Yds./Game: Saints – 172.8, Bucs – 75.0
Yds./Att.: Saints – 5.0, Bucs – 3.1
Total Yds.: Saints – 864, Bucs – 375
40+ Plays: Saints – 3, Bucs – 0
So, what do these numbers tell us pertaining to the Saints offense? Their defense? In my opinion, the numbers dictate that this game will be played out just like every other game the Saints have played this year.
Lots of passing, very little running. The defense will be on the field a lot and Tampa will win the time of possession battle. Drew Brees will put up big numbers, as usual, but could really go to town against a Bucs secondary that is without their #1 corner in Aqib Talib.
Speaking of Talib, how does he manage to get suspended for violating the substance abuse policy but not the shooting at people policy? Love ya, Rog!
The injury report coming out today will be very telling as to how effective the Saints passing game will be this week. Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham could have a huge day Sunday, if they are healthy.
If the Saints can limit the big plays on defense and continue to improve on getting off the field on third down, it could be a long day for Josh Freeman and the Bucs offense.
The 40+ yard plays given up by the Saints rush defense account for around 18% of their total rushing yards given up and their 38% third down percentage is smack in the middle of the league, a considerable improvement from how they started the season.
Jabari Greer’s health is still a question as of this moment, so we will have to wait and see how this week’s practice goes to know who will be starting at corner.
A major part of the Saints success in recent years has been getting a lead early to cover up the deficiencies on defense. If the Saints can get a 2 score lead and therefore have the ability to unleash Martez Wilson and Junior Galette, they could run away with this game. If not, we’ll be in for a white knuckled nail biter as we’ve become accustomed to this season.
Either way, Who Dat!