Make us your home page

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 Bucs vs. New Orleans Saints: Scouting report

The Saints believe they're finding their way after an 0-4 start. But they have deep-rooted problems on defense that don't seem easily repairable. They're allowing 172.8 rushing yards per game, creating an opportunity for the Bucs to get their 17th-ranked running game going. New Orleans' defensive breakdowns have put too much pressure on an offense that's still one of the best.

Saints' top offensive player

QB Drew Brees, right, remains at the top of his game despite a 58.9 completion percentage, his lowest since 2003. Brees, 32, and in his 12th season, has a quick release that neutralizes even the best pass rush.

Saints' top defensive player

Curtis Lofton, replacing the injured/suspended Jonathan Vilma at middle linebacker, has stepped right into the middle of the defense and leads the club in tackles with 54.

Bucs must avoid ...

Getting too far away from their running game. This game provides an opportunity to get both Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount going.

What the Saints do best

The Saints can throw the ball with the best of them. Drew Brees has thrown a touchdown in an NFL-record 48 consecutive games, and the passing offense is first in the league. The running game, though, has been disappointing.

How you beat the Saints

Move the ball consistently, which is possible given the weaknesses of their defense. Keeping QB Drew Brees on the sideline is the best defense.

Projected starters



WR: Vincent Jackson

LT: Donald Penn

LG: Carl Nicks

C: Jeremy Zuttah

RG: Jamon Meredith

RT: Demar Dotson

TE: Dallas Clark

WR: Mike Williams

QB: Josh Freeman

RB: Doug Martin

FB: Erik Lorig


LDE: Michael Bennett

DT: Gerald McCoy

DT: Roy Miller

RDE: Daniel


SLB: Quincy Black

MLB: Mason Foster

WLB: Lavonte David

CB: E.J. Biggers

CB: Eric Wright

SS: Mark Barron

FS: Ronde Barber

special teams

PR: Roscoe Parrish

KR: Arrelious Benn

PK: Connor Barth

P/KO: Michael Koenen



WR: Marques Colston

LT: Jermon Bushrod

LG: Ben Grubbs

C: Brian De La Puente

RG: Jahri Evans

RT: Zach Strief

TE: David Thomas

WR: Devery Henderson

QB: Drew Brees

FB: Jed Collins

RB: Darren Sproles


LDE: Cameron Jordan

DT: Brodrick Bunkley

DT: Sedrick Ellis

RDE: Will Smith

SLB: Scott Shanle

MLB: Curtis Lofton

WLB: Jonathan Casillas

CB: Jabari Greer

CB: Patrick Robinson

SS: Roman Harper

FS: Michael Jenkins

special teams

PR: Darren Sproles

KR: Darren Sproles

PK: Garrett Hartley

P/KO: Thomas Morstead

Injury report

Bucs Probable: WR Vincent Jackson (calf), G Carl Nicks (foot).

Saints Out: LB David Hawthorne (hamstring), TE Jimmy Graham (ankle). Probable: RB Travaris Cadet (shoulder), LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), G Jahri Evans (toe), CB Jabari Greer (groin), DE Turk McBride (ankle), WR Lance Moore (hamstring), LB Scott Shanle (illness).

Stat pack

1 p.m., Raymond James Stadium, Tampa | TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 103.5-FM | Line, O/U: Saints by 2, 49½


Bucs 29, Saints 27

Rushing yards

passing yards

total yards

Rushing yards allowed

passing yards allowed

total yards allowed



101.8 (17th)

75.2 (30th)

211.6 (25th)

326.8 (1st)

313.4 (27th)

402.0 (4th)

75.0 (3rd)

172.8 (31st)

312.2 (31st)

283.2 (26th)

387.2 (25th)

456.0 (32nd)

Tampa Bay Bucs vs. New Orleans Saints: Scouting report 10/20/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 5:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    Minnesota Twins pitcher Adalberto Mejia, right, makes the tag at the plate on Tampa Bay Rays' Steven Souza Jr. who attempted to score on a runner's fielders' choice in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 27, 2017, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Jim Mone) MNJM103
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]