The Tampa Bay defense doesn’t look like it has recovered from the 299-yard ground gashing it took in Monday night’s loss at Carolina. Atlanta tailback Michael Turner has 45 yards rushing and a 1-yard touchdown as the Falcons lead 10-0 entering the second quarter.
Part of the problem could be that defensive tackle Chris Hovan is out (knee) and Jovan Haye (knee) is playing spot duty. But for such a physical team to get shoved around –- up to this point -– twice in a week is somewhat perplexing. I hardly expect the Bucs to wilt. This is a proud group, but they need to figure out what’s going on or else they’re going to get steamrolled on the ground again.
The Falcons are taking a page out of Carolina’s playbook by employing fullback Ovie Mughelli as a lead blocker, just like the Panthers used Brad Hoover to clear space. Mughelli threw a nice block to spring Turner on a 23-yard run off right tackle, the same part of the defense Carolina attacked.
This is exactly the type of game Atlanta wants to play, and when the Falcons play with a lead, they are a very dangerous team. The Falcons are in a position where they don’t have to throw much, so those of you who are playing Turner in fantasy football, you might be in for a big day.
— Steve Wyche reporting from Atlanta.