Posted in Game Reviews

Game Preview: Saints vs Bucs

by Staff Report on November 21, 2009

Can the Bucs knock off the undefeated Saints?

Can the Bucs knock off the undefeated Saints?

Tampa Bay has won seven of the last 11 meetings, including three of the last four contests played at Raymond James Stadium. New Orleans leads the all-time series 20-14, but the series is tied at 7-7 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 a road contest played in Baton Rouge and 27-13 in the regular season home finale, a victory that clinched the NFC South title for the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay and New Orleans split the series in 2003 and 2004 with the visiting team winning each of the contests. Prior to joining the NFC South, Tampa Bay had claimed three of the previous four meetings, including wins in both 1999 and 2001. The Bucs won the first game between the two clubs, a 33-14 triumph at the Superdome in 1977. Tampa Bay tied an NFL record, which has since been broken, by returning three interceptions for touchdowns. The victory marked the Bucs’ first regular season win after 26 consecutive losses. More than 8,000 fans greeted the team upon its return to One Buccaneer Place. Tampa Bay and New Orleans split the next four meetings, each winning two straight on the other team’s turf before the Saints assembled a six-game winning streak.

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Sunday, November 22, 2009
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Site: Raymond James Stadium (65,890)
2009 Records: Tampa Bay 1-8, New Orleans 9-0
Network Television: FOX
Play-by-Play: Sam Rosen, Analyst: Tim Ryan
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
Last Game: Tampa Bay lost at Miami 25-23; New Orleans won at St. Louis 28-23
Next Game: Tampa Bay at Atlanta (11/29); New Orleans vs. New England (11/30)

Key Match-Ups
Josh Freeman vs Blitz- Saints Secondary
Freeman, who’s making his third start has shown an uncanny ability to rally the team late in games, Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is sure to blitz the young signal caller, but with the Saints secondary banged up Freeman who will have his number one receiver for the first time, should be able to elude the pressure and force the action downfield.

DE Stylez G White vs LT Jermon Bushrod
White after sitting out last week with a shoulder injury gets to face Bushrod who has shown a propensity to give up sacks, through 8 starts since being inserted into the lineup, Bushrod has given up 5 sacks, White’s quickness should allow him to get after the first year starter and force Brees to hurry some throws.

Bucs Secondary vs Saints Aerial Assault
The Saints aerial show and furthermore Drew Brees is connecting on 68.4% of his passes, while tossing 19 touchdowns, but he has shown he’s capable of throwing the interception this season with 9 on the year. If the secondary doesn’t get help from the defensive line in pressuring Brees it could be like Thanksgiving at Raymond James Stadium this Sunday with Brees carving up the Bucs secondary.

INJURY REPORT
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
OUT
CB Jabari Greer (groin)
WR Lance Moore (ankle)
CB Tracy Porter (knee)
RB Reggie Bush (knee)
DT Sedrick Ellis (knee)
PROBABLE
C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle)
S Darren Sharper (knee)
TE David Thomas (knee)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
QUESTIONABLE
CB Elbert Mack (ankle)
PROBABLE
WR Antonio Bryant (knee)
CB Torrie Cox (not injury related)
QB Byron Leftwich (right elbow)
CB Aqib Talib (hamstring)
RB Carnell Williams (knee)
TE Kellen Winslow (knee)

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

STATISTICAL RANKINGS:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE
Overall: 28th (276.3 ypg)
Rushing: 25th (98.8 ypg)
Passing: 23rd (177.6 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 14th (19)
Points Scored: 25th (17.4 ppg)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE
Overall: 29th (379.2 ypg)
Rushing: 31st (167.3 ypg)
Passing: 15th (211.9 ypg)
Sacks: 23rd (17)
Points Allowed: 31st (28.4 ppg)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS OFFENSE
Overall: 1st (426.1 ypg)
Rushing: 5th (151.1 ypg)
Passing: 4th (275.0 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 12th (13)
Points Scored: 1st (36.8 ppg)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS DEFENSE
Overall: 21st (343.0 ypg)
Rushing: 20th (115.3 ypg)
Passing: 19th (227.7 ypg)
Sacks: 12th (21)
Points Allowed: 17th (21.9 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.

SAINTS 37
BUCS 22

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