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Game Scout: Buccaneers at Saints

The SportsXchange

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11) at New Orleans Saints (10-5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans - TV: FOX

*TV announcers: Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin

*Keys to the game: The Saints will know by kickoff whether they're playing for a division title and first-round bye ... or their playoff lives. Tampa Bay played tough in a 16-14 loss to the Saints at home in Week 2, but that was eons ago when QB Josh Freeman was handing off to RB Doug Martin. Rookie Mike Glennon continues to build on his franchise rookie records with 2,389 yards and 17 TDs, but the team is having a difficult time adequately evaluating his full potential behind an offensive line that doesn't afford much time to throw and a running game led by Bobby Rainey (3.9 yards per carry). The Saints' offense has stalled in consecutive road losses with a similar lack of a potent ground game and meager protection for QB Drew Brees. New Orleans is a different beast at home, where Brees can spread the field and attack. The Bucs have compiled a respectable secondary, but it doesn't get enough help from the pass rush (34 sacks).

*Matchup to watch - Buccaneers DE Adrian Clayborn vs. Saints LT Terron Armstead: Armstead gets his second straight start despite the offensive line giving up six more sacks last week. Clayborn enters with 5.0 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles.

*Player spotlight - Saints S Roman Harper: The veteran has logged many NFL miles, but he lacks the great range and play-making ability rookie Kenny Vaccaro displayed before fracturing his ankle last week. Harper is better playing as an eighth defender in the box and will be a liability in coverage.

*Fast facts: Glennon has 14 TD passes vs. five INTs over his past 10 games. ... Brees has posted a 104 passer rating in winning the past four meetings.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

If the Bucs can keep the Saints' potent screen game in check, the secondary is strong enough to keep the game respectable. But New Orleans is a veteran team playing at home with its back against the wall.

*Our pick: Saints 31-23
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