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5 Buccaneers to Watch Against New Orleans

Posted Dec 22, 2016

A few players to keep an eye on when the Buccaneers meet the Saints in Week 16.

1. QB Jameis Winston
Heading into the Bucs’ Week 14 matchup with the Saints, Winston had scored a touchdown, either through the air or on the ground, in every game he had played since college. That streak came to an end against New Orleans, but Winston admittedly was more interested in securing the victory than his own personal stats. Winston completed 16 of 26 passes for 184 yards against the Saints without being intercepted. He finished the game with a passer rating of 82.9.

2. LB Kwon Alexander
Alexander is coming off a monster performance against the Cowboys where he recorded 21 tackles, the most of any player in a single game this season. Alexander leads the NFL in solo tackles and is in the top five in combined tackles. Earlier this week, the NFL announced that he had been selected as an alternate for the Pro Bowl.

3. S Keith Tandy
The Bucs’ first game against the Saints was Tandy’s first as a starter this season and one of the best games of his career. He led the team in tackles with nine while deflecting three passes and intercepting another. Tandy’s interception came late in the game and helped secure a Buccaneer victory. Tandy had been in the starting lineup to replace Chris Conte, who was injured. Conte returned to the lineup in Week 15 but Tandy remained with the first-team defense.  

4. CB Vernon Hargreaves
Hargreaves recorded the first interception of his career against the Saints while deflecting another pass and recording three tackles. The Buccaneers were able to get their hands on Drew Brees’ passes all day; they picked him off three times and batted down eight passes.

5. OT Leonard Wester
Demar Dotson, the Bucs’ starting right tackle, remains in the concussion protocol as of Thursday morning. He had missed the Bucs’ past two games with the injury. Gosder Cherilus stepped in for Dotson, but was injured himself in Week 15. If neither player is able to go against the Saints this weekend, it will be Wester, an undrafted rookie from Missouri Western, who will fill the void. Wester had been utilized in the Bucs’ Jumbo Package in Week 14 and saw some action at right tackle a week ago.