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Week 9 kicks off on Thursday night as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons (NFL Network; 8:25 PM ET) in an NFC South battle. When the clubs met in Week 1, Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston passed for 281 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in the Buccaneers’ 31-24 victory, their third consecutive win against Atlanta. In Week 8, Atlanta QB Matt Ryan passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning 11-yard touchdown pass to WR Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds remaining in the Falcons’ 33-32 win over Green Bay. It marked Ryan’s third career game-winning touchdown pass in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. Falcons WR Julio Jones leads the NFC with 859 receiving yards while LB Vic Beasley ties for the conference lead with 7.5 sacks. Tampa Bay WR Mike Evans ties for the NFL lead with six touchdown receptions and has recorded a TD in five of the team’s seven games. Buccaneers CB Brent Grimes, who spent his first six seasons with Atlanta, ties for the NFC lead with 11 passes defensed.
|REGULAR SEASON SERIES|
|COACHES VS. OPP.||Dan Quinn: 0-3||Dirk Koetter: 1-0|
|LAST WEEK||W 33-32 vs. Green Bay||L 30-24 (OT) vs. Oakland|
|LAST GAME||9/11/16: Buccaneers 31 at Falcons 24. Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston passes for 281 yards & 4 TDs. Buccaneers WR Mike Evans has 5 receptions for 99 yards & TD.|
|LAST GAME AT SITE||12/6/15: Buccaneers 23, Falcons 19. Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston passes for 227 yards & has 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush). Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushes for 95 yards & TD.|
|BROADCAST||NFLN (8:25 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli. SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 83 (Atl), 81 (TB). XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Atl), 225 (TB).|
|PASSING||Matt Ryan: 193-279-2636-19-4-115.8||Jameis Winston: 158-269-1776-14-9-81.9|
|RUSHING||Devonta Freeman: 116-543-4.7-3||Jacquizz Rodgers: 88-393-4.5-1|
|RECEIVING||Julio Jones: 43-859-20.0-4||Mike Evans: 44-595-13.5-6|
|SACKS||Vic Beasley: 7.5||Gerald McCoy, Noah Spence (R): 3|
|INTs||Deion Jones (R), Robert Alford: 2||4 tied: 1|
|PUNTING||Matt Bosher: 46.9||Bryan Anger: 46.6|
|KICKING||Matt Bryant: 78 (27/27 PAT; 17/18 FG)||Roberto Aguayo (R): 34 (13/15 PAT; 7/12 FG)|
FALCONS: QB Matt Ryan passed for 288 yards & 3 TDs, incl. GW 11-yard TD with 0:31 remaining last week. Leads NFL with 2,636 pass yards. In past 3 vs. TB, has 1,000 pass yards (333.3 per game) & 5 TDs with 2 INTs for 101.6 rating. Aims for 6th in row vs. NFC South with 100+ rating…RB Devonta Freeman has 100+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3 vs. TB. Had 2 TDs in Week 8 (1 rush, 1 rec.). RB Tevin Coleman has 6 TDs in past 6 (5 rush, 1 rec.)… WR Taylor Gabriel had TD catch last week, 1st TD with Atl. WR Julio Jones is averaging 110.6 rec. yards per game & has 7 TD catches in 9 career meetings. Leads NFC with 859 rec. yards. WR Mohamed Sanu had 5 receptions for 80 yards & TD in last meeting…DE Adrian Clayborn has 3 sacks in past 2. LB Vic Beasley has 6.5 sacks & 3 FF in past 4. Ties for NFC lead with 7.5 sacks. CB Desmond Trufant aims for 3rd in row vs. TB with INT. Rookie S Keanu Neal has FF in 3 of past 4.
BUCCANEERS: QB Jameis Winston completed 23 of 32 (71.9 pct.) for 281 yards & 4 TDs with INT for 125.1 rating in last meeting. Has 6 TD passes with 2 INTs for 101.8 rating in 3 career meetings…RB Jacquizz Rodgers is averaging 123.3 scrimmage yards per game in past 3 & has scored 1 TD. Spent 4 seasons with Atl. (2011-14)…WR Mike Evans had 5 receptions for 99 yards & TD in last meeting. Has 6 TDs in past 7. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Atl. with TD catch. WR Russell Shepard aims for 3rd in row with rec. TD…DT Gerald McCoy has sack in 2 of past 3. Had career-high 3 sacks in 11/17/13 meeting. LB Kwon Alexander aims for 4th in row vs. Atl. with 10+ tackles. Has 2 sacks, 2 FFs & INT in 3 career meetings. Since 2013, LB Lavonte David is only NFL player with 450+ tackles (477), 10+ sacks (12) & 5+ INTs (8). Had 11 tackles & INT in last home meeting. CB Jude Adjei-Barimah aims for 3rd in row with sack.