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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. Atlanta Falcons Predictions: The Experts Weigh In

The Atlanta Falcons return to action after a bye in Week 8. Since they were gone, the New Orleans Saints bounced back, the Carolina Panthers still stink and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the best team in the NFC. The Falcons will get a chance to test that assessment when they play host to the Buccaneers in Week 9. How does the national media think the Falcons will handle the self-proclaimed "best team in the NFC"? Let's find out:

Source Winner Notes
ESPN Consensus Falcons All 10 experts like the Falcons to beat the best team in the NFC and therefore become the best team in the NFC.
Yahoo Sports Consensus Falcons Three of four experts like the Falcons to improve to 6-2 while Les Carpenter the Buccaneers will remain the best team in the NFC.
CBS Sports Consensus Falcons A clean sweep for the Falcons as all five experts pick Atlanta for the third straight week.
Fanhouse Falcons Dave Goldberg: An important game between two under-the-radar teams that shouldn't be. Falcons 20, Buccaneers 10.
What If Sports Falcons Projection reveals a 25-21 Falcons win.
Sports Illustrated Falcons Peter King: Record of five teams Tampa's beaten: 12-24. Record of two teams Tampa's lost to: 10-5. Atlanta's record: 5-2. The guys getting their hair cut in the barbershops of Tampa-St. Pete are all saying the same thing this weekend: We need you to beat somebody before we believe ... someone like Atlanta.
USA Today Falcons All eight experts think the Falcons will move to 6-2 with Tom Pedulla making it his lock of the week.
Sporting News Falcons All seven experts predict a Falcons victory in the Georgia Dome.
SB Nation Falcons Joel Thorman: It's hard to pick against the Falcons here. They're heavy favorites at home against a team that hasn't beaten a lot of good teams.
Battle Red Blog Buccaneers TexansDC: First place for the NFC South is on the line here. Yes, Bucs-Falcons is for the division lead. The Falcons have the talent, but Tampa Bay just wins games with their young players. The Tampa Bay secondary is also coming through with interceptions. Adding LeGarrette Blount will only help that offense. Buccaneers win 23-20.

So you're saying we have a chance? Over 94 percent (37 of 39) of the predictors like the Falcons to beat the best team in the NFC this week. A home game with a huge line (-9.5) and everyone is on the Falcons side. Ordinarily, this would worry me, but with Raheem Morris and his unique brand of motivation, something tells me the Falcons will deliver on all this pre-game love.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.