When: Sunday, 11/25 at 1 PM
Where: Raymond James Stadium
TV: FOX (blacked out locally)
Radio: WFUS 103.5 FM/ WDAE 620 AM
Last Meeting: This two teams ended the 2011 season with the Falcons handing the Bucs a good ol' fashion butt-whooping, 45-24. Falcons running back Michael Turner torched the Bucs defense with 172 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 17 carries. For the Bucs, quarterback Josh Freeman threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns but he also had three costly interceptions.
Key Matchup on Offense:
Tackles Donald Penn and Demar Dotson vs. Defensive End John Abraham – Abraham hasn't slowed down in his 13th season and he is just as disruptive as ever. He still commands a double team and already has 26 tackles, 9.0 sacks, four forced fumbles, and three passes defensed this season. Despite having an offensive line decimated by injuries, the Bucs have done a great job protecting quarterback Josh Freeman and they'll need to keep that going against the Falcons and Abraham if they want to win.
Key Matchup on Defense:
Safeties Ronde Barber and Mark Barron vs. Tight End Tony Gonzalez – At 36 years old, Gonzalez may be having his best season yet. The future Hall of Famer is dominating defenses and has 64 receptions for 650 yards and six touchdowns in just 10 games so far. Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan will no doubt look Gonzalez's direction as they try to exploit Tampa Bay's league-worst pass defense. It will be up to Barber, who has plenty of experience covering elite tight ends, and rookie Barron, who was drafted for matchups like this, to contain Gonzalez in this important contest.