Publish date:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons: Bold Predictions

Bold predictions are back for another run.

After a successful Week 1, yours truly is back to provide another round of bold predictions for this week's matchup between the Buccaneers and the Falcons.

Who shows up and shows out in the biggest of ways? Let's dive in and find out.

5. Jamel Dean records 2+ interceptions

Dean is a hot topic these days thanks to his underwhelming play against Dallas and Sean Murphy-Bunting's elbow injury. Dean is now the Bucs' No. 2 corner with Murphy-Bunting out of the lineup, which means he will be on the outside opposite Carlton Davis III most of the time.

Something tells me that Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense are going to target Dean early and often in this game. And he'll make them pay by picking off at least two passes. 

An increase in snaps equals an increase in opportunity and Dean will make the most of his on Sunday. He's never had more than two interceptions in a single season during his young career, but he'll notch two against the Falcons.

4. Tampa Bay evens out its turnover margin

The Bucs are currently (-3) when it comes to turnover margin, but that will change this week. 

It's simple: The Buccaneers defense will overmatch the Falcons offense and create at least three turnovers while simultaneously avoid committing any turnovers on offense. 

It's a 2-4-1 bold prediction! What can possibly be better than this?!

3. The Bucs defense matches or surpasses their 2020 high for sacks in a single game

The Falcons' offensive line is not good outside of left tackle Jake Matthews. The interior is especially bad, which does not bode well for this game, at all. 

That's because the Bucs have one of the more dominant nose tackles in the game in Vita Vea and they also have interior defensive linemen named Ndamukong Suh and Will Gholston. When you triple that with Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul crashing the edges and Lavonte David and Devin White stunting/blitzing the A gap, it's clear why this will happen.

Vea and Suh will eat up the inside blocks, leaving Barrett and JPP with 1-v-1s on the outside. You can't double both Vea and Suh, either, so one of them will see 1-v-1s throughout the game, as well. 

There are going to be 1-v-1 matchups to exploit all day long. And if the Falcons decide to leave a tight end in to chip, well, that will affect the rhythm of the passing game to an extent. 

The Bucs notched six sacks in two games last year, which is what they'll match or surpass this weekend. 

Shaquil Barrett has had a lot of success against the Falcons over the last couple of years.

Shaquil Barrett has had a lot of success against the Falcons over the last couple of years.

2. Lavonte David records 10+ tackles, at least one sack, and at least one interception

David had a quiet, yet effective game against the Cowboys. He finished with 11 total tackles, one quarterback hit and a pass deflection.

He will be needed this week in a big way. Arthur Smith's offense involves a ton of zone runs and play-action over the middle. Per Sports Info Solutions, the Titans finished with the ninth- and sixth-most dropbacks involving play-action over the middle during Smith's two years as offensive coordinator. The Falcons are currently tied for the 11th-most dropbacks after one week.

The zone runs and the PA over the middle is exactly what David was made to defend. His sideline-to-sideline speed as well as his coverage abilities will allow him to fly around and make plays all day long, thus resulting in a Triple Crown-type performance for the veteran linebacker.

1. Antonio Brown has another big day

I really, really want to put Mike Evans here. I do think Evans has a nice day against this secondary, but Brown will have an even better one. 

Atlanta has a very good, up-and-coming corner in A.J. Terrell, but Fabian Moreau is still a work in progress. The Falcons don't shadow receivers, so Brown will likely see both but with a bit more Terrell. But he'll have success no matter who is on him.

Brown appears to be the Bucs deep threat after Week 1, but he's also effective in the screen game and in the intermediate areas of the field. The Bucs should attack the Falcons defense in both areas in order to offset Dean Pees' defense. This gives Brown another advantage.

In all, Brown goes on to record his second straight game with 120 receiving yards or more - something he hasn't done in the same season since November 2017

Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and other NFL news and analysis. Follow along on social media at @SIBuccaneers on Twitter and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.