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In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

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Old 12-06-2018, 06:34 PM   #1
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:36 PM   #2
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Re: In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

BY ROD WALKER | rwalker@theadvocate.com Dec 5, 2018 - 5:03 pm

Much has changed in Tampa Bay since the New Orleans Saints were handed that season-opening 48-40 loss to the Buccaneers on Sept. 9.

Jameis Winston, who was serving a suspension at the time, has regained his starting quarterback spot from Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Week 1 starter who did his best Drew Brees impersonation that day in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Mark Duffner is now the defensive coordinator, leading a unit that improved vastly since Mike Smith was fired six weeks into the season.

The Saints followed that loss by reeling off 10 straight wins (that streak, of course, ended last Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys).

“It feels like it's been a long time ago," coach Sean Payton said. "Obviously, a lot’s taken place since then. We will be seeing a different quarterback in this game. I think there are some similarities relative to what the teams do scheme-wise — and yet, through the course of the season, there's been injuries, new players playing at different positions for both sides and a big enough gap to where you're watching a lot of other tape; not just the tape of your past game.”

While the Bucs personnel has changed since the season opener, the Saints are hoping the results change, as well.

The Saints (10-2) have lost their last two games against the Bucs, including last year's regular-season finale. Now they are looking to avoid what would be the franchise's first three-game losing streak against the Bucs (5-7).

"The last two weeks, especially, they have been getting a bunch of takeaways," Drew Brees said of the Bucs. "They do a really good job of getting pressure with their front four, and that's always been a strong suit of that team and continues to be."

Brees will be facing a defense that has suddenly become opportunistic. The Buccaneers created just one turnover through the first 10 weeks of the season. They have six interceptions in the past two weeks, including four in Sunday's victory over the Carolina Panthers.

"Our defense is playing faster and playing harder," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. "We've been playing better defense, and in some areas our stats have skyrocketed. There are a couple areas where our stats have gone down to. The main thing I would look at there is our rush and coverage has been working together more."

Offensively, Winston has found his groove after serving that three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. He didn't thrown an interception the past two weeks, leading the Bucs to back-to-back wins. He leads an offense that is tops in the NFL in yards passing (344.4 per game). His mobility creates a challenge different than the one Fitzpatrick gave in Week 1.

"I think both those quarterbacks are confident in getting the ball down the field," Payton said. "Jameis is buying some time with his feet. He's (become) a stronger player in the pocket, a little bit more difficult to sack and I think you begin really to spend most of your time defending the offense first and understanding the player second obviously.”

A Saints win would clinch the NFC South title and give the franchise its first back-to-back division championships.

"They present some issues," Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said. "For us, it's going to be about going out and not allowing them to score 48 points. We have to execute the game plan, stop the run, contesting throws on the back end, getting after Jameis in the pass rush and getting the ball back in Drew's hands and letting Drew do what he does."

“Your best?!? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home (with) the prom queen.” - Sean Connery in The Rock
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:45 PM   #3
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Re: In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

Looks like another shoot out. Yucs more concerned about giving up 40 points again. Saints WON'T allow 48.

Saints 37 Yuccaneers 24. Saints repeat as division champs!!!!!
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:22 AM   #4
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Re: In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

51 -17 saints i just have that feeling.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:40 AM   #5
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Re: In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

At least the bearded Harvard guy will be on the bench this time around. He shredded us badly.

Hot take ... I predict a low scoring game but Jameis will be running for his everlasting life.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:04 AM   #6
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Re: In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

Footnote - I see Jason Pierre Paul (their best pass rusher) didn't practice on yesterday. Could have lingering "knee" issues.
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:00 PM   #7
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Re: In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
Footnote - I see Jason Pierre Paul (their best pass rusher) didn't practice on yesterday. Could have lingering "knee" issues.
DeSean Jackson shredded us for 146 yards on five catches and two TD's, as well, that game. I heard on NFL radio earlier today that he is going to be out.
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:00 PM   #8
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Re: In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

Originally Posted by AsylumGuido View Post
DeSean Jackson shredded us for 146 yards on five catches and two TD's, as well, that game. I heard on NFL radio earlier today that he is going to be out.
You are right.

For whatever reason I was thinking it was Evans who did all of the damage through the air.
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:16 PM   #9
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Re: In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
You are right.

For whatever reason I was thinking it was Evans who did all of the damage through the air.
Evans did half the damage with 147 yards on 7 catches and one TD.
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Old 12-07-2018, 04:52 PM   #10
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Re: In Saints vs. Buccaneers, Part 2, a lot has changed -- including QB -- from Week 1 stunner

Tampa played their best game they could muster with a mediocre QB playing like he was possessed by Unitas. Our defense looked a game late for the season and they barely held on to beat us. We will be ready this time and eager for some revenge of that game and the last Dallas debacle. Be afraid Tampa.
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