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2018 Opponent Profile: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saints will play the Bucs on Sept. 9 and Dec. 9

Opponent – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Coach – Dirk Koetter

Quarterback – Ryan Fitzpatrick (Jameis Winston serving three-game suspension)

2017 Record – 5-11, 4th in NFC South

Most recent matchup: Dec. 31, 2017 – Buccaneers won 31-24

2018 games: Sunday, Sept. 9 @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome, noon; Sunday, Dec. 9 @ Raymond James Stadium, noon.

Buccaneers-Saints series record: Saints lead 32-20

Stadium – Raymond James Stadium

2017 season recap:

Due to an injury to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's throwing shoulder, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled to create on offense in 2017. Tampa Bay also struggled on defense with the worst third-down unit, and the worst pass defense in the NFL. Because of these persistent struggles, the Bucs fell to 5-11 and missed the playoffs for the 10th year in a row. Tampa Bay added key pieces in free agency and in the draft and will look to rebuild going into 2018. Due to a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy, Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended for three games, including the season opener against the New Orleans Saints. Winston will be eligible to return as Tampa Bay's quarterback during week 4; until that time, 13-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will take over as starting quarterback. Fitzpatrick is entering his second year with Tampa Bay, he has a .600 completion percentage and has started three games for the Buccaneers.

Notable additions:

  • Defensive tackle – Vita Vea – selected with the 12th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft
  • Cornerback – M.J. Stewart – selected with the 21st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft
  • Running back – Ronald Jones –selected with the 38th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft
  • Defensive end – Vinny Curry
  • Defensive end – Jason Pierre-Paul
  • Center – Ryan Jensen

Notable losses:

  • Running back - Doug Martin
  • Guard – Kevin Pamphile
  • Guard - J.R. Sweezy