<span style=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;">TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-12) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (13-1)</span>
- SERIES LEADER: The New Orleans Saints lead the all-time series between the two franchises, 21-14.
- STREAKS: The Saints have captured two-of-the-last three meetings between the two squads, dating back to 2008.
- COACHES VS. OPP: New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton owns a 4-3 career record as a head coach against the Buccaneers, while Bucs Head Coach Raheem Morris is 0-1.
- LAST WEEK: The Saints were dealt their first loss of the season, 24-17, by the Dallas Cowboys in the Louisiana Superdome. The Bucs earned their second victory of the season when they traveled to Seattle and downed the Seahawks, 24-7.
- LAST GAME: 11/22/09: Saints 38 at Buccaneers 7. New Orleans QB Drew Brees throws for 3 TDs, including 2 in 1st half to WR Robert Meachem, as Saints win franchise-record 10th straight.
- LAST GAME AT SUPERDOME: 9/7/08: Saints 24, Buccaneers 20. Brees throws for 343 yards & 3 TDs, including game-winning 42-yarder to RB Reggie Bush in 4th quarter.
- BROADCAST INFORMATION: FOX (12:00 PM CT): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 158 (TB), 125 (NO). XM: 102 (NO). The game can heard regionally on the Saints Radio Network (WWL 870 AM and 105.3 FM locally) with Jim Henderson handling play-by-play, Hokie Gajan serving as color analyst and Kristian Garic reporting from the Saints sidelines. A Spanish language broadcast can be heard on WFNO 830 AM with Emilio Peralta handling play-by-play and Marco Garcia serving as color analyst.
- TB: Josh Freeman (R): 122-228-1,412-9-14-60.1
- NO: Drew Brees: 331-477-4,130 (1C)-33 (T1L)-11-109.4 (1L)
- TB: Cadillac Williams: 167-652-3.9-3
- NO: P. Thomas: 141-733-5.2-5RECEIVING
- TB: Kellen Winslow (TE): 68-752-11.1-5
- NO: Marques Colston: 61-994-16.3-9OFFENSE
- TB: 282.5 yards per game average
- NO: 419.6 (1st in NFL) yards per game average
- TB: -5
- NO: 13 (3L)DEFENSE
- TB: 362.8
- NO: 354.1SACKS
- TB: Stylez G. White: 6.5
- NO: Will Smith: 12 (3rd most in NFL)INTs
- TB: Aqib Talib: 5
- NO: Sharper: 8 (T1C)PUNTING
- TB: Sam Paulescu: 45.0
- NO: Thomas Morstead (R): 43.3KICKING
TB: Connor Barth: 42 (9/9 PAT; 11/16 FG)
NO: Garret Hartley: 28 (7/8 PAT; 7/8 FG)
SAINTS: Can clinch No. 1 seed in NFC with win…Lead NFL with 34.5 scoring avg…QB DREW BREES has completed 61 of 88 (69.3 pct.) for 693 yards with 6 TDs vs. 1 INT for 110.7 rating in past 3 at home vs. TB. Has 121.4 rating at home this year with 2,224 yards (317.7 per game), 19 TDs & 4 INTs. Has passed for 4,000 yards (4,130) in 4 consecutive seasons…RB REGGIE BUSH had 8 catches for 112 yards & TD (42 yards) in last home meeting. RB PIERRE THOMAS rushed 11 times for 92 yards (8.4 avg.) in last meeting. RB MIKE BELL tied career-high with 2 rush TDs in last game vs. TB…WR MARQUES COLSTON has 11 rec. TDs in past 11 Dec. games. WR ROBERT MEACHEM had career-high 2 rec. TDs in last meeting. WR DEVERY HENDERSON has 5 rec. TDs vs. TB & averages 50 yards per TD. TE DAVID THOMAS had career-high 8 catches (77 yards) last week. Had TD catch in last meeting…LB JONATHAN VILMA has INT, 2 FFs & FR in past 2 meetings. Has INT in 3 of past 5. DE WILL SMITH has 9.5 sacks in past 8. S DARREN SHARPER has 57 INTs, 1,309 yards & 9 INT-TDs since 2000, most in NFL.
