Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints: Probable starters and analysis

The Bucs aren't playing great, and they definitely have been way too sloppy on both sides of the ball. The Saints have some defensive weaknesses, but unless the Bucs can get out of their own way, it won't matter. Look for Saints quarterback Drew Brees to make the Bucs pay dearly for not sustaining drives.

Probable starters

Bucs offense

WR: Mike Williams 19

LT: Donald Penn 70

LG: Jeremy Zuttah 76

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: Earnest Graham 34

FB: Erik Lorig 44

Bucs defense

LDE: Michael Bennett 71

DT: Frank Okam 98

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: Corey Lynch 41

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: Martez Wilson 95

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

KR: Devery Henderson 19

PR: Darren Sproles 43

Stat pack



4:15 p.m., Raymond James Stadium, Tampa | Radio: 620-AM, 103.5-FM | Line, O/U: Saints by 5, 49½

Saints' best offensive player

Drew Brees, right, is the engine that keeps the Saints humming, teaming with aggressive play-caller Sean Payton to rip defenses leaguewide. Brees will throw early and often. He leads the NFL in pass attempts and completions. And he's great under pressure. His third-down passer rating is 149.9 — also tops in the NFL.

Saints' best defensive player

Jonathan Vilma has been the heart and soul of the Saints defense for four seasons while establishing himself as one of the game's best middle linebackers. He has surpassed 100 tackles in six of the past seven seasons and is on pace to get there again.

The Bucs must avoid …

Another early deficit. As the schedule intensifies — Saints twice, Bears, Texans and Packers in their next five games — it becomes increasingly difficult to overcome them. The Bucs fell behind 21-3 against the solid 49ers midway through the second quarter last week, and the game was all but over.

What the Saints do best

Play with offensive tempo. Because Drew Brees is so adept at running the offense, the Saints keep defenses guessing. It's why they have so many explosive plays. At the same time, those plays generally involve high-percentage throws. At 69.4, the Saints trail only the Packers in completion percentage.

You can beat the Saints if …

You keep their offense on the sideline, preventing it from getting into a rhythm. The Bucs, like most teams, will struggle if they attempt to win a shootout with the Saints. Coach Raheem Morris has conceded 300-yard passing games are probable when it comes to Drew Brees. So this is one of those days when a good offense really could be the best defense.

Prediction Saints 27, Bucs 21

avg. Rushing yards

avg. passing yards

avg. total yards

avg. Rushing yards allowed

avg. passing yards allowed

avg. total yards allowed

Bucs

saints

110.8 (16th)

115.4 (14th)

123.4 (24th)

107.6 (15th)

225.8 (20th)

336.6 (2nd)

254.6 (20th)

247.0 (16th)

336.6 (20th)

452.0 (2nd)

378.0 (23rd)

354.6 (16th)

Injury report

BUCS Out: DT Gerald McCoy (ankle), TE Luke Stocker (knee), WR Sammie Stroughter (foot). Doubtful: RB LeGarrette Blount (knee). Questionable: LB Zac Diles (hamstring), LB Mason Foster (ankle). Probable: LB Quincy Black (ankle), T James Lee (knee), CB Aqib Talib (knee).

Saints Out: LB Will Herring (hamstring), T Zach Strief (knee), TE David Thomas (concussion). Probable: TE John Gilmore (neck), WR Devery Henderson (calf), LB Jonathan Vilma (knee), LB Martez Wilson (neck).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints: Probable starters and analysis 10/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 15, 2011 6:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.