As the Atlanta Falcons (4-9) get ready to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5), FOX sports color analyst Daryl Johnston joins AtlantaFalcons.com to preview the game.
What do you think have been some of the issues for Atlanta on offense?
Daryl Johnston: I'm not going to say it's all on Julio and what he does and the impact he has on defenses. The struggles in the run game are one of the things I would lean on most as not being able to have that balance and threaten people with the run game. It has been a little spotty all season long.
What are your first thoughts on the matchup this weekend?
DJ: It's going to be interesting, I thought that Tampa Bay was very fortunate last week. Minnesota is the opposite of what Atlanta is, everything there is built with the run game and working with that. It was working well but they weren't able to get any points and Minnesota is not built to come behind. You look at how Tampa struggled with Dalvin Cook and tackling him but there's not a guy on Atlanta's roster that's going to concern you as a running back as much as Dalvin Cook and that's more saying good things about Dalvin Cook then it is the running back situation in Atlanta.
How do you think the Falcons combat Tampa's pass rush?
DJ: That's the hard thing. This is a very unique front; they have good players all around. When you go back and look at some of the numbers from last season when they played. They were able to get some pressure and hits on Matt Ryan during both of those matchups, obviously something that Dirk Koetter is going to be aware of from a play-calling standpoint and Matt Ryan understanding maybe the pocket has to speed up a little bit and the offensive line understanding how good they have to be against these guys.
What are you expecting to see from Matt Ryan and the Falcons' passing offense?
DJ: I expect Matt Ryan to bounce back after his performance last week. I'm one of those people that when you see a guy of Matt's character and quality, when he has a bad day you don't want to play him the following week because he's chomping at the bit to get back on the field. How does Tampa decide to defend Atlanta on the outside?
The Atlanta Falcons wrapped up a week of practice ahead of facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday. Take a look at the best images from practice in this gallery, presented by Quikrete.