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Loading The Cannons: Week 9 Bucs at Saints

Buccaneers offense and defense look to get on the same page as they head to New Orleans to take on the first place Saints. 

The Bucs losing streak now stands at four after an embarrassing offensive performance last week against the Panthers.  The Saints look to extend their win streak to six games after handling the Bears at home in Week 8.

Keys to the Game:

For starters, stop the run.  It’s that simple.  It’s been no secret that the past few weeks the Bucs have had problems slowing down the opponents rushing attack.  Tampa has allowed a combined 259 yards and five touchdowns to Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Jonathan Stewart in Weeks 6-8.

The Saints come in with a lethal combination of rushers.  Lead Running Back, Mark Ingram comes in to this game scoring touchdowns in three of his last four games. Meanwhile, rookie Alvin Kamara is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

If Tampa fails to slow down the Saints rushing attack that will open things up for Drew Brees.  Brees has been one of the league’s top tier quarterbacks for a long time and he has shown no signs of slowing down.  Last week he completed over 80% of his passes for nearly 300 yards.  The Buccaneers have to find a way to get to Brees and force him into making some mistakes.

For the Bucs on the offensive side of the ball, Jameis Winston has to take care of the football. 

Winston is directly responsible for five turnovers the past two weeks.  Winston being so careless with the ball simply cannot happen if the Bucs want to leave New Orleans with the win.  It could be tough for Jameis though as the Saints defense has actually been a strength of theirs this season, rather than a hindrance.

Predictions:

Hopefully this Bucs team has a short memory.  The last time these two teams played, which was on Christmas Eve, the Saints ran the ball all over Tampa Bay for a total of 123 yards.  In that game Mark Ingram averaged five yards per carry.  That loss also knocked Tampa out of playoff contention.  Talk about getting a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.

Right now these are two teams that are headed in two totally different directions.  The Saints are playing some of the best football in the league and are considered, by some, the favorite to win the NFC South.  Tampa, on the other hand, is in the middle of a tailspin.  They’re on the road, in a hostile environment and staring a five game losing streak right in the face.  In the end, this is way too much for a Bucs team to overcome.  Tampa drops this one on the road and essentially drops out of the NFC South race as well.

31-21

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