BUCCANEERS: Rookie QB JOSH FREEMAN passed for 2 TDs & rushed for 2 pt. conversion last week. Had 95.8 rating last week, 2nd highest of career…RB CADILLAC WILLIAMS had 22-yard rec. TD last week. Had 88 scrimmage yards on 13 touches last week for 6.8-yard avg. Has 3 rush TDs in past 3 meetings. WR DERRICK WARD had rec. TD last week. Had season-high 67 rush yards…TE KELLEN WINSLOW had team-high 6 catches & 93 yards last week. Has 68 receptions, most by TE in team history. Since 2006, Winslow ranks 3rd among TEs with 282 catches. WR ANTONIO BRYANT has 2 TDs in past 4 vs. NO & averages 43.5 yards per TD… CB RONDE BARBER has posted 3 INTs in game 2 times, both vs. NO. Is only player in NFL history with 25 sacks (25) & 35 INTs (37). S TANARD JACKSON had INT last week & has set career-highs this season with 4 INTs & 2 INT-TDs. LB GENO HAYES had sack, FR & INT last week. Aims for 3rd in row with INT.
NFL NETWORK TOPS PRIMETIME CABLE RATINGS FOR WEEK
Cowboys-Saints Viewership Tops Other Sports' 2009 Playoffs on Cable
NFL.com Has Best Week Ever
Special Christmas Night Game – Chargers vs. Titans Friday at 7:00 PM ET
NFL Network earned the highest average primetime cable rating among all ad-supported cable networks last week (Dec. 14-20), led by a pair of exciting "Unbeaten Week" Thursday Night Football games – Indianapolis-Jacksonville and Dallas-New Orleans.
NFL Network averaged a 2.77 primetime cable rating, ahead of ESPN's 2.18 and USA's 2.15. In addition, the 2.77 was the highest weekly average in NFL Network's history, topping the previous best 2.31 for the week of Dec. 15-21, 2008.
Last Saturday's Cowboys-Saints game on NFL Network posted a 12.0 cable rating – the third-highest cable rating of any program in 2009 (behind two ESPN MNF games, which are the two most-watched cable shows in history). NFL Network's Thursday night Colts-Jaguars contest earned an 8.0 cable rating and is the network's fourth-highest rated game of all-time.
Following are the five highest-rated cable networks in primetime last week:
Highest-Rated Cable Networks in Primetime, Week of Dec. 14-20, 2009
|NFL Network ||2.77|
Cowboys-Saints drew 10.5 million cable viewers, topping cable's most-watched 2009 playoff games in other sports (chart below). Including fans watching on over-the-air stations in Dallas and New Orleans, 12.1 million viewers tuned in on Saturday night.
Cowboys-Saints on NFLN vs. Most-Watched Cable Playoff Game by Sport, 2009
|Game ||Network ||Viewers|
|Saints-Cowboys ||NFL Network ||10.5 million|
|NBA Conf. Finals (Magic-Cavs) ||TNT ||10.1 million|
|MLB NLCS Game 5 (Phillies-Dodgers) ||TNT ||8.0 million|
|NHL Stanley Cup Game 4 ||Versus ||3.4 million|
For the week ending Sunday, Dec. 20, NFL.com posted its best week ever, setting records in unique users, visitors, time on site and video streams. In addition, NFL.com set a single-day record for video streams on Saturday, Dec. 19.
NFL Network wraps up its Thursday Night Football schedule with a special matchup on Christmas night Friday, Dec. 25 at 7:00 PM ET between the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans. The teams have posted a combined 15-1 record over the past eight games – the top mark for any NFL December game in four years (Seattle vs. Indianapolis, Dec. 24, 2005).
NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the only network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football. For more information, log onto www.nfl.com/nflnetwork. NFL.com is the exclusive Internet home of NFL Network.