Atlanta Falcons (3-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
Sunday, October 22, 1:00 PM ET
I think even just six weeks into the season, the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a bit more in common than anyone could have realized. The main commonality between these two right now? I'm not sure you can bank on either Desmond Ridder or Baker Mayfield being your starting quarterback beyond this season.
Perhaps for at least one of them, maybe even not the duration of it...
The Buccaneers looked great in their creamsicle uniforms on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but they were held to just six points and couldn't get enough going offensively. Coming off of a bye week, that was rather disappointing to see. I think the Bucs have a playoff-caliber defense, and getting three wins in the first month of the season was critical for them in a pretty open division, but this game is going to potentially have major implications later in the season.
The Bucs are favored by 2.5 at home this week and I think that's fair given what we've seen from Desmond Ridder this season. Against a defense as quality as Tampa Bay's, are the Falcons going to be able to get enough out of their playmakers? The look on Arthur Smith's face after Ridder threw a game-sealing interception this past week really said it all. I probably wouldn't be buying a Ridder jersey if I were a Falcons fan just yet.
Can Atlanta go on the road and get a bit of an upset here? I think they can depending on what version of Ridder shows up. But against a defense like Tampa Bay's, I'm taking the home team.
Prediction: Buccaneers win 24-19