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Tampa Bay wins fifth straight game to remain in playoff search

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Keith Tandy recognized the formation. It was the one that the Bucs kept trying to run, and failing, during their week of practice. Still, Tandy had a clue, which is why he broke on the play and grabbed a game-winning interception from Drew Brees Sunday afternoon. It led to the Bucs’ fifth straight win, a 16-11 victory over New Orleans. It was also the second straight week that Tandy had the game-cinching interception. “Right now, we’re confident,” Tandy said. “And…

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Bucs hope to move Brees out of the way of their playoff dreams

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No quarterback has beaten the Tampa Bay Bucs as much as Drew Brees. Now, he has a chance to do it two times in three weeks in an effort to derail the team’s playoff hopes. Brees, the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, is 14-7 against the Bucs and has won eight of the last nine meetings. Lifetime, he has a 96.1 rating against Tampa Bay. “Me and Drew (Brees) have a little personal rivalry because we train together, so…

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Bucs’ disappointing loss to Saints threatens playoff chances

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Perhaps the Bucs were just fooling themselves for a while. Perhaps, they are not good enough to make the NFL playoffs. The Bucs fell to role of chaser Sunday, losing a 24-17 decision to the New Orleans Saints in a game that left Tampa Bay two games out with three to play. The Bucs are 6-7, but they haven’t beaten a team with a winning record all season. They’ve lost to the three worst defenses – the Saints, the Colts…

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Saints’ beat-up secondary braces for Bucs’ James Winston

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As far as Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro can tell, the rematch of New Orleans’ beleaguered secondary against rookie Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston could be more challenging than their first encounter. Winston has become more consistent, more decisive and more productive since posting his first career victory in the Superdome of Week 2 this season, Vaccaro said. “He’s not turning the ball over. He’s making good throws, making smart decisions — everything you want in a first-round quarterback,” Vaccaro said.…

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Bucs need Bruce Carter to step up; LaVonte David should play

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For Bruce Carter, the time is now. Carter, an offseason free agent signee, was quickly beaten out for the middle linebacker job by Kwon Alexander, the Tampa Bay Bucs’ fourth-round draft. And although Alexander has gone on to be thought of as a solid defensive rookie of the year candidate before testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, Carter has slipped from focus. This week, however, Carter will start in the place of Alexander against the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees. “I’m…

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How strong will the Bucs’ defense be in their game vs. Saints?

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It sounds like the worst nightmare imagable for the Tampa Bay Bucs. No Lavonte David. No Kwon Alexander. Not much Gerald McCoy. That was what coach Lovie Smith had to work with on Thursday in anticipation of the upcoming game against Drew Brees – the quarterback who has beaten the Bucs more than anyone – and the New Orleans Saints. “I would be concerned if my favorite players aren’t practicing,” Smith said. “If they have been here long enough they…

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Falcons and Saints going different direction as they play each other

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The Atlanta Falcons have found direction under a new coach. The New Orleans Saints seem to have lost their way under an old one. The two franchises, apparently heading in different directions, play tonight in New Orleans on Thursday night football at 8:25 p.m. The Falcons are 5-0 under new coach Dan Quinn, and except for the tender hamstring of receiver Julio Jones, they appear to be in fine shape. Quarterback Matt Ryan is as dangerous as ever. Young Devonta…

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