Tampa Bay (0-2) at Atlanta (1-1), 8:25 p.m. (CBS, Georgia Dome) A pair of NFC South rivals square off in a short week in Atlanta as the Falcons host Tampa Bay, who seeks their first win after an 0-2 start in the 2014 campaign.

Once again, the Buccaneers suffered another loss at home at Raymond James Stadium, this time falling to St. Louis 19-17. In that contest against the Rams, Tampa Bay led 17-16 with under five minutes to play before the Rams marched down the field, taking the lead for keeps on a 38-yard field goal by K Greg Zuerlein with 38 seconds left in the contest. Both the Rams and Bucs managed to rush for over 100 yards Sunday afternoon (St. Louis ran for 119, while Tampa Bay had 157; Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey ran for 144 of those in a losing cause). Tampa Bay was 4 of 8 on third down tries, while the Rams were 5 of 11. St. Louis won the time of possesion battle in the Sunshine State, keeping the ball for 32:05 to Tampa Bay’s 27:55.

“It was a tough loss but in this league it’s about bouncing back,” Ryan told WSB-TV, WXIA-TV, WAGA-TV, WGCL-TV and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It comes quickly for us this week. We’ll take a quick look at the Cincy game and try to make some corrections and move on. It is a good thing we’re going on Thursday.”

Atlanta returns to the Big Peach after their 24-10 loss to Cincinnati last Sunday. The Falcons trailed the Bengals 10-3 at the break, thanks in part to Cincy K Mike Nugent missing a pair of field goals in the first half. Cincinnati would then run away from the Falcons in the second half, outscoring Atlanta 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Falcons Ryan was sacked twice and threw three interceptions and the Falcons’ running game was held to 97 yards on the afternoon. Neither team did anything to write home about on third down tries in the early afternoon game (Atlanta was 3 of 12 and 1 of 2 on fourth down; Cincinnati was 6 of 14) and the clock favored the home team, who kept the ball for 32:59, while the Falcons kept it for 27:01.

Tampa Bay holds a slim 21-20 lead in the series and have outscored the Falcons 875-780. Both teams have split the last 6 contests, including last year’s meetings in the Big Peach and the Sunshine State and both teams have won those meetings in their home parks.

With regard to Thursday night play, the Falcons are 5-4, while Tampa Bay is 2-3.

Atlanta won the first contest in the 2013 campaign in the Georgia Dome in week seven, taking a 31-23 win. In that contest, although Atlanta was held to 18 yards rushing, Ryan did manage to lead his ball club, throwing for 273 yards and three TDs in the contest, while the Falcons defense sacked Bucs QB Mike Glennon twice in the win. Atlanta led 27-10 at the half before Tampa Bay pulled closer, thanks to a pair of Ryan Lindel field goals. Tampa Bay would eventually pull to a 31-23 deficit but could come no closer.

Neither team did well on third down tries in the Peach State. Tampa Bay was 5 of 17 (3 of 3 on fourth down), while keeping the ball for 37:49. Atlanta didn’t do much better themselves on third down conversions, going 3 of 9 and kept the ball for 22:11.

The Bucs got revenge on their NFC South rivals in the Sunshine State in week 11, taking the Falcons down 41-28. Tampa Bay led 24-6 at the intermission and then held off Atlanta, who outscored them in the second half 22-17. Both teams did manage to break the 100-yard rushing barrier (Atlanta with 152, Tampa Bay with 186, of which Rainey had 163 and a pair of TDs) and the Bucs defense once again made life miserable for Ryan, sacking him three times and picking him off twice. Neither team did well on third down conversions in the second meeting (Atlanta was 1 of 7 and 1 of 2 on fourth down, Tampa Bay was 3 of 11 and 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the clock was in favor of the Bucs, holding the ball for 33:14, while Atlanta kept it for 26:46.

In the week seven meeting in the Dome, the Falcons were favored by 7 and the over/under was 43. Atlanta covered the spread with the eight-point win and both teams covered the over/under by scoring 54 win. The second contest in the Sunshine State in week 11 saw the Falcons favored by 1 1/2 with the over/under at 43 1/2. Tampa Bay covered the 1 1/2, winning by 13 and the over/under wound up being 69.

The Falcons on Thursday night are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under for the Thursday night contest in the Big Peach is 44 1/2. Two NFC South rivals, separated by 457 miles and a 7 hour and 39 minute drive up I-75. Atlanta takes this one and covers the 6 1/2.

Broadcast Information: CBS/NFLN (8:25 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Mike Mayock, Derek Rackley (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 93 (Tampa Bay), 92 (Atlanta). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Tampa Bay), 226 (Atlanta).

Weather Information: Game indoors.

Injury Report

Tampa Bay
OUT: LB Mason Foster (shoulder), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE:DE Michael Johnson (ankle), RB Doug Martin (knee), DT Gerald McCoy (hand)
PROBABLE: DT Da’Quan Bowers (abdomen), C Evan Dietrich-Smith (back), T Demar Dotson (hamstring), DE William Gholston (shoulder), G Logan Mankins (knee), S Bradley McDougald (knee)

Atlanta
QUESTIONABLE: WR Roddy White (hamstring)
PROBABLE: WR Julio Jones (ankle), T Jake Matthews (ankle), LB Prince Shembo (knee)

Odds courtesy USA Today and Don’s Bets, Weather courtesy The Weather Channel, Broadcast and injury information courtesy the National Football League.

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