The Tampa Bay Buccaneers started the second half of the season with an encouraging win over the Arizona Cardinals and will now try to get consecutive victories for the first time this season when division rival New Orleans comes to town. The Buccaneers will definitely enjoy playing a second straight home game after six weeks away from Raymond James Stadium, but the Saints are likely to have some extra motivation after suffering a surprise home loss to the previously-one win Atlanta Falcons.
Since the Buccaneers and Saints last met in Week Five – a 31-24 win for New Orleans on its home field – quarterback Drew Brees has returned to the lineup after missing five games with a thumb injury. The Saints actually went 5-0 in that stretch behind the steady hand of reserve quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, but Brees is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and still going strong. The Saints also recently got dual-threat running back Alvin Kamara back from injury and, given the Buccaneers' season-long dominance against the run, he likely presents more of a problem in the passing game this Sunday. The New Orleans defense has thrived this year behind a dominant front seven, which is led by perennial Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan and has the Saints ranked 10th in the NFL in sacks per pass play. Both the Buccaneers and the Saints have slim differences between their points scored and points allowed this year – plus-2.4 for New Orleans, negative-2.1 for Tampa Bay – so one should expect a close game on Sunday. Here's what you need to know to prepare for the NFC Central rematch going down at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday:
GAME AND BROADCAST DETAILS
New Orleans Saints (7-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
Sunday, November 17, 1:00 p.m. ET
Raymond James Stadium (capacity: 65,618)
Television: FOX (Local WTVT Channel 13)
TV Broadcast Team: Thom Brennaman (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (analyst), Shannon Spake (sideline)
Radio: 98Rock (WXTB, 97.9 FM), Flagship Station
Radio Broadcast Team: Gene Deckerhoff (play-by-play), Dave Moore (analyst), T.J. Rives (sideline)
You won't want to miss the game live at Raymond James Stadium! Make sure to get your tickets before it's too late.
ALL-TIME HEAD-TO-HEAD SERIES
The Buccaneers and Saints were frequent opponents in the '70s, '80s and '90s when the NFL's annual game schedule was heavily influenced by the previous year's standings. The Bucs and Saints became even more acquainted when the league changed its scheduling format to a divisional rotation in 2002, mainly because that went hand to hand with NFL realignment. The Buccaneers left their old NFC Central haunt that year to join the new NFC South, which also drew in the Saints, Panthers and Falcons. That meant two games against the Saints every year, of course. In recent years, that has been a series of season splits.
Overall, the Saints hold a 34-21 edge in the all-time series, which was first contested in 1977. That initial meeting is famously the first win in franchise history for the Buccaneers, who left New Orleans on December 11 of that year with a 33-14 victory that snapped a franchise-opening 26-game losing streak. The Bucs still had a 3-2 edge in the series by the end of 1982, which would also prove to be the end of the franchise's first run of playoff seasons. The Saints took control of the series by winning six straight in the mid-'80s.
Since they became division mates, the Bucs and Saints have squared off 35 times, 21 of them going in favor of New Orleans, including the most recent one in the Superdome in Week Five. There's hope for the Buccaneers in the rematch, though, based on recent history, as the last four seasons have all produced series splits. Those series have not been as simple as each team relying on home field advantage though. The Buccaneers won in New Orleans in 2015 and 2018 and home in 2016 and 2017. Last year's 48-40 shootout in the Superdome was the highest-scoring Week One game in NFL history.
Weirdly, the Saints beat Tampa Bay twice in that first NFC South season, even though the Buccaneers would win the 2002 division title on their way to victory in Super Bowl XXXVII. Those two games represented half of the Bucs' loss that year. In a minor bit of payback, a 2-12 Bucs team beat a 13-1 Saints team in the penultimate week of the 2009 season, before the Saints would go on to win their first Super Bowl.
Last year's games were high-scoring affairs. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in Week One as the Bucs stunned the Superdome crowd by building a 48-24 lead. The Bucs just barely held on for the victory against a raging Saints comeback, with a Fitzpatrick third-down scramble allowing the Bucs to run out the clock and keep the ball out of Brees' hands. In the rematch in Tampa, the Bucs once again built an early lead, 14-3, but couldn't hold it this time as the Saints scored 17 fourth-quarter points, including touchdown runs by Brees and Mark Ingram.
