We have a behemoth of a match up ahead of us on Sunday when the Falcons host the Buccaneers in a rematch of their Week Two battle. Anyone who watched that game knows that the 48-25 final score did not reflect how the game played out. Up until midway through the fourth quarter it was only a 10-point game. A pair of untimely pick sixes on back-to-back-drives are what inevitably put the game out of reach.
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Those who recall that game will remember both pick sixes came at the hands of Mike Edwards. If you've been following NFL headlines this week, you know he will not be available for the Bucs. Alongside him wide receiver Antonio Brown, the Bucs leader in yards per game, won't be available for violating league Covid-19 protocols.
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars during Week 12.
While the Buccaneers come into Sunday a little short staffed, the Falcons seem to be coming in with a near fully healthy squad. Cordarrelle Patterson came back last weekend against the Jaguars and went off for a career day with 135 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns. Deion Jones, who missed last week with an ankle injury, has been a full participant in practice the last two days making his presence increasingly likely on Sunday.
There is no denying Sunday will have a real David vs Goliath feel to it with the Buccaneers still widely considered Super Bowl favorites this season. However, the Buccaneers have shown their mortality this season dropping games to Washington and the Saints and nearly dropped the game against the Colts last weekend if not for a herculean effort from Leonard Fournette. If the Falcons can build off their best rushing game of the season from last weekend and find a way to slow Fournette, they will have a fighting chance to narrow the gap between them and the top of the division.
With all of that to unpack let's take a look at who the experts have picked to win this weekend.
*Picks made as of Dec. 2
|Author | Outlet||Pick||2021 Record|
|Jarrett Bell | USA Today||Buccaneers||8-3|
|Matt Bowen | ESPN||Buccaneers||6-5|
|Gregg Rosenthal | NFL.com||Buccaneers||7-4|
|Gary Davenport | Bleacher Report||Buccaneers||5-6|
|Brad Gagnon | Bleacher Report||Buccaneers||8-3|
|Vinnie Iyer | Sporting News||Buccaneers||7-4|
|Rob Ninkovich | ESPN||Buccaneers||6-5|
|Jason La Confora | CBS Sports||Buccaneers||7-4|
|Pete Prisco | CBS Sports||Buccaneers||6-5|
|Lorenzo Reyes | USA Today||Buccaneers||8-3|