Here are three key matchups to watch when the Buccaneers (3-7) face the Falcons (3-7) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 1 p.m. Sunday:
Bucs QB Jameis Winston vs. Falcons FS Damotae Kazee: Winston, who leads the NFL in interceptions with 18, will toss some 50-50 balls and sail a high pass or two. He had four interceptions last week in a loss against the Saints. Kazee is back at free safety after spending some time at nickel back. He tied for the league lead with seven interceptions last season. Kazee had his first interception of the season last week against the Panthers.
Bucs DT Vita Vea vs. Falcons OG Jamon Brown: Vea, who’s 6-foot-4 and 347 pounds, is a load in the middle. He was selected with the 12th overall pick in 2018 and has 27 tackles, one tackle for loss and seven quarterback hits. “They are fantastic against the run,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “You can see it inside with (Ndamukong) Suh and Vea. The combination of the speed and power that those two have, combination blocks are difficult on people like that because you can’t get them displaced very easily. They are stout as they can be in the run game.”
Buc TE Cameron Brate vs. Falcons SS Ricardo Allen: The Saints elected to double-team wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans last week, and that left Brate free to roam the middle of the field. He finished with 10 catches for 73 yards, but didn’t do any major damage. Allen, who’s now at strong safety, will have Brate or at least have to account for him as he passes through his zone. Allen recorded his first interception of the season last week against the Panthers.
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