Tale Of The Tape: New Orleans Saints At Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Winner Drew Brees and the Saints may be the most motivated team in the league after last year’s debacle that was largely the fallout from the Bountygate scandal. Brees is one of the game’s most resourceful and accurate quarterbacks, and he would like to get the Saints back on track. Brees has the quick release, accuracy and guts to get the Saints back into the playoffs.
Josh Freeman is an up-and-down quarterback who has the size, arm strength and athletic ability to lead the Saints to big wins. However, he lacks consistency and struggles to string good games together. While there is no question about his commitment, he seems to have a difficult time with his judgment. He will often force the ball into coverage and that results in costly turnovers.
Winner The Saints have a slew of talented offensive players and the most important may be tight end Jimmy Graham, who is almost certainly the best player at his position in the league. Marques Colston knows how to get open and will not drop the ball. The Saints have three running backs who can contribute in Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram.
The Bucs look to powerful Vincent Jackson for big plays and leadership. When Jackson catches a couple of passes in a game and gets his motor running, he becomes very difficult to stop from that point forward. Doug Martin had an excellent 2012 season and should give the Bucs consistent production on the ground this season.
The Saints made a major statement against the Falcons when they kept Atlanta out of the endzone even though quarterback Matt Ryan had the game in his hands in the final moments. It’s something that should stay with the Saints throughout the season. Linebacker Curtis Lofton is not a star, but he is a hard hitter who had five tackles against the Falcons.
Winner The Bucs need to be smarter and more efficient on defense. After taking the lead in the final seconds, the Bucs gave the Jets a chance to win the game when linebacker Lavonte David took a late-hit penalty and gave Jets PK Nick Folk the opportunity to win the game with a field goal. Leonard Johnson is a big hitter from the secondary and he had nine stops against the Jets.
Special Teams
Winner The Saints are prepared to win any game on special teams. Garrett Hartley does not have a big reputation but he is accurate and prepared any time he is asked to put three points on the board. Sproles has the quick change of direction to produce productive returns on a consistent basis.
Winner Rian Lindell is a backup kicker whom the Bucs are fortunate to have. He gave them a late lead when he was successful on a 37-yard attempt that should have been the decisive score in the game. The Bucs will use Martin as a return specialist any time they need a big play to get back in the game.

The Winner Is

(credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Winner New Orleans Saints
3 out of 4

The Saints had a statement game in Week One when they defeated the Falcons at home by making a last-minute defensive stand to preserve the victory. That’s a good first step for Sean Payton’s team, but they can’t let up on the road.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor


  1. Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At San Diego Chargers

    The high-powered Pittsburgh offense was a bit out of sync against the Ravens in Week Four without Ben Roethlisberger, but it seemed like Mike Vick was pretty close to finding success.

  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: San Francisco 49ers At New York Giants

    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders

    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

See All Tales of the Tape

Listen Live