Last season, the Bucs swept the Falcons in two close games winning 23-20 in overtime and then 23-19.
The Falcons look to build on an 8-8 season under second-year head coach Dan Quinn. Dirk Koetter is at the helm of a Buccaneers team that went 6-10 under Lovie Smith in 2015.
Last year’s No. 1 draft pick, Jameis Winston developed a strong rapport with Koetter during his rookie season.
“He brings the passion and drive that will re-energize our organization and help us establish the winning culture that will help us become the championship-caliber team that our fans deserve,” general manager Jason Licht said when he announced Koetter as coach.
Koetter continues to work closely with Winston. In 2015, Winston showed his potential to succeed in the NFL. The young quarterback is coming off his first season in the league with 4,042 yards, 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
“I think it’s just being more comfortable in the offense,” Winston said, according to Fox Sports. “Actually, knowing the offense and not trying to learn the offense on a week-to-week basis. That’s the main thing. When you’re trying to process information and apply it to the field and execute it, that’s always good.”
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan enters his ninth season off a mediocre 2015 campaign in which he threw the second-fewest touchdown passes (21) of his career.
Falcons receiver Julio Jones is coming off a standout season in which he earned 1,871 yards and eight touchdowns.
Buccaneers vs. Falcons Week 1 Viewing Info
Date: Sunday, September 11, 2016
Start Time: 1 p.m. ET
TV Channel: FOX in certain markets. You can click here to see a map of what games will be shown in what cities
Announcers: Sam Rosen, David Diehl, Holly Sanders
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket if the game is outside your market. You can click here for a complete rundown of all the live stream options.
Line: Falcons (-2.5), per OddsShark; You can click here for a preview and pick against the spread