2012
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ATLANTA (9-1) At TAMPA BAY (6-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

OPENING LINE — Pick 'em

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Atlanta 6-4; Tampa Bay 7-2-1

SERIES RECORD — Buccaneers lead 19-18

AP PRO32 RANKING — Falcons No. 3; Buccaneers No. 12 (tie)

LAST MEETING — Falcons beat Buccaneers 45-24, Jan. 1, 2012

LAST WEEK — Falcons beat Cardinals 23-19; Buccaneers beat Panthers 27-21 OT

FALCONS OFFENSE — OVERALL (7), RUSH (28, PASS (3)

FALCONS DEFENSE — OVERALL (18), RUSH (26), PASS (10)

BUCCANEERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (10), RUSH (9), PASS (14)

BUCCANEERS DEFENSE — OVERALL (29), RUSH (1), PASS (32)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Although Tampa Bay holds narrow lead in all-time series between NFC South rivals, Atlanta has won six of past seven meetings and 6-2 against Bucs under coach Mike Smith. ... Both teams came from behind to win last week, with Falcons overcoming Matt Ryan's five interceptions against Arizona to improve to retain share of best record in NFL. Bucs rallied from 11-point deficit in final six minutes, then beat Panthers on Josh Freeman's third touchdown pass in overtime. ... Ryan has thrown for 1,579 yards, 13 TDs and two interceptions in five games against NFC South opponents. ... Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez 12 yards shy of becoming first tight end and eighth player overall with 14,000 career yards receiving. ... Michael Turner leads Atlanta in rushing with 575 yards, however Falcons 28th in league at 89.2 per game. ... Tampa Bay has league's stingiest run defense, allowing 81.8 yards per game. Flip side is Bucs last in pass defense, yielding 312.6 yards per game. ... Bucs have won four straight, five of six overall, to climb back into playoff contention. They've done it by scoring a league-high 205 points over past six weeks. ... Bucs WRs Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams rank first and second in NFC in yards per catch at 20.5 and 17.6, respectively. ... Rookie RB Doug Martin has been big part of Tampa Bay's turnaround, too. He leads NFL in total yards from scrimmage with 1,319 — 1,000 rushing and 319 receiving. Former Boise State standout has 1,019 yards from scrimmage over past six weeks, joining Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James as only rookie to gain 1,000-plus yards in six-game span.

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