The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) will look to move above .500 and get their second intra-divisional season sweep when they take on the 4-8 New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Here are a few individual matchups that could play a key role in determining the outcome of Sunday's game:
S Chris Conte vs. QB Drew Brees
Conte hauled in an interception in the teams' first matchup, one of his two picks on the season. He added four tackles and a forced fumble in the game. Brees has thrown 11 interceptions this season and ranks in the NFL top five in completion percentage (67.1%), completions per game (27.8) and passing yards per game (316.5).
DE Howard Jones vs. T Zach Strief
In Week Two, Jacquies Smith had a monster game, beating Strief to get to Brees for three sacks and two forced fumbles. If Smith does play this week, he'll be the one to watch along the Bucs' defensive front. However, if Smith can't go, Jones (who started in Smith's place last week) has proven he can take care of business with 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble this year.
LB Lavonte David vs. Saints RBs
Saints' leading rusher Mark Ingram was placed on IR this week, meaning a likely split in carries between C.J. Spiller and Tim Hightower, who have a combined 43 rushing attempts and 156 rushing yards on the season. Spiller's main impact this year has been receiving out of the backfield, where he has 29 catches for 216 yards and two scores. Both backs will be shadowed by David, whose 105 tackles leads the Bucs and ranks fifth in the NFL this season.
QB Jameis Winston vs. LB Hau'oli Kikaha
Kikaha had one of the team's three sacks in the first matchup and forced a QB fumble. He has four sacks this season with three forced fumbles while fellow LB Cameron Jordan has added eight. Winston will need to navigate the pressure to find his receivers as the Saints allow the league's highest passer rating, 116.6.
RB Doug Martin vs. LB Stephone Anthony
The Saints are allowing 137.8 yards per game on the ground this season, the most in the NFL. Doug Martin will look to exploit that as he looks to add to his 1,133 rushing yards this season. Anthony, a rookie, leads the Saints in tackles with 95 and will be tasked with limiting the NFL's second-leading rusher in this game.
WR Mike Evans vs. CB Brandon Browner
In limited time in his first game back from injury, Evans was held without a catch in the first Bucs vs. Saints matchup. In the 10 games since, Evans has 85 receiving yards per game and three touchdowns. The Saints have allowed the second most receptions of 20+ yards this season while Evans is 12th in the league with 13 20+-yard catches.