Coming off a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Atlanta Falcons sit at 5-6 and are two spots away from a playoff seed. The Falcons have five wins for the first time since 2019.
Atlanta's next challenge won't come easy, as it faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Quarterback Tom Brady threw five touchdowns in a blowout victory, 48-25, against the Falcons in Week 2. Since then, Atlanta has won five out of its nine games.
"We're finding ways to win games," head coach Arthur Smith said. "We're 5-2 in one-possession games. That was a big thing here. You're trying to build a winning culture ... that's what we're trying to accomplish short term and long term."
The ESPN Football Power Index is giving the Buccaneers a 79.3% chance to win this Sunday. While the odds aren't in Atlanta's favor, running back Cordarrelle Patterson may be able to change that narrative.
The former Minnesota Vikings running back ran for 108 yards against Jacksonville last week and caught two passes for 27 yards against the New Orleans Saints in Week 3. Atlanta won both those games.
"Obviously, having CP [Patterson] back adds an element," Smith said. "He's a warrior. He's a big physical presence that can do a lot for us."
The NFL is a week-to-week league. The Jaguars beat the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Texans beat a hot Tennessee Titans team. Atlanta is a double-digit underdog, but anything can happen.
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FUN FACT: Falcons offensive assistant Danny Breyer was a former analytics assistant and defensive assistant for the Buccaneers from 2017-18.
RECORDS: Atlanta Falcons (5-6) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3)
ODDS: Tampa Bay is -10.5. Total is 50.
BETTING TREND: The Falcons are 5-6 against the spread.
GAME TIME: Sunday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m.
LOCATION: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
TV/RADIO: FOX/92.9 FM The Game
THE FINAL WORD: "I'm a big part of this offense. That's a no-brainer, man," Patterson said. "I mean, outside looking in, you can see that. Like I told you before, I love it here. I love when I'm out there on the field. I love competing. I love having fun."