Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4 Saints the Buccaneers Must Shut Down

Four Saints to keep an eye on when New Orleans and Tampa Bay take the field this weekend.

Photos of the Saints' starters via team depth chart.

1. QB Drew Brees
It goes without saying that Brees demands extra attention from any defense he faces. That should be the case on Sunday when New Orleans travels to Tampa Bay for Week 14. As has become customary, Brees is among the NFL's leading passers this season; so far, he's picked up 3,482 passing yards, the fourth-most in the league. Brees has also thrown 23 touchdowns, No. 9 among quarterbacks. When the Bucs and Saints met earlier in the season, Tampa Bay held Brees to 255 passing yards and one touchdown, well below his season average. The Bucs' defense was also able to force an interception. The team hopes to have a similar result this weekend.

2. WR Brandin CooksCooks has been Brees' most productive target this season, leading the team in all major receiving categories. Cooks' 61 receptions, 840 yards and seven receiving touchdowns are all team-highs. The Saints have also experimented with him as a returner and utilized him out of the backfield. Whether or not running back Mark Ingram will play on Sunday has yet to be determined as he struggled with a shoulder injury. If he's out, look for the Saints to rely heavily on Cooks and their passing game.


  1. RB Marcus Murphy**
    While Ingram has handled the bulk of the carries, Murphy has thrived on special teams, particularly returning punts. The running back averages nearly 10 yards per punt return and has returned one for a touchdown this season. Murphy has also handled most of the Saints' kickoffs, averaging 25 yards per return.

4. LB Stephone Anthony
Anthony is well on his way to 100 tackles during his rookie season, picking up 92 through the Saints' first 12 games. He leads the team in combined tackles and also in solo tackles with 56. In addition to his impressive tackle total, Anthony has added a forced fumble and sack to his resume.

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