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Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Atlanta run defense could be a problem against Tampa Bay

Atlanta's run shoddy run defense could be exposed in Week 12, when the Falcons take on Doug Martin and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Grant Halverson

Though the Atlanta Falcons boast a 9-1 record and sit atop the NFC standings, they do have weaknesses. Atlanta's run defense is ranked No. 26 in the NFL, as opponents average 130.5 yards per game on the ground against the Falcons.

Atlanta's shoddy run defense could be exposed further in Week 12, when the Falcons head to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Fortifying the run defense remains an ongoing construction project for the coaching staff. In eight of the Falcons' 10 games, the defense has given up at least one run of 29 yards or more.

Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin has rushed for 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns through Tampa Bay's first 10 games on the season, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Martin also has 27 receptions on 41 targets for 319 yards and a touchdown.

Martin currently ranks No. 3 in the NFL in yardage, and No. 2 in rushing touchdowns, and has turned into one of of the league's best running backs.

Atlanta's contest against Tampa Bay in Week 12 will be a good measuring stick for both teams, as the Falcons look to shore up their run defense, while the Buccaneers look to assert themselves as legitimate playoff contenders.

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