This year's Week Five contest was a 31-24 victory for the Saints that was only a one-score game after Chris Godwin scored on a 26-yard pass with 13 seconds left in the game. The resulting onside kick was covered by the Saints to close out the win. Teddy Bridgewater, filling in for an injured Drew Brees, threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns and the Saints' loaded defensive front sacked Jameis Winston six times.
· Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians got his first NFL coaching job in Kansas City from 1989-92 but then returned to the college ranks in 1993. His second crack at the NFL would come in New Orleans, where he was the tight ends coach under Head Coach Jim Mora in 1996.
· Tampa Bay QB Ryan Griffin spent his first two seasons (2013-14) in New Orleans after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane. He went back to training camp with the Saints in 2015 but ended up in Tampa on a waiver claim.
· G Patrick Omameh was a late add to the Saints' training camp roster this summer, signing on July 29, but he made the active roster anyway. He was in Tampa for nearly two years at the start of his career, signing with the Bucs in October of 2013 and starting all 16 games at right guard the following year before being waived in the final cuts in 2015.
· The Bucs came close to losing TE Cameron Brate to the Saints in 2015. Brate had been released from Tampa Bay's practice squad on September 15 so the Bucs could add depth to a banged-up linebacker squad, but before they could bring Brate back he signed with New Orleans. Brate was actually on the Saints' sideline when the Buccaneers played in New Orleans the following weekend, but he didn't say in Louisiana long because Tampa Bay hastily re-signed him to their active roster.
· Saints Assistant Special Teams Coach Phil Galiano held the same post in Tampa under Head Coach Greg Schiano in 2012-13.
SENIOR COACHING STAFFS
· Tampa Bay:
· Head Coach Bruce Arians
· Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator Harold Goodwin
· Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles
· Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich
· Special Teams Coordinator Keith Armstrong
· New Orleans:
· Head Coach Sean Payton
· Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
· Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen
· Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi
· Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends Dan Campbell
KEY 2019 ROSTER ADDITIONS
· OLB Sam Acho (FA)
· OLB Shaquil Barrett (UFA)
· CB Jamel Dean (3rd-round draft pick)
· S Mike Edwards (3rd-round draft pick)
· K Matt Gay (5th-round draft pick)
· CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (2nd-round draft pick)
· WR Breshad Perriman (UFA)
· P Bradley Pinion (UFA)
· DL Ndamukong Suh (UFA)
· LB Devin White (1st-round draft pick)
· LB Kiko Alonso (T-MIA)
· DT Malcom Brown (UFA)
· TE Jared Cook (UFA)
· S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (third-round draft pick)
· S Saquon Hampton (fourth-round draft pick)
· C Erik McCoy (2nd-round draft pick)
· RB Latavius Murray (UFA)
ADDITIONAL 2019 CHANGES OF NOTE
· In January, Tampa Bay engineered one of the most significant changes a franchise could make in hiring a new head coach. That man is Bruce Arians, who needed just five years to become the winningest coach in Arizona Cardinals history and who has a history of helping quarterbacks excel. Arians assembled an extremely experienced coaching staff around him, almost all of whom he had worked with in the past.
· One of the coaches Arians brought on was Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles, who served under him in the same capacity in Arizona in 2013 and 2014 before becoming the Jets' head coach. Bowles' arrival means the Buccaneers have switched to a base 3-4 defense, something the team hadn't identified with since 1990.
· Bowles' defense means certain players were redefined as outside linebackers, inside linebackers and defensive linemen. No matter the position designations, Tampa Bay's defense is expected to be more aggressive and varied in its pass-rush packages, and will likely ask its defensive backs to play more press-man coverage than it has in the past, which plays to the strengths of many players in that unit.
· Tampa Bay's offense was prolific in 2018 in terms of yards, especially in the passing attack, and most of its starters return for 2019, so one could reasonably expect another strong season on that side of the ball. If anything, the Bucs may be more aggressive under Arians, whose 'no risk-it, no biscuit' philosophy involves taking the big-play shot when you have the chance.
· The Buccaneers released CB Vernon Hargreaves on December 12, parting ways with their 2016 first-round pick after three-and-a-half seasons. Tampa Bay's secondary is experiencing a youth movement, with six players from the last two drafts figuring prominently in the mix now.
