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Bucs at Saints: What they're saying; by the numbers

The poll

How will the Bucs, 6-7 with three games left, finish the season?

8-8: 39 percent

7-9: 37 percent

6-10: 11 percent

9-7, miss the playoffs: 8 percent

9-7, make the playoffs: 5 percent

Total: 865 votes

Inside the numbers

17-24 Bucs' record against the Saints

7 Interceptions for the Saints' Drew Brees over his past two games compared with one touchdown

30 Rushing yards needed by Doug Martin to pass Ricky Bell (1,263) for third in Bucs history for one season

67 Rushing yards needed by Martin to pass James Wilder (1,300) for second

What they're saying

After winning four straight, the Bucs have now lost three in a row but still appear to be a team right on the verge of breaking out. If they can solidify the defensive secondary, this team will be competing for championships very soon.

Brian Billick Fox Sports

The heartbreaker against the Eagles was the kind of loss that says wait 'til next year in Tampa Bay. But at least it doesn't feel like false hope with Greg Schiano's program off to a strong start.

Don Banks Sports Illustrated

New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham has been able to hold onto one thing: his league lead in dropped passes. After a crucial drop in last week's loss to the Giants, Graham now has 10 for the season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. However, we should note that New England's Wes Welker has moved into a tie with Graham. The Saints are second in the league with 33 team drops.The Buccaneers are tied for No. 27 with 16 drops, and Doug Martin has seven of them. But it should be noted the rookie running back hasn't had a drop in more than a month. It also should be noted Vincent Jackson is one of only six receivers who has been targeted at least 40 times and has yet to drop a pass.

Pat Yasinskas ESPN.com

The picks

The Saints come home angry — angry that their season's been stolen (in their eyes), angry they're out of it, angry they can't do anything about their anger except win the last three games and get ready for 2013. Drew Brees will see to it that the Saints will be playing for something here Sunday. Saints, 28-25.

Peter King Sports Illustrated

The Saints are out of it, so they are playing for pride. Tampa Bay is still alive, but the Saints beat them earlier in the season. I think they do it again. Drew Brees will light up an overmatched Tampa Bay secondary. Saints, 37-27.

Pete Prisco CBSSports.com

Both QBs, Josh Freeman and Drew Brees, can put up a ton of yards and likely will. Difference will be Bucs RB Doug Martin on Superdome turf. Bucs, 31-27.

Sam Farmer Los Angeles Times

Bucs at Saints

1 p.m., Superdome, New Orleans

TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 103.5-FM

Line, over/under: Saints by 4, 54

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17
Panthers

Bucs 16, Panthers 10

1-0
at Giants

Giants 41, Bucs 34

1-1
at Cowboys

Cowboys 1 6, Bucs 10

1-2
Redskins

Redskins 24, Bucs 22

1-3
Chiefs

Bucs 38, Chiefs 10

2-3
Saints

Saints 35, Bucs 28

2-4
at Vikings

Bucs 36, Vikings 17

3-4
at Raiders

Bucs 42, Raiders 32

4-4
Chargers

Bucs 34, Chargers 24

5-4
at Panthers

Bucs 27, Panthers 21

6-4
Falcons

Falcons 24, Bucs 23

6-5
at Broncos

Broncos 31, Bucs 23

6-6
Eagles

Eagles 23, Bucs 21

6-7
at Saints

1 p.m. today, Ch. 13
Rams

1 p.m. Dec. 23, Ch. 13 *
at Falcons

1 p.m. Dec. 30, Ch. 13

Bucs at Saints: What they're saying; by the numbers 12/14/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 14, 2012 8:25pm]
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