TAMPA BAY ONE GAME BEHIND CAROLINA Tampa Bay’s 10-3 win over New Orleans sets up a huge NFC South divisional showdown next Sunday between the 8-4 Buccaneers and the 9-3 Carolina Panthers. The Bucs were downed by the Panthers earlier this season at Raymond James Stadium, 34-14. Carolina has won five straight games against Tampa Bay dating back to the 2003 season.
BUCS CONTINUE THIRD DOWN WOES After being one of the stingiest defenses on third down for the first eight games, Tampa Bay’s defense has been one of the easiest to move against on third down. Over the first eight games, the Bucs defense gave up a measly 27 percent on third down. Over the past four games the Bucs defense has yielded 49 percent on third downs, including 9-of-16 (56 percent) against the Saints on Sunday.
BARBER RECORDS THREE INTERCEPTIONS With Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber’s three interceptions against Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks, he tied his own record of three interceptions in a game. The last time Barber achieved the milestone was December 23, 2001 against New Orleans in a 48-21 victory at home. With his three interceptions, Barber, who has notched 27 career interceptions in regular season games, inches closer to third place on the all-time list of interceptions as a Buccaneer. He trails Mike Washington (28 interceptions).
ROAD WARRIORS Tampa Bay has posted all three of its NFC South victories against the New Orleans Saints away from the friendly confines of Raymond James Stadium. The Saints are 4-0 at Raymond James Stadium since joining the NFC South. The Bucs are 4-2 on the road this season.
GALLOWAY CONTINUES DOMINANCE Tampa Bay wide receiver Joey Galloway hauled in his 16th reception of 20 or more yards Sunday. Galloway currently has 1,075 yards and eight touchdowns on 63 catches this season. Galloway notched his eighth touchdown, the only touchdown of Sunday’s game, against the Saints on a 30-yard pass from QB Chris Simms.
BUCS INACTIVE PLAYERS The following players were inactive for the game against the New Orleans Saints: K Matt Bryant, RB Derek Watson, S Will Allen, LB Marquis Cooper, T Chris Colmer, DT Anthony Bryant, C Scott Jackson and designated third quarterback Tim Rattay.
BUC SHOTS Quarterback Chris Simms was 12-for-21 for 121 yards and threw a touchdown. … Running Back Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams carried the ball 22 times for 96 yards. … Shelton Quarles left the game in the second half and was replaced by rookie Barrett Rudd, before leaving the game Quarles collected 10 tackles. … For the second straight week cornerback Juran Bolden left the game with an injury and later returned.
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