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Deke Bellavia

"Sports Talk" Co-Host
Weekdays 4-8pm

Twitter: @dekebigchief
Email: bigchief@wwl.com


New Orleans Saints (1-4) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)

If if’s and but’s were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas right?  Well if the Bucs had closed out games strong and limited a few mistakes they could be a 5-1 team, or even perhaps 6-0.  Tampa’s three losses (41-34 NYG, 16-10 Dallas, 24-22 Washington) have come by a combined 15 points.  So it’s safe to say that the Buccaneers are much better than their 2-3 record indicates.

If Tampa were in the AFC, they’d be in a tie with a boat load of teams for the Wild Card.  Bottom line here is that there are still ten games left to play for each of these teams after this contest.  A loss by either team here is basically all she wrote.

 

Keys to the game

    New Orleans has to rush the football.  The Saints have not run the ball well (75.2 average), and they have not attempted to run the ball throughout any of their six games - with the exception of when the Saints played Carolina in week two of the season.  The Saints will not be able to throw the ball 55 times and win.  Tampa has the 4th best rushing defense, but it’s largely due to how bad the Bucs pass defense is (312.2 ypg) which is 31st in the NFL.  Still, the Saints can’t pay too much attention to how bad Tampa’s pass defense is.  They still have to try and have some type of balance on offense.
   
     Don’t get “Ron-day’ed.”  Ronde Barber is like a fine wine, meaning he only gets better with age.  Barber has the most consecutive starts at corner back (200) in NFL history.  The man is an ageless wonder, and he has had some pretty good games against the Saints.  The less New Orleans has t,o pass against Barber and the Bucs defensive secondary, the better.  Ronde’s ball hawking skills may have diminished some, but he can still take over a game.
   
    Tackle better – The Saints will be facing some good runners featured on the Bucs Offense that are hard to bring down.  New Orleans must wrap up the Bucs ball carriers and take them to the ground.  RB’s Blount and Doug Martin will be given the ball more times than not, and if New Orleans does not tackle wel,l it could be a long day at Raymond James Stadium.
   
     Win on the road? – The Saints picked up their first win of the season two weeks ago in a wild one at home against the Chargers.  New Orleans will look to win their second game of the season and their first on the road in 2012.
   
    Don’t get blinded by the Dream! – What am I talking about?  Well, all you old school football fans will have a throwback memory on Sunday as the Bucs will be wearing their old colored uniforms.  The original Tampa Bay uniforms that look just like a Dream/Creamsicle will be on display.  

 

Final Analysis:

New Orleans should get a boost from  LB Jonathan Vilma being activated.  We could see Vilma and Curtis Lofton on the field at the same time.  I’ve got to believe that the Saints will be somewhat motivated with #51 back on the field.  I’ll take the Saints in this one.  New Orleans 28 Tampa Bay 20

New Orleans Saints (1-4) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)

Sunday October 22 Noon Kickoff Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

Last week’s results:  New Orleans was off while Tampa Bay Kansas City 38-10

Series History:  The Saints lead the series 23-17.  This series has been extremely close since 2001.  Tampa has won 11 games during that span while the Saints have posted ten wins versus the Bucs since 2001.

Last meeting:  The Saints beat the Bucs 27-16 last November in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
 


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Topics : Sports
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Locations : DallasKansas CityNew OrleansTampaWashington
People : Curtis LoftonDoug MartinJonathan VilmaRonde Barber




 
10/21/2012 3:53AM
New Orleans Saints (1-4) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)
Please Enter Your Comments Below
10/21/2012 10:10AM
Pass Rush!!!
The Defense has to be on there game today!!! No excuses, just play Saints Football. If this doesn't happen we are dead in the water...
10/21/2012 11:11AM
Who Dat
I still got faith in my team no matter what. Forever Black n Gold. No fair weather fans here. Lets go Saints!
10/21/2012 11:20AM
What pass rush?
We have never had one!
10/21/2012 12:21PM
live stream audio
does anyone know why the sound of the "live stream" is like 30 seconds behind live action?
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