If the Falcons win their remaining games, they will repeat as NFC South division champs. The Falcons' win eliminated the Packers from playoff contention.
So what will the Buccaneers do on Monday night, when Jones and the Falcons come to Tampa for a rematch three weeks after the former Foley High School and Alabama standout torched the Bucs' secondary? This is because he violated a rule about team meetings.
Jameis Winston threw for 299 yards and three TDs for the Bucs (4-10), including a 16-yarder to Adam Humphries that trimmed Atlanta's lead to 24-21 with 3:51 remaining. But the Buccaneers would still like nothing more than to play the role of spoiler against a hated rival on the big Monday night stage.
The last time these teams squared off, Ryan Fitzpatrick was under center for the Buccaneers. The losing has placed Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter's job status in question, but Koetter and quarterback Jameis Winston are trying to close out the season with wins, which could save Koetter's job.
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The additions of DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard, to go along with Pro Bowler Mike Evans and rising tight end Cameron Brate, were supposed to transcend the Tampa Bay passing game from good to great, but that has yet to really materialize. That includes nine game decided by a touchdown or less. After his 1,402 rushing yard season in 2015, he has 823 rushing yards in the last two seasons COMBINED. In that game, they turned the ball over five times.
Jones has more receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns against Tampa Bay than against any other team in his National Football League career.
As usual, 98Rock (97.9 FM) will have the game's radio broadcast in the Tampa Bay area.
The Falcons led 17-7 at halftime, pulling away with a 10-point second quarter. Gerald McCoy (biceps), Lavonte David (hamstring) and Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring) are out. I've seen Julio have a couple other games like that when I was there. Even with McCoy and David in the lineup, Tampa Bay was giving up 113.2 rushing yards (18th in the NFL) and one rushing touchdown per game on average. After playing Atlanta, the Buccaneers play Carolina on Christmas Eve and the Saints on New Year's Eve to complete their regular-season schedule.