It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. The Atlanta Falcons, in their second year under head coach Dan Quinn have learned that the hard way. Last year, a surprise 6-3 start became a frustrating 8-8 ending. This team squandered a playoff spot through shoddy defense and an offense that cracked 24 points just once over the last seven games.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) entered Week 8 riding a two-game winning streak, trailing Atlanta by just a half game in the NFC South. The Buccaneers were unable to capitalize, losing 30-24 in overtime to the Raiders at home.
This decade-old rivalry will be renewed just as it was 10 years ago: in the third game of the season, in the Superdome and on “Monday Night Football.” It also marked the formal return of the Saints to New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.