Tampa Bay at Atlanta, 1 p.m.


Times in its final seven games Atlanta will play fellow NFC South title contenders Tampa Bay or Carolina The Falcons enter today's important NFC South matchup after a head-scratching home loss a week ago to the beaten-down Packers. The Buccaneers are coming off a more pleasant surprise: an offensive turnaround in their 36-35 defeat of the Redskins.

Atlanta committed six fumbles, three of which resulted in turnovers, in its 33-25 loss. It was Coach Jim Mora's third home defeat. Players and coaches spent the week lamenting poor tackling, which helped lead to 351 total yards by Green Bay. "They had an astounding number of yards after contact," safety Bryan Scott said.

Bearing the brunt of what could be an angry Falcons defense is Bucs quarterback Chris Simms, who recorded career highs in passing yards (279) and passing touchdowns (three) last week in his third NFL start. In his first two starts -- offensively inert losses to the 49ers and Panthers -- Simms was sacked 11 times, threw four interceptions and fumbled twice. Against the Redskins those totals were zero, zero and zero.

Chris Simms will be making his fourth career start against an Atlanta squad with something to prove.