· The Saints gave former Panthers safety Kurt Coleman a three-year deal in free agency last year and he ended up essentially splitting one of the safety positions with Vonn Bell, opposing young standout Marcus Williams. New Orleans elected to end that Coleman run after just one year and released him in the offseason. Now Bell and Williams are the starters and the team used two of its first three draft picks to add their backups in Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Saquon Hampton.
· The Saints completely switched out their special teams coaching staff in 2019, despite a strong showing from that unit last year. Special Teams Coach Mike Westhoff retired, Special Teams Coordinator Bradford Banta was fired and assistant Kevin O'Dea did not have his contract renewed. In their places, the Saints hired former Dolphins coordinator Darren Rizzi and then added Phil Galiano and Michael Wilhoite as his assistants.
· New Orleans made another addition to its coaching staff in offensive assistant D.J. Williams, who is the son of former Buccaneer quarterback and executive Doug Williams.
Stack 'Em Up – The Buccaneers last won consecutive games in Weeks 12 and 13 of the 2018 season, which predates the arrival of Head Coach Bruce Arians. Arians' crew has played a series of games that have come down to the wire but had experienced mounting frustration when they were unable to close them out during a four-game losing streak. Against the Cardinals last Sunday, the Buccaneers got the huge defensive play they had been seeking on an interception by rookie corner Jamel Dean, then immediately produced their longest scoring drive of the season for the game-winning touchdown on a Peyton Barber run. In Week 10, the Buccaneers finished, which is what both players and coaches had been focusing on leading up to the game. You can't get a two-game winning streak until you get that first victory, but you also can't climb out of a 2-6 hole without stacking a bunch more wins on top. After taking down the Cardinals, the Bucs follow up with arguably a more important game against the division-rival Saints, who beat them in New Orleans in Week Five. The Buccaneers playoff hopes are slim but they could certainly tighten up the division standings by taking down the Saints, and they could demonstrate that they are the playoff-caliber team they believe themselves to be.
Motivated March – Of course, the Saints aren't going to go down easy, and they will arguably be more motivated than ever when they march into Tampa on Sunday. New Orleans' 26-9 loss at home to the 1-7 Falcons was the biggest surprise in the NFL's Week 10 slate of games, particularly since Atlanta came into the game allowing an average of 31.3 points per game and the Saints had previously won all four of their games in the Superdome. Even after the loss, the Saints are 7-2 and have a two-game lead over the 5-4 Carolina Panthers in the NFC South standings. However, the Saints and the Panthers still have both their meetings ahead of them on the schedule, including a potential division-title showdown in Week 17. A home loss to the fourth-place Falcons is a tough one to swallow for New Orleans in terms of possible tiebreakers and the end, but they could make up for it by picking up a division win on the road Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. With the Panthers and Falcons playing each other in Charlotte this weekend, the Saints don't want to go into their Week 12 showdown with Carolina with only a one-game lead. Accordingly Sunday's game in Tampa has taken on a more serious vibe in the division race.
Options Emerging on Offense? – Tampa Bay's duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin has been the most productive pair of wide receivers in the NFL, as those two have combined for 1,764 yards and 13 touchdowns. Opposing defenses have found it nearly impossible to keep both Evans and Godwin from having a big day, and that's generally been enough to drive the Bucs' offense to the league's seventh-most yards and third-most points per game through 10 weeks. However, Tampa Bay has not been able to find a consistent third producer in the passing attack, which makes things a bit easier at times for opposing defenses. If last Sunday's win over Arizona is any indication, that may be changing. Godwin and Evans still combined for 156 yards in that contest, but neither found the end zone, which had only happened one other time all year. The Bucs' lone receiving score belonged to tight end O.J. Howard, who found the end zone for the first time all year amid a 47-yard day. Jameis Winston also found wideouts Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller for a total of five catches and 50 yards and got 12 receptions and 105 yards out of his running back. That included a career-best eight catches for 77 yards by emerging back Ronald Jones, who is developing into a significant weapon in the screen game.
