NFC South Notebook: Buccaneers cast doubt on Falcons winning again in 2019

Dave Holcomb

Taking a quick look at the second half of the Atlanta Falcons' 2019 schedule, there aren't many games fans can circle as a win. Of the five opponents remaining on the slate, only one entered Week 9 with a losing record.

That would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Like all of their division opponents, the Falcons face the Buccaneers twice in the second half of 2019. First, the teams will meet in Atlanta on Nov. 24 and then in Tampa during the season finale on Dec. 29.

Those are the two most winnable games left for Atlanta, but the way Tampa Bay played in Week 9 against the Seahawks, a victory against Tampa for the Falcons is far from a sure thing.

The Buccaneers did lose to the Seahawks on Sunday, but they played extremely well in Seattle. Tampa Bay is only 2-6, but the team's two wins came against winning teams on the road. The Buccaneers are 2-3 in road games while the Falcons are 1-3 at home.

My money is still on these two teams splitting their matchups, but that won't happen if the Falcons don't figure out how to start forcing turnovers on defense. Giveaways remain one of Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston's biggest issues.

Other than the Buccaneers, the Panthers were the only other NFC South team playing in Week 9. They defeated the Titans at home, 30-20, which improved the Panthers to 5-3.

In the second half, Carolina will face New Orleans twice, Seattle and Green Bay. That schedule makes earning a playoff berth in the stacked NFC difficult, but reeling off five wins in the last six games, Carolina has positioned itself back in the playoff race.