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Monday, 29 December 2014

Bucs Blow 13-Point Lead In 23-20 Loss To Saints: 3 Things We Learned

To the contrary.



We now know the Bucs will have the top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. We know word on the street is Tampa Bay (2-14) is probably looking at Florida State’s Jameis Winston or Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and the last time the Bucs had the No. 1 pick was when the team drafted a quarterback from Miami (Fla.) by the name of Vinny Testaverde, who also was a Heisman Trophy winner. What we don’t know is how this will affect the rest of the Buccaneer offense, specifically Mike Evans.

“The way to get ready for next year is to know as much as you possibly can about our current roster. We feel like we’ve done that,” said Bucs head coach Lovie Smith. “To get an opportunity to sign a couple of those players going forward, which we were able to do, is a good thing. Again, going forward I like the position we’re in. We need help, and we’ll be able to get the best help around.”

Regardless of who gets selected, whoever is quarterback will have to learn how to connect with the invaluable wideout. The rookie from Texas A&M had 68 receptions for 1,051 receiving yards this season, along with 12 touchdowns. Only two wide receivers in the league had more, Jordy Nelson (13) and Dez Bryant (16) had more.



Was Sunday’s second-half defensive showing enough to keep Rob Ryan in the Crescent City or did the Saints’ defense show up just a little too late, now that the party is over and there will be no playoffs, especially when they couldn’t hold its division rival Atlanta last week? New Orleans (7-9) ended this year allowing an average of 26.5 points per game (28th in the league), 384 total yards (31st), more than 250 passing yards (25th) and more than 130 rushing yards (29th). This is a stark contrast to last season when the team’s defense finished the season fourth in the league in allowing total yards and points. So what’s a team to do about a defensive coordinator named Ryan?



While the Bucs are trying to determine what to do Josh McCown, the Saints have no doubts about Drew Brees, who played in his 143rd career game today as a Saint, tying him with Eric Martin on the club’s all-time list for games played. In his ninth year as the Saints’ chief passer, Brees finished the 2014 season completing 456 of 659 passes for 4,952 yards with 33 touchdowns and 17 INTs.

“He made some big throws,” said Saints coach Sean Payton after the game. “We were kind of being aggressive with the looks we’ve seen. He just kept firing. Obviously, down the stretch, there were a number of big throws that he made.”

The 13-point deficit overcome by the Saints was Brees’ 35th comeback since 2006.


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