By the numbers
17-26 Bucs' record against the Saints
5 Turnovers the Saints have committed over their past two games, including four Drew Brees interceptions
10 Sacks the Saints have allowed over their past two games
15 Average points scored by the Bucs over their past four games
16.8 Average points scored by the Saints over their past four games
32.9 Average points scored by the Saints at home this season
219 Passing yards needed by Brees to reach 5,000 in a season for the third time
What they're saying
The Bucs aren't that far away from playoff contention. They have enough talent to win with on defense, but they need more speed on offense and ability to stretch the field vertically in the passing game. That Tampa Bay's players didn't quit on coach Greg Schiano during the Josh Freeman saga and continued to play hard for him also bodes well. Clearly, 2014 shapes up as a must-win season, but it would now register as a surprise if Schiano was out of work at some point this week.
Don Banks Sports Illustrated
The Saints are a bad road team but a good home team. That's a bad thing to be if you're going to the playoffs as a wild card. But in New Orleans today, the Saints will clinch a playoff berth.
Michael David Smith profootballtalk.com
Drew Brees took quite a pounding last week, and Tampa can generate a pass rush without having to bring numbers. They can send four and beat you. And given how weak the Saints were in protection even when they brought in three tackles to help out, that could be a big problem today.
Jason La Canfora CBS Sports
The Saints need this game in a big way coming off two road losses. They have been beat up on the offensive line and now must try and block a decent Tampa Bay line. The Bucs can play loose here — if they are motivated. The Saints will find a way as Drew Brees gets back on track. Saints, 30-20.
Pete Prisco CBS Sports
The Saints could end the day as the No. 2 seed. The Saints also could end the day out of the playoffs. If Carolina wins earlier, forcing the Saints to leave the Superdome in the wild-card round, they may be tempted to not delay the inevitable. Coach Sean Payton won't let that happen. Saints, 27-13.
Mike Florio profootballtalk.com
The Saints need a win to secure a playoff spot. And by kickoff, they should know if they still have a chance at the No. 2 seed and first-round bye. With so much on the line, I can't see them losing to a 4-11 Bucs team that ranks last in the league in total offense. Saints, 30-16.
Jeff Duncan New Orleans Times-Picayune
Saints don't lose at home, where they won't get to stay in playoffs. Saints, 37-20.
Barry Wilner Associated Press
|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|
Jets 18, Bucs 17
Saints 16, Bucs 14
Patriots 23, Bucs 3
Cards 13, Bucs 10
Eagles 31, Bucs 20
Falcons 31, Bucs 23
Panthers 31, Bucs 13
'Hawks 27, Bucs 24 OT
Bucs 22, Dolphins 19
Bucs 41 Falcons 28
Bucs 24 Lions 21
Panthers 27, Bucs 6
Bucs 27 Bills 6
49ers 33 Bucs 14
Rams 23 Bucs 13
4:25 today Ch. 13
Bucs at Saints
4:25 p.m., Superdome, New Orleans
TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 103.5-FM, 95.3-FM
Line/over-under: Saints by 12; 471/2