The PewterReport.com staff shares its thoughts on the upcoming Bucs game and pick who we think we win, including a score prediction and a pick-to-click – a Tampa Bay player we think will play really well. Let us know you thoughts and add your prediction in the comment section.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-6) VS. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-2)

WHEN: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1:00 P.M. ET
WHERE: RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM (65,618)
TELEVISION: FOX (WTVT)
PLAY-BY-PLAY: THOM BRENNAMAN ANALYST: CHRIS SPIELMAN
SIDELINE: SHANNON SPAKEBUCS
RADIO: 98ROCK, FLAGSHIP STATION (WXTB-97.9 FM)
PLAY-BY-PLAY: GENE DECKERHOFF ANALYST: DAVE MOORE
SIDELINE: T.J. RIVES

PewterReport.com Publisher/Bucs Beat Writer Scott Reynolds

With the Bucs coming off a win last week to snap a four-game losing streak and the Saints coming off a surprising loss to the Falcons a week ago, it’s tempting to pick Tampa Bay at home, especially with the Saints being without star cornerback Marshon Lattimore and interior lineman Andrus Peat due to injury. Then you remember that New Orleans’ future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees is coming off a game in which he was sacked a handful of times and didn’t play well and you realize he’s not going to have bad games back-to-back.

You also realize that Brees will be targeting two rookie cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting and second-year cornerback Carlton Davis, who is coming off a hip injury, and Tampa Bay’s bad pass defense, which ranks last in the NFL in yards allowed. Then you realize that the Saints are still atop the division for good reason and that the Bucs are one game out the NFC South cellar for yet another year.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin
Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Getty Images

The Bucs can put up some points, especially without Lattimore, which should allow both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to be open for quarterback Jameis Winston. In fact, this game seems destined for a shootout, especially with tight end O.J. Howard being featured in Bruce Arians’ offense again and the continuation of Ronald Jones’ growth as a running back and a receiver.

But this game will come down to which team’s pass rush is most effective. The Saints sacked Winston six times in New Orleans, while Brees is one of the hardest QBs to sack due to his quick vision and release. Not having Carl Nassib for another week hurts as it puts more pressure on Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul to mount the pass rush and play 60-plus snaps, which diminishes their effectiveness as the game goes on. Tampa Bay’s offensive line will have to rise and protect Winston for the Bucs to have a chance at the upset, but I don’t see it happening.

Reynolds’ Score Prediction: Saints 33, Bucs 31
Reynolds’ Pick To Click: WR Mike Evans
Reynolds’ Season Record: 2-7

PewterReport.com Editor/Bucs Beat Writer Mark Cook

There aren’t a lot of favorable matchups for the Buccaneers in this game. When you look at the two teams they are really on the opposite ends of the spectrum. A staff that has been together for years, with one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, winners of seven games and favored to represent the NFC in this year’s Super Bowl.

Then you have an inexperienced Bucs team with a new staff still trying to dial up the right combination of players and game plans with a quarterback in limbo, winners of just three games and trying to stay of out the bottom of the cellar in the NFC South.

Still, for whatever reason, the Bucs give the Saints and Drew Brees fits at times. And that could be the case once again this year. Tampa Bay dropped their matchup in the Superdome earlier this year, so if you go by recent history, Tampa Bay is due for a win.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

So many things will need to go right for the Bucs to win, the first and most important is QB Jameis Winston being smart with the football. The Bucs will also need their young secondary to play the game of their lives and hope Brees can be coaxed into a few mistake of his own. Secondly, will be the need for the Bucs to turn scoring chances into seven points, not settling for field goals. In a game that could be a shootout, success in the red zone is imperative.

This most likely turns into a back-and-forth game and will be determined by the team that makes the most plays in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay will handle the Saints running game, but will struggle in the secondary and Brees will throw for close to 400 yards.

