Posted in Game Previews

Game Preview: Bucs vs Saints Week 16

by Staff Report on December 26, 2009

Tampa Bay has won seven of the last 12 meetings, including four of the last six road contests in the series. New Orleans leads the all-time series 21-14 and holds a slight edge at 8-7 as NFC South rivals. The teams split the series last year, with New Orleans winning at home in Week 1 and the Buccaneers prevailing at home in Week 13. The Buccaneers swept both contests in 2005 and 2007, including a 10-3 victory in 2005 in a road contest played in Baton Rouge and 27-13 in the 2005 regular season home finale, a victory that clinched the NFC South title for the Buccaneers.

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Sunday, December 27, 2009
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET (Noon CT)
Site: Louisiana Superdome (68,000)
2009 Records: Tampa Bay 2-12, New Orleans 13-1
Network Television: FOX
Play-by-Play: Kenny Albert, Analyst: Daryl Johnston, Sideline: Tony Siragusa
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, fl agship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
Last Game: Tampa Bay won at Seattle 24-7; New Orleans lost vs. Dallas 24-17
Next Game: Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta (1/3); New Orleans at Carolina (1/3)

Key Match-Ups
Josh Freeman vs Saints Blitz Packages
Freeman since was named the starter, he has struggled in the first quarter of games to find any kind of rhythm going 18-of-39 for 270 yards’(46.2% completion percentage) two touchdowns and three interceptions. The receivers have failed to help the young signal caller out much, with 13 dropped passes. After a stretch over two games in which he threw 8 interceptions to just 1 touchdown Freeman rebounded last week against the Seahawks to toss two touchdowns to just one interception.

Bucs DL vs Saints OL
Drew Brees has one of the quickest releases in all of the NFL, couple that with an offensive line that is very well disciplined in pass protection and the front seven will have it’s work cut out if they intend to get pressure on the prolific passer, but with the Saints line entering the game dinged up head coach and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris will need to be creative with the stunts, twist and blitz looks or Brees could have a field day picking apart the Bucs secondary.

Bucs Secondary vs Saints Receivers
This will be strength against strength with the Bucs entering the game with the eighth ranked passing defense in the NFL verse the Saints vaunted number three passing attack. Aqib Talib, Tanard Jackson, and Ronde Barber will have their hands full trying to contain Brees and his assortment of receivers.

INJURY REPORT
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
OUT
WR Lance Moore (ankle)
S Usama Young (hip, hernia)
QUESTIONABLE
DT Sedrick Ellis (knee)
CB Randall Gay (concussion)
CB Jabari Greer (groin)
LB Scott Shanle (concussion)
S Darren Sharper (knee)
TE Jeremy Shockey (toe)
PROBABLE
RB Reggie Bush (hamstring)
T Jermon Bushrod (thumb)
TE Darnell Dinkins (foot)
G Jahri Evans (toe)
LB Scott Fujita (knee)
C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle)
DE Bobby McCray (back)
T Jon Stinchcomb (knee)
LB Jonathan Vilma (knee)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
QUESTIONABLE
WR Antonio Bryant (groin)
WR Michael Clayton (knee)
C Jeff Faine (elbow)
S Tanard Jackson (knee)
RB Derrick Ward (knee)
PROBABLE
TE John Gilmore (illness)
TE Kellen Winslow (knee)

ENEMY COACHES
Saints Head Coach: Sean Payton
Saints Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael
Saints Defensive Coordinator: Gregg Williams
Saints Special Teams Coach: Greg McMahon

STATISTICAL RANKINGS:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE
Overall: 29th (282.5 ypg)
Rushing: 23rd (100.8 ypg)
Passing: 25th (181.7 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 16th (29)
Points Scored: 29th (15.3 ppg)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE
Overall: 25th (362.8 ypg)
Rushing: 30th (158.9 ypg)
Passing: 8th (203.9 ypg)
Sacks: 25th (26)
Points Allowed: 29th (25.9 ppg)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS OFFENSE
Overall: 1st (419.6 ypg)
Rushing: 5th (133.6 ypg)
Passing: 3rd (286.0 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 4th (19)
Points Scored: 1st (34.5 ppg)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS DEFENSE
Overall: 22nd (354.1 ypg)
Rushing: 18th (114.4 ypg)
Passing: 25th (239.8 ypg)
Sacks: 17th (30)
Points Allowed: 19th (21.3 ppg)

Buc Central’s Prognostication:
As always we are not advocating gambling based on our views of the game, especially considering we typically are inclined to make such educated guesses using are heart rather the any rational thought applied to picking. We are merely giving an opinion of who we think has the best chance at securing a victory.

BUCS 17
SAINTS 34

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