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Thursday Night Football Breakdown

Tonight we have a battle of two NFC South teams, one of which can't put points on the board and the other has played some really bad defense. The Bucs are 0-2 after a 20-14 loss to the Panthers and a 19-17 loss to the Rams. The Falcons are 1-1 with a 37-34 OT win against the Saints and a 24-10 loss to the Bengals.

After a great comeback win against the Saints in overtime (thanks to Matt Bryant and his game tying & game winning kicks - both over 50 yards) the Falcons put up a dud against the Bengals. Matt Ryan struggled mightily as he was 24/44 with 3 picks. However he should bounce back against the Bucs who are 0-2 against Derek Anderson and Austin Davis, who have combined to go 46/63 for 465 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

Julio Jones should be in line for a big game as Brian Quick and Kelvin Benjamin have caught 13 balls for 166 yards and a touchdown in the first two games against the Bucs. Roddy White will play despite being questionable with a hamstring injury, so get him in your lineups as well.  Looks like White is out tonight, Harry Douglas will get the spot start!

I would like to see the Falcons focus more attention to their run game as they shied away from it last week, despite rushing for 97 yards on 19 carries. Steven Jackson has only seen 11 & 12 carries in each of the first two games so far, but I think the Falcons will open up a double digit lead and they'll give him around 17 carries, with Jacquizz Rodgers seeing some action as well.

The Falcons defense has been really bad so far over the first two games. Not only have they given up 58 points, but they have 0 sacks on the QB and they've only forced 2 turnovers.

As for Tampa, their offense has been really bad. Only 31 points in their first two games.

The Bucs brought in Josh McCown and drafted Mike Evans to solidify their air attack but it has not impressed. McCown has yet to throw for 200 yards, and he has 2 touchdowns with 3 interceptions. Vincent Jackson has just 8 catches for 87 yards and Evans has 9 catches for 86 yards. Luckily that could all change against the Falcons. Both New Orleans and Cincinnati threw for over 300 yards against the Falcons.

Tampa Bay's run game has been pretty good so far, especially with Bobby Rainey last week. After rushing the ball 22 times for 144 yards and adding 3 receptions for 30 yards, the Bucs have named Rainey their week 3 starter. There's still no word on whether or not Doug Martin will play, but even if he does, except Rainey to be the featured back. Oh yeah, the Falcons have given up 309 yards on the ground so far. If Martin is out, make sure Rainey is in your lineups!