AP NEWS

Falcons, Buccaneers playing out season as also-rans

December 27, 2019 GMT

ATLANTA (6-9) at TAMPA BAY (7-8)

Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE — Buccaneers by 1½

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Atlanta 7-8, Tampa Bay 5-8-2

SERIES RECORD — Falcons lead 27-25

LAST MEETING — Buccaneers beat Falcons 35-22, Nov. 24

LAST WEEK — Falcons beat Jaguars 24-12; Buccaneers lost to Texans 23-20

AP PRO32 RANKING — Falcons No. 20, Buccaneers No. 16

FALCONS OFFENSE — OVERALL (5), RUSH (30), PASS (3).

FALCONS DEFENSE — OVERALL (18), RUSH (15), PASS (22).

BUCCANEERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (3), RUSH (25), PASS (1).

BUCCANEERS DEFENSE — OVERALL (15), RUSH (1), PASS (29).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Buccaneers going for season sweep of tightly contested division series, which Falcons lead 18-14 (including five of past six) since formation of NFC South in 2002. ... Teams have two of most productive passing games in league, with Bucs ranking first (310.1 yards per game) and Falcons third (295.2). ... Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Bucs QB Jameis Winston only passers with at least 10 300-yard games this season. Ryan has 10 and is fifth in NFL with 4,153 passing yards. Winston coming off joining Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning as only QBs with 11 or more 300-yard performances in single season. ... Atlanta announced Friday it was retaining coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff for next season. ... Falcons WR Julio Jones had 10 receptions for 166 yards vs. Jaguars last week, becoming sixth player in league history with at least 15 150-yard games in a career. ... Falcons TE Austin Hooper third among NFC tight ends with 68 receptions for 742 yards. ... Bucs averaging 29.1 points, third in NFL. They’re allowing 28.1, tied for 30th. ... Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett has 16½ sacks, second in league and tied with Hall of Famer Warren Sapp for club single-season record. ... Barrett also stands second in quarterback hits (32), third in tackles for loss (16) and third in forced fumbles (six). ... Winston leads league with 4,908 passing yards and needs 92 to become first QB in franchise history to throw for 5,000 in single season. Has career-best and single-season team record 31 TDs, but also leads NFL with 28 interceptions. Fantasy tip: With Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin sidelined by injury, Bucs WR Breshad Perriman’s production has picked up. He’s had 20 receptions for 372 yards over past four games after having 11 catches for 139 yards and one TD in his first nine.

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