After improving to 4-1 with a victory at the Carolina Panthers last week, the New Orleans Saints will travel to Raymond James Stadium to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday
The NFC South-leading Saints topped Carolina, 30-27, with the game-winning points coming on a fourth quarter, 13-play, 89-yard drive that ended with a sixyard touchdown pass from QB Drew Brees to RB Pierre Thomas with 50 seconds left.
Sunday's contest against the second place Buccaneers will mark the end of a three game road trip for the Saints. Since Sean Payton became head coach in 2006, the Saints have posted a 27-16 record on the road, an NFL-best 16-5 since 2009.
The Buccaneers, having improved from three wins in 2009 to ten in 2010 will be from a 48-3 loss at the San Francisco 49ers.
"Certainly when you play a team that comes off a tough game like that you understand that they're going to be focused and ready and wanting to get past that loss," said Payton. "We'll expect nothing but their best as a lot is at stake for both teams."
New Orleans is 3-2 on the road at Tampa Bay since Payton took the club's reins. Last year, the Saints put together a 31-6 win at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 17, in a contest where Brees tossed for three touchdowns and the Buccaneers didn't score until there was 5:35 remaining in the game. The Buccaneers would come back to New Orleans later in the season and capture the regular season finale at the MercedesBenz Superdome, 23-13.
The Saints lead the all-time series against Tampa Bay 22-16, but in the past three years, the clubs have split their annual series.
GAMEDAY AT A GLANCE
DATE: Sunday, Oct. 16
TIME: 3:15 (CT)
SITE: Raymond James Stadium
*The Saints lead the Buccaneers in the all-time series 22-16.
*The clubs have split the season series the past three years.
*RB Darren Sproles is ranked second in the NFL with 804 all-purpose yards.
*The Saints have averaged 31.4 points per game to rank fifth in the NFL.
*New Orleans is ranked second in the NFL in offense (14th rushing, 2nd passing) and 16th on defense (15th rushing, 16th passing).
*Sunday's contest will be regionally televised on FOX (WVUE-8 in the New Orleans area) with Ron Pitts handling playby-play, Jim L. Mora serving as color analyst and Jennifer Hale as sideline reporter...A national radio broadcast can be heard on Westwood One with Howard David handling play-by-play and Tony Boselli as color analyst.
*The game can be heard throughout the Gulf Coast on the Saints Radio Network (870 AM or 105.3 FM serve as the flagship stations locally in the New Orleans area) with Jim Henderson handling play-by-play duties, Hokie Gajan serving as color analyst and Kristian Garic reporting from the Saints sideline.
*A Spanish language broadcast is available on WFNO 830 AM with Victor Quinonez handling play-by-play duties and Marco Garcia serving as the color analyst.