TAMPA, Fla. -- The rivalry between Atlanta and Tampa Bay might not be quite as intense as the one the Falcons have with the New Orleans Saints, but Sunday’s game between Atlanta and the Buccaneers suddenly has become fairly significant.
The Bucs (6-4) are very much in the playoff race. Heck, they win this one and there suddenly is at least a race for the NFC South title -- something that seemed destined for the Falcons for most of the season. This is also a key game for the Falcons (9-1), who are coming off an ugly win against Arizona after a loss to New Orleans. The Falcons also face a quick turnaround after this one, because they play the Saints at the Georgia Dome next Thursday night.
I’m out at One Buccaneer Place, where Atlanta coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan are scheduled to do conference calls with the Tampa Bay media shortly. After that, Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano will do his media session and the Bucs will hold open locker room.
I’ll be back later with whatever news and notes emerge from all that.