2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The defending NFC South champions were humbled at home last Sunday by the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions. Todd Bowles’ team was limited to a pair of field goals in a 20-6 loss. Still, the Buccaneers are expected to handle their business at home against the visiting Atlanta Falcons. It makes perfect sense when you consider that dating back to 2022, Arthur Smith’s team is a dismal 1-9 away from home.
To make matters worse, the Falcons’ last victory at Raymond James Stadium came in 2019. Atlanta has dropped three straight road games in this series and by a combined 113-67 score. Granted, all three of those losses occurred when a certain quarterback Tom Brady was at the helm of the Buccaneers. Regardless of the site, Tampa Bay is 6-2 in its last eight meetings with Atlanta dating back to ’19.
The key to Smith’s club pulling off the upset is taking care of the football. The Falcons and Buccaneers are polar opposites when it comes to turnover differential. The former has forced four turnovers and given up the football 10 times. Bowles’ team has 10 takeaways and committed only four miscues, albeit in one fewer game.
The Buccaneers’ pass defense has proven it can be had (26th in the NFL) and the Falcons’ tight end combo of Jonnu Smith and Kyle Pitts could excel in this divisional showdown.