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New Orleans Saints top performers vs. Buccaneers

Defensive unit stood out vs. Bucs

DEFENSE:You can't just single out one member of this unit after the Saints defense held the Buccaneers to 270 yards of offense and just one touchdown. Defensive linemen Cameron Jordan and Nick Fairley continued their strong seasons as Jordan finished with five tackles, 0.5 sack and was in on the safety. Fairley added a sack and six tackles and was a regular presence in the Buccaneers backfield. Stephone Anthony started in place of the injured Craig Robertson at middle linebacker and led the team with nine tackles. With safety Kenny Vaccaro suspended veteran Roman Harper got the start as the Saints stayed with a three-safety lineup for a big portion of the game. The Saints lost Delvin Breaux to a shoulder injury but B.W. Webb came in and more than held his own. A strong outing from this unit.Stickers all around.

OFFENSE:Just like it was impossible to single out one member of the defense for a helmet sticker it's impossible to select a single top performer on offense as the unit and its players struggled throughout the game. For the second consecutive game the offense got off to a slow start (two three-and-outs and then an interception) that kept the team's snap count down. The Saints had only six plays in the first quarter. The offensive line was missing starting center Max Unger and struggled with some protections in the first half. Drew Brees finished with three interceptions and for the second consecutive game did not have a touchdown pass. That's the first time he has failed to throw a touchdown against Tampa Bay in 22 games. The running game nevera got going and while Brees connected with Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead IV for a couple of explosive plays they failed to get into the end zone.

SPECIAL TEAMS:Punter Thomas Morstead continued his Pro Bowl-worthy season with four punts that averaged 51.3 yards with one downed inside the 20 but the helmet sticker this week goes to kicker Wil Lutz who was a perfect three for three on field-goal attempts. He also had a kickoff that proved extremely difficult for Tampa's Josh Huff to handle, resulting in the Buccaneers taking possession at the 1-yard line. The Saints got a safety on the next snap and then a field goal after the free kick.

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