Young Secondary Shakeup – Changes are afoot in the Buccaneers' secondary, which is to be expected when a team spends six draft picks in the first four rounds on corners and safeties in the past two years. It's also to be expected when the pass defense results continue to be poorer than the team had expected heading into the season. The biggest move in the ongoing process of finding the right combination in the defensive backfield came on Tuesday when the team released fourth-year cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, who had started the first nine games of the season. The team's two rookie corners, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean, now figure prominently in the team's plans, particularly if 2018 draft picks Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart are limited or unavailable due to injuries this week. The Bucs' promotion of rookie Mazzi Wilkins from the practice squad on Sunday certainly points to a concern over depth at the cornerback position. Dean is coming off a superb game in just his second real exposure on defense, as he broke up four passes and turned the game around with a fourth-quarter red zone pick. Murphy-Bunting has also recently drawn praise from Arians for his steadily improving play. Add in the recent uptick in snaps for safety Mike Edwards and the Buccaneers are experiencing a youth movement that will hopefully lead to better results on the back end.
Special Attention – The Saints have one of the better kicking tandems in the league in punter Thomas Morstead and placekicker Wil Lutz. Morstead ranks seventh in the NFL with a 42.4-yard net punting average and he has dropped 21 kicks inside the 20 without suffering a single touchback all season. Lutz has made 19 of 23 field goals and 19 of 20 extra points, and he showed his range with a 58-yarder earlier this season. The Saints also have a dangerous return man in rookie Deonte Thompson, who already has a 53-yard punt return for a touchdown and last week ripped off a 46-yard kickoff return against the Falcons. All of this might seem to indicate a quiet but important edge for the visiting team in the third phase of the game on Sunday, but Tampa Bay's results in the kick-and-return game have been quite good of late, too. Rookie kicker Matt Gay has settled in very well and has made 30 of his last 31 placekicks, including 12 field goals and 18 extra points. Punter Bradley Pinion has proved to be an excellent situational kicker and has nine inside-the-20 punts in the last five games. Pinion also handles kickoffs and has 51 touchbacks in 57 kicks this year. Finally, T.J. Logan has recently provided a spark in the punt return game with an average of 10.8 yards per attempt on eight returns in the last three games.
1. Buccaneers WR Mike Evans vs. Saints CB P.J. Williams
Last week, the Saints got Williams back from a two-game suspension and he returned to his role as the nickel corner, with Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple handling things on the outside. However, Williams moved to the outside midway through the game when Lattimore left with a hamstring injury, with rookie C.J. Gardner-Johnson returning to the nickel role he had played in Williams' absence. There's a good chance Lattimore will miss Sunday's game in Tampa, which would once again require Williams to play on the outside, where he will certainly find himself covering Evans at times. The last time the Bucs and Saints played, New Orleans focused on taking Evans out of the game and held Tampa Bay's superstar receiver to just the second reception-less game of his career. Since then, Evans has touched the Bucs' next four opponents for 556 yards and three touchdowns, and he's now NFL's the second-leading receiver behind the Saints' Michael Thomas (more on him below). How well the Saints can do a second time against Evans without Lattimore will have a big impact on how the Bucs' offense operates on Sunday.
2. Saints T Terron Armstead vs. Buccaneers OLB Jason Pierre-Paul
Pierre-Paul came off the NFI list three games ago and has stormed back from his offseason neck injury with 1.5 sacks and six quarterback hits in that span. The last time the Bucs played the Saints, in Week Five, Pierre-Paul was still unavailable, New Orleans paid extra attention to the September NFC Defensive Player of the Month and Tampa Bay's defense was held without a sack. Teddy Bridgewater was the Saints' quarterback at the time with Drew Brees sidelined by a thumb injury, but of course Brees has been notoriously hard to get down throughout his illustrious career. Since Pierre-Paul's return, Barrett has stormed back with 2.5 sacks over three games, despite the fact that those two have been forced into playing nearly every defensive snap by the injuries to Carl Nassib and Anthony Nelson. This week, Pierre-Paul and the Bucs play a New Orleans line that is coming off perhaps its worst game of the season in a surprising 26-9 home loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Armstead had been dealing with the flu but Head Coach Sean Payton said that didn't affect his play. One of the better left tackles in the league, Armstead isn't likely to have consecutive down games, so the matchup with Pierre-Paul on the blindside edge should be a fierce one.
3. Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard vs. Saints S Vonn Bell
Howard returned from a two-game absence due to a hamstring strain last week and promptly got a season-high seven targets in the Bucs' win over the Cardinals. Those targets produced 47 yards and a touchdown and Howard was on the field for all but one offensive snap as an integral part of the Bucs' attack. Head Coach Bruce Arians said Howard should "own" the middle of the field when the opposition goes to a two-deep look and that, indeed, the third-year tight end had some good plays down the seams. If that game is to be the beginning of a second-half breakout for Howard, he'll get a chance to keep it going against a Saints' defense that is allowing close to 50 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends. Still, that defense has a good anti-TE weapon in safety Vonn Bell, a physical player who is often involved in the efforts to stop opposing tight ends. When the Bucs and Saints played in Week Five, Howard was limited to one catch, as was fellow tight end Cameron Brate.
4. Saints WR Michael Thomas vs. Buccaneers CB Jamel Dean
With respect to Alvin Kamara, Thomas is the one player on the Saints' offense that the Bucs will have to work the hardest to contain, particularly given the big split between Tampa Bay's effectiveness against the run (first in the league) and against the pass (last in the league). Thomas, who has 701 more receiving yards than the next player on the Saints' stat sheet (naturally, that's Kamara), is almost certain to get a good amount of catches; he had 13 of them for 152 yards last Sunday even though the Saints didn't score a single touchdown. Thomas is an incredible route runner and can lose defenders in man-to-man coverage or quickly find the soft spots in a zone. With Vernon Hargreaves off the team and Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart both dealing with injuries, Dean is almost sure to be heavily involved in the Bucs' efforts to stop New Orleans' passing attack, which largely means stopping Thomas. Dean is the first player in the NFL since 2016 to post two consecutive games with at least four passes defensed, and his performance in Sunday's win over Arizona was a triumphant answer to his up-and-down afternoon in Seattle in Week 10, which was his first real action on defense.
DNP: Did not participate in practice
LP: Limited participation in practice
FP: Full participation in practice
NL: Not listed
· CB Carlton Davis (hip) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: LP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Questionable.
· T Demar Dotson (not injury related) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
· G Ali Marpet (ankle) – WEDS: LP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status: Not listed.
· OLB Carl Nassib (groin) – WEDS: LP; THURS: LP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· OLB Anthony Nelson (hamstring) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· CB M.J. Stewart (knee) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· LB Demario Davis (hamstring) – WEDS: LP; THURS: LP; FRI: LP. Game Status: Not listed.
· KR/WR Deonte Harris (hamstring) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· CB Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· FB Zach Line (knee) – WEDS: LP; THURS: LP; FRI: LP. Game Status: Not listed.
· G Andrus Peat (forearm) – WEDS: DNP; THURS: DNP; FRI: DNP. Game Status: Out.
· CB Patrick Robinson (hamstring) – WEDS: FP; THURS: FP; FRI: FP. Game Status. Not listed.
Mostly sunny, high of 69, low of 55, 10% chance of rain, 74% humidity, winds out of the NNW at 8 mph.
