A post-draft look at the Falcons’ 2017 opponents: The Buccaneers, Game 11

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws a pass during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

FLOWERY BRANCH — A look at the teams on the Falcons’ schedule and how they have reconstructed their roster since the season’s end. We’re up to Game 11, when the Falcons will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20.

GAME ONE: CHICAGO BEARS

GAME TWO: GREEN BAY PACKERS

GAME THREE: DETROIT LIONS 

GAME FOUR: BUFFALO BILLS

GAME FIVE: MIAMI DOLPHINS

GAME SIX: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

GAME SEVEN: NEW YORK JETS

GAME EIGHT: CAROLINA PANTHERS

GAME NINE: DALLAS COWBOYS

GAME TEN: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

GAME ELEVEN: TAMPA BAY

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Falcons  at 1 p.m., Sunday  Nov. 26

No longer with the Bucs: PK Johns Lunsford, CB Greg Mabin, LS Dax Dellenbach, WR Vincent Jackson and CB Alterraun Verner.

Key free agent signings/pickups: WR DeSean Jackson, DT Chris Bakers, SS J.J. Wilcox, LS Garrison Sanborn, CB Robert McClain and PK Nick Folk.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’   2017 NFL draft

1 19 O.J. Howard TE Alabama
2 50 Justin Evans SAF Texas A&M
3 84 Chris Godwin WR Penn State
3 107 Kendell Beckwith ILB LSU
5 162 Jeremy McNichols RB Boise State
7 223 Stevie Tu’ikolovatu NT USC


Weaknesses: The Bucs need to revive their rushing attack. They finished 29th in rushing yards per play at 3.57 yards. The pass defense was also shaky last season. The Bucs ranked 26th in yards per passing play (6.85 yards) and 22nd in overall pass defense (250.8 yards per game.) Quarterback Jameis Winston needs to cut down his 18 interceptions.

Strengths: Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander is a budding Superstar. The addition of Jackson and Howard should bolster the passing attack.

Comment: The Bucs went 9-7 last season, their first winning season since 2010.  The Bucs missed the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season, tied for the fourth-longest active streak in the NFL with Jacksonville. The teams split last season’s series with Tampa Bay winning 31-24 in Atlanta on Sept. 11 and Atlanta winning in Tampa Bay 43-28 on Nov. 3.



FALCONS SCHEDULE

Exhibition season

Falcons at Miami Dolphins at 7 p.m. Aug. 10

Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers at 4 p.m. Aug. 20

Arizona Cardinals at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 26

Jacksonville Jaguars at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 31

Regular season

Sept. 10 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., Fox

Sept. 17 Green Bay Packers, 8:30 p.m. NBC

Sept. 24 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. Fox

Oct. 1 Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m., CBS

Oct. 8 BYE

Oct. 15 Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS

Oct. 22 at New England Patriots, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Oct. 29 at New York Jets, 1 p.m., Fox

Nov. 5 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox

Nov. 12 Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m., Fox

Nov. 20 at Seattle Seahawks (Mon) 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Nov. 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 3 Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 7 New Orleans Saints (Thur), 8:25 p.m., NBC/NFL Network/Amazon

Dec. 18 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon). 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Dec. 24 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 31 Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox

THE FALCONS 2017 DRAFT

MUST READ PROFILE: Falcons top pick McKinley makes name for himself

2017 Falcons report card: Falcons earn a B-plus

NFC Champs add a pass rusher, quality depth 

1st rounder: Meet defensive end Takkarist McKinley

3rd rounder: Meet linebacker Duke Riley

4th rounder: Meet offensive guard Sean Harlow

5th rounder: Meet defensive back Damontae Kazee

5th rounder: Meet running back Brian Hill

5th rounder: Meet tight end Eric Saubert


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