Atlanta Falcons: Top five players to watch vs Tampa Bay

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5) Gerald McCoy, DT

Oct 4, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) tackles Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the first half of an NFL football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Gerald McCoy, arguably the leagues’ best defensive tackle is certainly a player the Atlanta Falcons need to stop to have a successful day on offense. McCoy is second on the Buccaneers in sacks with 4.5 and will pose a big threat on Sunday in the Georgia Dome.

The Falcons’ bread-and-butter in 2015 has been the ability to pound the ball with Devonta Freeman, but with the likes of McCoy standing in front of him, this likely will pose a big challenge for Freeman and the rest of the offensive line. Freeman is averaging nearly five yards a carry in 2015, but may need to be even more creative to carve out a good afternoon.

Tampa Bay’s defense ranks 15th in rushing yards allowed per game at 109 per game. This puts a big smile on my face. Kyle Shanahan needs to give the ball to Freeman at least 30 times against Tampa Bay and give rookie Tevin Coleman anywhere from 5-10 carries as well.

If the Falcons are forced to throw the ball then look out Matt Ryan, McCoy will be bearing down on you.

If the Falcons can hold the ball on offense and win the time of possession battle, the Falcons will win this game with ease.