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Bucs vs. Falcons: A Big Old Southern Scrap

Informal survey time: raise your virtual hand if you thought that the Bucs would have a 5-2 record and be tied for the lead in the NFC South with the Atlanta Falcons.  Ahem. No fibbing, please. Be honest.

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Yeah. Me neither.

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But there they are -- our team of debatable defense, cardiac-revving comeback offense and a never-say-die youthful attitude, leading the division that the defending Super Bowl champ New Orleans Saints also call home. 

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Today's matchup versus the Falcons in the Georgia Dome is another big game in a Buccaneer season that's already seen the team face two major opponents -- the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Saints -- and come up woefully short both times.

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And while the fearless and smart play of the Buc offense is causing skeptics and casual observers alike to take notice, it's the defense that needs to to man up and play well in order to combat the very balanced Falcons offensive attack. The potential is there and today would be a great day for it to be realized. You listening, Stylez G. White, Barrett Ruud, Aqib Talib, Gerald McCoy and company? Matt Ryan is there to be rushed and pressured and yes, sacked. In case you were wondering...

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True confession: my fantasy team, The Ignorant Sluts, is starting both Roddy White and Tony Gonzales today -- and no Bucs. I was thisclose to picking up LeGarret Blount, but one of my league-mates got to him a split second before I did. While I really want my FF squad to do well, I'm going to be cheering for my hometown boys all the way. 

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Should be a good game -- yeah, I said that before about both the Steelers and Saints games, but this time I think it really will be a sporting matchup. Let's go Bucs!

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Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.