This game, if Tampa Bay can some how come out on top, can propel this team on a streak that could turn their season around. They need it badly for their confidence and to get the town excited again for Bucs football. It is a tall order and one this young Bucs team will struggle to accomplish. The grizzled veteran Brees won’t lose two in a row and the more experienced team will come out on top.

Cook’s Score Prediction: Saints 31, Bucs 24
Cook’s Pick To Click: TE O.J. Howard
Cook’s Season Record:1-8

PewterReport.com Bucs Beat Writer Trevor Sikkema

Alright I’ll make this simple and just get right to it. The Bucs are going to beat the Saints this Sunday. Here’s why.

Tampa Bay got their butts handed to them in a game that really wasn’t as close as the final score indicated in New Orleans a few weeks ago. However, there were some key players missing from that game and some key performances that I believe will be present this time around.

Bucs’ WR Mike Evans – Photo by – Cliff Welch/PR

First of all, wide receivers Mike Evans is not going to be held without a catch again. In fact, with Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore out for this contest, I expect a 100-yard performance for the Bucs star pass catcher. Pair that with a much more confident Ronald Jones facing the Saints this time around, a much more focused O.J Howard, and I believe the offense has what it needs to keep up.

On the flip side, the Bucs defense will be able to keep this game close with the play of their defensive ends. Jason Pierre-Paul was not back yet when the Bucs faced the Saints in New Orleans, so his presence is an immediate upgrade. On the other side, pass rusher Shaq Barrett was just learning what to do with the extra attention offensive lines were giving him. He didn’t know how to handle it in New Orleans. He does now. Add in the fact that Devin White is playing against a totally different level than what he was when he returned from injury in that first Saints meeting and I think they’ll have enough to slow down Drew Brees & Company.

Sikkema’s Score Prediction: Bucs 28, Saints 24
Sikkema’s Pick To Click: OLB Shaq Barrett
Sikkema’s Season Record:1-8

PewterReport.com Bucs Beat Writer Matt Matera

It doesn’t matter if it’s against an undefeated team, a winless team, or everyone else in between, the Bucs keep the fight going in close games late in the fourth quarter week in and week out. Once again the Bucs are underdogs, and these underdogs are going to keep it close despite the Saints being highly favored.

If the Bucs are going to keep it close, they need to have the best game of the season from Jameis Winston and the offensive line. There’s just no way you can rely on the Bucs’ defense to win you a game this season, so it might take a shootout of game to get it done. Jameis Winston was sacked six times in their Week 5 contest, but the Bucs have cut down on the sacks over the last two weeks, allowing six total. The Bucs offense has found their groove lately averaging 28.9 points per game, which is best in the NFC. This is a difficult matchup for them though, as they struggled with the Saints defense in New Orleans, but Marshon Lattimore being out for this game helps the Bucs chances.

Bucs CB Carlton Davis
Bucs CB Carlton Davis – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The true mismatch comes on the other side of the ball. The Bucs released Vernon Hargreaves, leaving Sean Murphy-Bunting, Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and Mazzi Wilkins at corner. They are all rookies with the exception of the returning Davis, who is still a second year player. Dean may have bounced back last week, but this is the first time they will face Drew Brees this season, and he’ll have to guard Michael Thomas at the same time. I think Thomas has a field day against Dean as Brees carves up the Bucs defense, much like many other quarterbacks have done this season. The Bucs will keep it close and put up a fight, but the Saints will win too many of their individual matchups and come out on top.

Matera’s Score Prediction: Saints 30, Bucs 28
Matera’s Pick-To-Click: QB Jameis Winston
Matera’s Season Record: 3-6

PewterReport.com Bucs Beat Writer Taylor Jenkins

The Bucs finally snapped their four-game losing streak with their first home win of the season last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Unfortunately the Saints will pose a far more formidable challenge when they march into Tampa this weekend.

