Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Full game preview

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Oct 15, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

What to watch

Will the offense get it going?

The offense is in a funk, we know that. It seems strange to say that considering how well Devonta Freeman is playing, and Julio Jones has been productive too. But outside of those two, there hasn’t been much to sing about offensively.

Can Matt Ryan get it going? He’ll be without receiver Leonard Hankerson, and it’s possible Nick Williams misses the game too. Enter Justin Hardy.

Can the defense stop Doug Martin?

Doug Martin is the biggest threat on offense for the Bucs. After a slow start, Martin has bounced back with three 100-yard games in a row, and he’s finally starting to play like his rookie self.

Atlanta owns the No. 2 run defense, and it will need to play every bit as well as the ranking suggests up against Martin. Taking him out of the game gives the Falcons a huge advantage, whereas letting him do his thing will end badly.

Any pressure on the quarterback?

Up against a rookie quarterback, the Falcons need to turn up the heat and generate some pressure. The defense has made just eight sacks this season, fewest in the NFL.

What better game to get it going defensively than against the Buccaneers? Keeping Mike Evans covered is one thing, but it’s crucial for the front seven to pressure a young passer.

Next: Who to watch?