Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints: Lineups and analysis

Stat pack

1 p.m., Superdome, New Orleans | TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 103.5-FM | Line, O/U: Saints by 8; 50

avg. Rushing yards

avg. passing yards

avg. total yards

avg. Rushing yards allowed

avg. passing yards allowed

avg. total yards allowed



100.1 (23rd)

117.4 (11th)

Probable starters


WR: Mike Williams 19

LT: Donald Penn 70

LG: Ted Larsen 62

C: Jeff Faine 52

RG: Davin Joseph 75

RT: Jeremy Trueblood 65

TE: Kellen Winslow 82

WR: Arrelious Benn 17

QB: Josh Freeman 5

RB: LeGarrette Blount 27

FB: Erik Lorig 44


DE: Michael Bennett 71

DT: Gerald McCoy 93

DT: Brian Price 92

RDE: Adrian Clayborn 94

SLB: Quincy Black 58

MLB: Mason Foster 59

WLB: Geno Hayes 54

LCB: Aqib Talib 25

RCB: Ronde Barber 20

SS: Sean Jones 26

FS: Tanard Jackson 36

Special Teams

P: Michael Koenen 9

PK: Connor Barth 10

KO: Michael Koenen 9

PR/KR: Preston Parker 87

Saints offense

WR: Devery Henderson 19

LT: Jermon Bushrod 74

LG: Carl Nicks 77

C: Matt Tennant 65

RG: Jahri Evans 73

RT: Charles Brown 71

TE: Jimmy Graham 80

WR: Lance Moore 16

QB: Drew Brees 9

RB: Pierre Thomas 23

FB: Korey Hall 35

Saints defense

LDE: Turk McBride 90

DT: Aubrayo Franklin 99

DT: Sedrick Ellis 98

RDE: Jeff Charleston 97

SLB: Scott Shanle 58

MLB: Jonathan Vilma 51

WLB: Will Herring 53

LCB: Jabari Greer 33

RCB: Tracy Porter 22

SS: Roman Harper 41

FS: Malcolm Jenkins 27

Special teams

P: Thomas Morstead 6

PK/KO: John Kasay 2

WR: Devery Henderson 19

PR: Darren Sproles 43

The Bucs have proved they can win at the Superdome, having done so the past two seasons. But the Saints, behind prolific passer Drew Brees, likely will be on top of their game, having suffered a shocking loss to the previously winless Rams last week. The last time the Bucs, who beat the Saints 26-20 in Tampa on Oct. 16, swept the season series was 2007. They have split in the three seasons since.

Saints' best offensive player

Sometimes, it seems like the only thing that can slow QB Drew Brees, right, is his inconsistent offensive line. The latter has done him in a couple of times in the past three weeks. Three weeks ago, the Bucs consistently collapsed the pocket around him. Last week, the Rams sacked him six times.

Saints' best defensive player

It has been two years since end Will Smith had his 13-sack season. But Smith, who had 5½ last season, is off to a fast start, notching 4½ in six games. He already has two multiple-sack games, including his two last week against St. Louis.

Prediction Saints 28, Bucs 24

What the Saints do best

Make big plays. New Orleans' passing game is built on QB Drew Brees' quick tempo that opens up plays by catching defenses off guard. The Saints have 30 completions of 20 yards or longer and six of 40 yards or longer.

You can beat the Saints if …

Consistently convert first downs. The Bucs have beaten the Saints three times since 2009. Two of those games featured Tampa Bay surpassing 400 total yards. A running game is critical, too, because it runs the clock and keeps QB Drew Brees on the sideline.

The Bucs must avoid …

Allowing QB Drew Brees to sit comfortably in the pocket. When they put pressure on him last month, the Bucs intercepted him three times. Brees is going to throw the ball early and often, so the pass rush must show up.

123.4 (23rd)

124.1 (24th)

267.7 (26th)

221.9 (11th)

240.3 (12th)

326.8 (1st)

391.1 (29th)

346.0 (15th)

340.4 (15th)

444.2 (2nd)

Injury report

BUCS Out: DT Frank Okam (calf), G Jeremy Zuttah (knee). Probable: RB LeGarrette Blount (knee), C Jeff Faine (biceps), LB Mason Foster (ankle), QB Josh Freeman (thumb), S Tanard Jackson (hamstring), DT Gerald McCoy (ankle), DT Brian Price (illness), WR Sammie Stroughter (ankle)

FALCONS Out: RB Mark Ingram (heel). Questionable: LB Jonathan Vilma (knee). Probable: LB Jonathan Casillas (knee), DT Sedrick Ellis (ankle), DE Junior Galette (knee), DT Shaun Rogers (illness), T Zach Strief (knee), TE David Thomas (concussion)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints: Lineups and analysis 11/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 5, 2011 8:19pm]

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