The good news for Tampa Bay is that New Orleans’ top cornerback, Marshon Lattimore, will be forced to miss the divisional matchup. Lattimore has repeatedly proven to be a thorn in the side of Mike Evans, thus magnifying the impact of his absence as Evans looks to surpass 1000 receiving yards for his sixth consecutive season.

The bad news for Tampa Bay is that New Orleans will still roll out a supremely talent roster, highlighted by Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Cameron Jordan, Michael Thomas and future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II
Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

This matchup will likely be a high-scoring affair and with Jamel Dean in line to face the toughest test of his young career in Thomas, it will be important for the Bucs to establish their run game early on the shoulders of Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber in order to control the clock, shorten the game and keep the ball out of Brees’ hands.

On the other side of the ball, as the defense enters the game down two outside linebackers in Carl Nassib and Anthony Nelson, the rest of Tampa Bay’s front seven will have to get quick pressure on Brees, finish sacks when they’re available and get him off balance so the star signal-caller isn’t able to find a rhythm and survey the field at his leisure.

All-in-all the Bucs will have their hands full and I think it will take a major performance in all three phases for Tampa Bay to escape with their second consecutive home win.

Jenkins’ Score Prediction: Saints 30, Bucs 20
Jenkins’ Pick-To-Click: RB Ronald Jones
Jenkins’ Season Record: 1-8

Previous articleWhat’s Cooking?: Chris Godwin
Next articleBucs vs. Saints Game Day Inactives
Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

22 COMMENTS

  1. We always play the saints well, but im a bit worried that the saints are going to bounce back after the sad loss to the falcons last week.

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  2. Even lowly Atlanta proved the Saints can be beaten. It all depends on how many time Winston turns the ball over. You know he will do it, you just don’t know how many time he will do it. Very difficult for ANY team, no matter how good the defense is, to win a game if your team is minus 2/3 in the turn over margin.

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  3. I sure would like to see us win. I’m going to leave it as this; we win if our defense can get some sacks and an interception. I believe this will be a high-scoring game; if not, I don’t see how we can win.

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  4. We usually split the season with the Saints, and them not having Lattimore blanketing Evans should mean a huge game from Mike. Our offense can score the points to win, but can our rookie cornerbacks stop Breese for a series or two? If they can we win 40-38

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  5. I feel pretty good about this game. On the heels of cutting Hargreaves, I think every player in the secondary will be Johnny Hustle and create a lot of problems for Brees. The front seven will handle Kamara, and hopefully they have Thomas double teamed. The OLine knows better how to handle the Saints pass rush, and the offense is really starting to hum.

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  6. I oddly feel very confident about this game..

    Tampa wins, 33-21
    Defense records at least 3 turnovers
    Dean & Carlton both have a INT
    Rojo finally cracks a 100yd rushing

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  7. Vita Vea up the middle touch down. BUCS WIN 38-31

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  8. I’m with Trevor on this one. Plus betting against the PR consensus has been very profitable this year. It all comes down to the most prolific turnover machine in the history of the NFL. If Winston turns it over less than 2 times we win. If not, we get beat. It’s that simple. My prediction, Bucs win.

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  9. I picked us last week. However….Its rare for Brees to lose 2 games in a row. I got us ballin our butts off . But this things gonna be a Shootout at the Ok corral. IF..we can get the same pressure ATL got last week against the Saints, we win. But I don’t see the Saints O line laggin this week. Therefore I will say the Saints win a close one. I do hope I am proved to be wrong. Lets see how serious this Buc team is about winning. The players have all said they are sick & tired of Losing. Ruck Up Bucs!

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  10. Saints 48 Bucs 21 Saints are insanely angry at last week’s loss and will enter Raymond James Stadium seeking to eradicate the rage that has built up all week long. They will explode in the first quarter for 21 points exploiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie defensive backfield. Their defense will resemble the Steel Curtain shutting down any attempt by the Bucs to pound the rock. #3 Jameis Winston will throw a pick six on his third passing attempt as WR Chris Godwin runs another pathetic route. The game will be decided by the half and the Bucs will limp into the locker room a beaten, disillusioned group.

