Buccaneers vs. Falcons Free NFL Picks for Week 13

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The Atlanta Falcons huddle. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to maintain their stranglehold on the NFC South Division by completing a season sweep of the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The Bucs won their second straight to improve to 8-3, evening their road record with a win at Indianapolis. That gave the Super Bowl champions a three-game lead in the South over the Falcons and Saints.

Atlanta snapped a two-game losing streak by beating Jacksonville and will be looking to even its record on the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Sunday, December 05, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at Mercedes Benz Stadium

Comeback Win

All three of the Bucs losses this season have come on the road—to the Rams, Saints, and Washington Football Team. Tampa Bay seemed on its way to adding a fourth road loss to the mix, as it trailed Indianapolis 24-14 at the half.

Running back Leonard Fournette stepped up, however, giving an impassioned halftime speech in the locker room, then going out and finishing off a day that saw him top 100 yards on the ground and score a franchise-record four touchdowns in the comeback win. The defense also stepped up, forcing five Colts turnovers to spark a 38-31 win that moved Tampa to 3-3 on the road this year.

The Bucs defense got banged up in the game, however. Linebacker Devin White, who had entered the week questionable with a quad injury, hurt his hip in the first half and missed time, although he was able to return. Cornerback Jamel Dean hurt his shoulder in the first quarter and didn’t return to the field.

On offense, the team is hopeful that receiver Antonio Brown, who missed Sunday’s game, will be able to return for the Falcons game. Brown has been out with an ankle injury, but coach Bruce Arians said he has made progress.

“He’s moving around a lot better,” Arians said in a midweek radio appearance. “He’s able to put more weight on the heel and bounce around on it some. We’ve got our fingers crossed.”

Getting Well in Jacksonville

The Falcons entered the week having lost three of their last four and two straight, at Dallas and against New England, by a brutal 68-3 combined score. The team was able to cure what ailed it at Jacksonville, although it wasn’t easy. After jumping out to a big lead, the Falcons had to hold on for a 21-14 win over the lowly Jags.

The defense stepped up, getting a pass rush from Dante Fowler and a strong performance from the secondary to match its lowest points allowed total of the season. The defense was able to get the strong performance despite being down starting linebacker Deion Jones, who suffered a shoulder injury late in the week and was inactive for the game. The team will be waiting for an update on his status for the Bucs game as the week goes on.

The news were better on offense, where Cordarrelle Patterson was able to play. Patterson went down in the Dallas loss with an ankle injury and missed the New England game, which, not coincidentally, were the two worst days of the season for the offense.

He sparked the show on Sunday, scoring the game’s first two touchdowns and rushing for a career-high 108 yards. That helped the Falcons gain 149 yards on the ground, their most since October of last season.

“Obviously, having CP back adds an element,” said coach Arthur Smith. “He’s a warrior. He’s a big, physical presence that can do a lot for us. And that’s clear. Good to have him back.”

The Pick

The Falcons are a different team with Patterson available, and the Bucs could be vulnerable to a letdown. The Colts game was a hard-fought road win, and following that, with a game against a team Tampa blew out in Week Two could be setting the bait for a trap. For our NFL pick keep in mind that the Falcons may not be able to pull off the win, but 10 points will be a difficult cover for the Bucs.

NFL Pick: Falcons +10 (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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