Head referee: Brad Rogers (three seasons, first as referee)
· Favorite: Saints (-5.0)
· Over/Under: 49.5
INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS
Points Scored: K Matt Gay, 80
Touchdowns: WR Mike Evans, 7
Passing Yards: QB Jameis Winston, 2,765
Passer Rating: QB Jameis Winston, 83.8
Rushing Yards: RB Ronald Jones, 410
Receptions: WR Chris Godwin, 60
Receiving Yards: WR Mike Evans, 924
Interceptions: six tied w/1
Sacks: OLB Shaq Barrett, 11.5
Tackles: LB Lavonte David, 69
Points Scored: K Wil Lutz, 76
Touchdowns: RB Latavius Murray, 5
Passing Yards: QB Teddy Bridgewater, 1,370
Passer Rating: QB Drew Brees, 99.8
Rushing Yards: RB Alvin Kamara, 397
Receptions: WR Michael Thomas, 86
Receiving Yards: WR Michael Thomas, 1,027
Interceptions: S Marcus Williams, 3
Sacks: DE Cameron Jordan, 8.0
Tackles: LB Demario Davis, 63
TEAM STAT RANKINGS
Scoring Offense: 3rd (28.9 ppg)
Total Offense: 7th (385.6 ypg)
Passing Offense: 5th (284.2 ypg)
Rushing Offense: 19th (101.3 ypg)
First Downs Per Game: 5th (23.1)
Third-Down Pct.: 18th (39.2%)
Sacks Per Pass Attempt Allowed: 27th (9.58%)
Red Zone TD Pct.: 9th (61.8%)
Scoring Defense: 32nd (31.0 ppg)
Total Defense: 25th (376.7 ypg)
Passing Defense: 32nd (298.9 ypg)
Rushing Defense: 1st (77.8 ypg)
First Downs Allowed Per Game: t-26th (22.1)
Third-Down Pct. Allowed: 4th (33.0%)
Sacks Per Pass Attempt: 25th (5.66%)
Red Zone TD Pct. Allowed: 19th (57.1%)
Turnover Margin: t-26th (-6)
Scoring Offense: 16th (22.7 ppg)
Total Offense: 14th (368.0 ypg)
Passing Offense: 9th (260.7 ypg)
Rushing Offense: 17th (107.3 ypg)
First Downs Per Game: 15th (20.7)
Third-Down Pct.: 11th (43.1%)
Sacks Per Pass Attempt Allowed: 7th (5.39%)
Red Zone TD Pct.: 24th (48.9%)
Scoring Defense: 11th (20.2 ppg)
Total Defense: 5th (316.6 ypg)
Passing Defense: 10th (225.8 ypg)
Rushing Defense: t-5th (90.8 ypg)
First Downs Allowed Per Game: t-4th (18.1)
Third-Down Pct. Allowed: 5th (33.0%)
Sacks Per Pass Attempt: 10th (7.81%)
Red Zone TD Pct. Allowed: 16th (55.6%)
Turnover Margin: t-8th (+4)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
· WR Mike Evans is already one of only three players in NFL history to start his career with five straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons, joining Randy Moss and A.J. Green. Now in his sixth season, Evans has 924 yards heading into Week 11. If he gets 76 more on Sunday he will join Moss as the only two players to start their careers with six straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
· OLB Shaq Barrett shares the NFL sack lead with Arizona's Chandler Jones at 11.5, which is the most any Buccaneer has ever had through nine games. Barrett could also top the 10-game mark with just a half-sack against the Saints, as that record currently stands at 11.5, too, set by Warren Sapp in 2000.
· The Buccaneers have scored 34 and 30 points in their last two games. If they top 30 again against the Saints it will mark just the third time the franchise has ever posted three consecutive 30-point games. It previously occurred in 2003 and 2012.
· Head Coach Bruce Arians on facing the Saints and facing Drew Brees this time after Teddy Bridgewater started at quarterback in Week Five: "Obviously, it’s an excellent team coming in here. A little bit different with Drew than with Teddy. Obviously, Michael Thomas and Drew have a heck of a combination going with all the targets he had last week, but it will be a big challenge and same thing defensively."
· Arians on the team's young defensive backs growing with the amount of experience they're getting: "Yeah, I think they learned about preparation and Mike Edwards needs to get out there and join that crew. I think all those guys, I’ve got confidence in that they’ll do a heck of a job. They’ve got a heck of a task in front of them."
· QB Jameis Winston on the Bucs' defense following giveaways with takeaways of their own: "That’s the big thing – when your defense gets turnovers, you want to score touchdowns. When you put your defense in a bad position, you want them to get you the ball back. I just think that’s called being great teammates, not saying, ‘Why are we in this situation?,' but going over there and saying, ‘How can we make the best of this?,' and finding a way to get the job done."
· CB Mazzi Wilkins on getting his first opportunity to play in the NFL after playing his high school and college football in the Tampa Bay area: "It's my time now to show and prove. I don't want to get too high on it. I've shown what I can do; I've got a lot more to show. I want to be a household name – I'm from here, I've got a lot of pride here, so it's on the up from here."
· C Ryan Jensen on what the Bucs learned in their victory Sunday, which snapped a four-game losing streak: "I think there's stuff you can build off of, winning and losing, and I feel like that's something going on four games now we've heard a lot about – who we are and what we are, and trying to fix those things. Like last week where we can come out on top in those last second games – I think that this last week was something that showed that we are capable of coming out [on top] in those tough, last-minute games."