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  11. Saints got their asses kicked by Atlanta last week. They’re getting ready to get their ass whupped again this week.

    Drew Brees faded down the stretch last year and the Saints offense had trouble scoring. That last game showed Brees has a case of Viniateri yips.

    Kamara is hurt and Murray is a punching bag vs this d line. Thomas is gonna be Thomas, but these rookies won’t do worse than anyone else over the last 3 seasons. Dean actually might find success. He’s a big guy and might not be pushed around like Hargreaves, Grimes, or Stewart. And when he catches short stuff, punish him with these linebackers.

    Flip side: Historically Jameis and this offense give up sacks and turnovers while STILL putting up 35+ against the Saints and that was with Mike Evans kryptonite/rival CB Marshawn Lattimore, who will be out against the Bucs this time.

    Bucs 48
    Saints 27

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  12. People on here are so afraid of Drew Brees after getting embarrassed last week. I’d be more afraid of Mike Evans being held to 0 catches for 0 yards last time. Evans could have 200 yards and 3 tds this week.

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    • Mike Evans sure is showing up big today huh lol

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      • Seriously though, he really needs to step up. A whole quarter left!

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  13. I don’t quite understand why some folks think Drew Brees and the Saints pose an insurmountable task when the truth is the less than mighty Bucs have played them well over the years. Last year the Bucs actually dominated the Saints until they blocked a punt for a TD causing the entire psyche of our team to swirl into the toilet. They beat us mentally, not physically.

    There will be thousands of Saints fans screaming that stupid “Who Dat?” chant at our supposed “home” field. Let’s hope that inspires our young secondary to play their asses off in fear of suffering the same fate as their former leader and it’s #9 asking “Who Dat?” when he gets picked off.

    Saints “pissed” because they lost to the Falcons? Being upset about a loss doesn’t assure a team anything any more than being inspired by an upset win might. Every week is different. When comparing week 5 to today, the personnel on the field for the Saints is missing two key players while the Bucs starting lineup is bolstered by the return of the right side of the O-line and JPP.

    Not saying the Bucs will win……..but we certainly have a chance if we don’t beat ourselves.

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    • Scubog, very good points; let’s hope we can shut the “who dat” down. I hope we beat the snot out of them! Go Bucs!

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  14. I’m going to judge them the rest of the way as if this was a 7 game season starting today. Finishing the rest of the way above .500 going 4-3 down the stretch shouldn’t be to much to ask. The hard part of the schedule is over, we’re home today. We have some very beatable teams to play, no excuses, finish winning at least one more then you lose. Either point the arrow up the rest of the way, or blow the whole thing up. No more floundering, no more excuses, start winning games, start today at home.

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  15. Bucs gonna win. Ill guess 27-20. Saints d is pretty good.

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  16. The only bad news is the moron writers didnt unanimously pick bucs to lose.

    Bucs roll the saints and start making the division interesting.

    Go Bucs!!

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  17. My prediction is Brees loses back to back and my prediction will not be stat based or popular but I’ve noticed a trend with Brees when he loses unfashionablly. 1. Networks highlight the sh!t out of him for one and appeal to his “GOD” like football status. 2. Brees is always WAY too hype for the game which I believe leads to uncharacteristic mistakes(he basically believes he’s a “god”). And 3. The networks always bring in some sappy story for Brees to play off of so they can stroke his ego. Again, I know it’s not the most popular take by folks but in every emotional loss Brees has had and Networks have salivated over for ratings purposes he’s lost.

    Hopefully this trend keeps up.

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  18. Bucs win a close one at home! Jameis throws 3 tds with 2 picks! RoJo has a running TD. Mike and Godwin go off for 100yards! Brees also tosses 3 tds with one pick! Bucs win by 2 field goals!

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  19. Reality bites

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