Posted in Game Reviews

Game Preview: Week 6 Saints vs Bucs

by Staff Report on October 16, 2010

The Buccaneers have won four of the last six meetings, including five of the last seven road contests in the series. New Orleans leads the all-time series 21-15 while the teams are tied at 8-8 as NFC South rivals. The teams split the series last year, with New Orleans winning in Tampa in Week 11 and the Buccaneers prevailing at the Superdome in Week 16. The Buccaneers swept both contests in 2005 and 2007 after splitting in 2008, including a 10-3 victory in 2005 in a road contest played in Baton Rouge and a 27-13 in the 2005 regular season home finale, a victory that clinched the NFC South title for the Buccaneers. 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, October 17, 2010
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Site: Raymond James Stadium (65,890)
2010 Records: Tampa Bay 3-1, New Orleans 3-2
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 defeated Cincinnati 24-21; New Orleans lost at Arizona 30-20

Head-To-Head
New Orleans leads series 21-15 (Regular Season)

SERIES BY THE NUMBERS
Overall Regular Season Series:…………..New Orleans leads series, 21-15
Home Record vs. New Orleans Saints:…………………………………….6-9
Road Record vs. New Orleans Saints:……………………………………9-12
Current Streak:…………………………………. Buccaneers, one game (2009)
Buccaneers Longest Streak:…………Two games, five times (last in 2007)
Saints Longest Streak:……………………………………Six games (1983-88)
Regular Season Point Total:…………………..Buccaneers 660 – Saints 723
Most Points, Buccaneers:…………………….. 48, Buccaneers 48-21 (2001)
Most Points, Saints:……………………………………44, Saints 44-34 (1987)
Most Points, both teams:…………………………….78, Saints 44-34 (1987)
Fewest Points, Buccaneers:…………………………….. 3, Saints 9-3 (1998)
Fewest Points, Saints:……………………………. 3, Buccaneers 10-3 (2005)
Fewest Points, both teams:…………………………… 12, Saints 9-3 (1998)

What to Watch
Bucs O-Line vs Greg Williams heavy blitz scheme

The Bucs allowed three sacks last week against the blitz happy Bengals, but will face an even stiffer test against the Saints, who love to blitz under the guidance of defensive coordinator Greg Williams. With Freeman still adjusting to calling all the protections and the injury to center Jeff Faine, this unit will have its hands full as they attempt to stonewall the Saints defenders and give Freeman time to throw.  Faine’s replacement Jeremy Zuttah will have his hands full with the emergence of third year veteran defensive tackle Sedrick Eliis who leads the Saints in sacks with 3.

Josh Freeman vs Saints Secondary
Freeman ranks fourth in the NFC (eighth in the NFL) with a third down passer rating of 100.2 and sixth in the NFC with a fourth quarter passer rating of 84.2 through 4 games. He has yet to throw an interception on a third down play. His legs have been just as productive on third downs, as six of Freeman’s 15 runs this year have come on third down, with five of them resulting in first downs. Four of those six scrambles have come on third-and-nine or longer. In just four games, Freeman has already converted two third-and-11s, two third-and-fours and a third-and-nine by running. Through the first 12 starts in his career, Freeman has a 6-8 record including a 5-2 record over his last seven starts and four consecutive road wins. Of his six career victories, four have been fourth quarter comeback wins.

Bucs Secondary vs Drew Brees
This is strength vs strength for both teams. Drew Brees enters the game with a 95.7 quarterback rating and is completing 71.4% of his pass attempts in 2010 with 9 touchdown passes and 1,410 yards and 282-yards per game.  The Bucs secondary has intercepted 8 passes and has held opposing quarterbacks to a 65.1 quarterback rating.

INJURY REPORT
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Out
RB Reggie Bush (fibula)
CB Randall Gay (head)
CB Tracy Porter (knee)
RB Pierre Thomas (ankle)
Questionable
DE Will Smith (groin)
Probable
QB Drew Brees (knee)
WR Marques Colston (rib)
LB Scott Shanle (hamstring)
S Roman Harper (hamstring)
T Jon Stinchcomb (shoulder)
S Usama Young (quadriceps)
T Zach Strief (knee)
DE Jimmy Wilkerson (knee)
LB Stanley Arnoux (ankle)
LB Anthony Waters (hamstring)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Out
C Jeff Faine (quadricep)
Questionable
CB Elbert Mack (foot)
DE Kyle Moore (shoulder)
WR Mike Williams (foot)
Probable
FB Earnest Graham (hamstring)
S Sean Jones (back)
LB Niko Koutouvides (ankle)
TE Kellen Winslow (knee)

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

STATISTICAL RANKINGS:
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS OFFENSE
Overall: 10th (346.8 ypg)
Rushing: 31st (75.6 ypg)
Passing: 5th (271.2 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 9th (8)
Points Scored: 18th (19.8 ppg)
NEW ORLEANS SIANTS DEFENSE
Overall: 9th (306.4 ypg)
Rushing: 22nd (118.8 ypg)
Passing: 7th (187.6 ypg)
Sacks: 13th (10)
Points Allowed: 17th (20.4 ppg)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE
Overall: 21st (313.8 ypg)
Rushing: 18th (103.5 ypg)
Passing: 19th (210.3 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 16th (10)
Points Scored: 21st (18.5 ppg)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE
Overall: 18th (340.8 ypg)
Rushing: 30th (143.3 ypg)
Passing: 9th (197.5 ypg)
Sacks: 32nd (4)
Points Allowed: 15th (20.0 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 20
BUCS 19

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