How the Atlanta Falcons' defense matches up with the Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs' offense
The Atlanta Falcons have some new competition on the playground, and they go by the name of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While Tamap was often competitive with Jameis Winston, the acquisitions made by the Bucs this offseason have elevated expectations.
The Bucs have had one of the more eventful offseasons in NFL history so far, signing one of the best quarterbacks in the game, Tom Brady and bringing future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement. Sadly for the Falcons, they now have to see him twice this year.
This will definitely be a battle of the offenses, but the question is who will come out on top?
We all know what Brady is capable of, but we’ve never seen him with this amount of talent to utilize. Yes he’s played with the likes of players such Randy Moss and Julian Edelman, but as far as a collective group, this may have be the most well rounded core he's had.
Mike Evans has solidified himself as a top receiver in the league for the Bucs. Chris Godwin had a breakout year last season and took the pressure off of Evans, and finished with 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns.
Gronk and Brady’s chemistry was unmatched during their time in New England, and if they’re able to reinvent that magic, it could be a problem for opposing teams. The club also has former first-round pick O.J. Howard in the fold at the tight end position.
One of the Tampa's weak spots on offense may be their running game. Ronald Jones is a capable back, but hasn't been a game changer with the ball in his hands to this point.
The real question is if the Falcons have enough firepower on defense to contain this offense. A.J. Terrell, Kendall Sheffield and Isaiah OIiver have to be on their game to cover Evans and Godwin. For matchup purposes, the Falcons may decide to put Oliver on Evans due to size, and Terrell on Godwin to match his speed.
It all starts in the trenches, and if the Falcons defensive line can get to Brady and make him uncomfortable in the pocket, they will have a chance to win. Brady plays at his highest level when he’s not bothered, which is why the Bucs invested in their line this offseason as well.
Deion Jones and Foye Oluokun will have a challenge containing Gronk if he’s anything like the player he was before retiring. The Falcons could use Keanu Neal in these situations against Gronk with his strength and physicality.
Both games could possibly come down to the wire, but if it comes down to Brady having the ball last, the Falcons may be in trouble.