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

Bucs at Vikings

8:20 tonight, Metrodome, Minneapolis

TV/radio: Ch. 32, NFL; 620-AM, 103.5-FM

Line/over-under: Vikings by 61/2; 421/2

The poll

Who do you blame for the Bucs' 35-28 loss to the Saints on Sunday?

Greg Schiano and his coaching staff: 57 percent

Bucs secondary: 26 percent

Officials: 11 percent

Running back LeGarrette Blount: 5 percent

Receiver Mike Williams: 1 percent

Total: 1,316 votes

Inside the numbers

21-31 Bucs' record against the Vikings; the Bucs have won the past five meetings dating to 2001

652 Rushing yards for the Vikings' Adrian Peterson, tied for third in the league

29 100-yard rushing games for Peterson, tied with Robert Smith for the Vikings' franchise record

35.4 Percentage of third downs the Bucs have allowed opponents to convert, eighth best in the league

What they're saying

Josh Freeman posted 420 passing yards and was two fluke plays away from combining a career statistical day with a win (Sunday). By rule, the illegal touching was called correctly. But more upsetting was that Vincent Jackson got hawked by a safety on the other side of the field.

Brian Billick Fox Sports

Minnesota's ferocious pass rush bared its fangs against the Cardinals with seven sacks. If Josh Freeman and the Bucs insist on taking to the air, Brian Robison, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Letroy Guion need to keep snarling up front and wreak havoc in the backfield.

Brian Murphy St. Paul Pioneer Press

The picks

I have a gut feeling that this game gets away from the Vikings somehow. Tampa Bay has been cruising offensively the last two weeks, and they have a really good run D. Which will put pressure on the Vikings to get something done in the passing game. We'll see how they respond. Every part of me says to pick Tampa. But I keep coming back to the 3-12 record road teams have the past two seasons with these Sunday-to-Thursday quick flips. Vikings, 24-23.

Dan Wiederer Minneapolis Star-Tribune

The Bucs have come alive on offense the past couple of weeks with Josh Freeman putting up big numbers. But (the Metrodome) is a tough place to play, especially the way the Vikings' front is playing. They get after it on defense, ranking ninth in the league. The Bucs do stop the run, so look for Christian Ponder to have a bounce-back game. Vikings, 21-17.

Pete Prisco

In Greg Schiano's first season as coach of the Bucs, the results have been inconsistent. "Again, we're sitting here, what are we, 2-4 now? And we're saying this old song and dance. That's the way it is," he said after Sunday's loss. "Until we get it changed, until we find a way to change it, close but no cigar." The Vikings will be lighting up on Thursday night. Vikings, 27-19

Barry Wilner Associated Press

Bucs at Vikings: What they're saying; by the numbers 10/24/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 25, 2012 1:09pm]
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