TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs with the ball during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Tampa - Excuse the lateness of this week's TK's Take, but I had to see if LB Jonathan Vilma would actually play. He will according to the NO Insider.
The good news is Drew Brees will be without one of his favorite targets in TE Jimmy Graham. He is out with a sprained ankle.
New Orleans record is abysmal, and currently 0-2 on the road.
Historically, this matchup has been close, with the home team usually winning.
Brees has such a quick release, he can neutralize the best of pass rushes.
Unfortunately, the Bucs don't exactly "bring it" with regularity, which concerns me more.
If Brees has time in the pocket, he'll eat you alive.
If I were game planning this one, I might just come out with a nickle defense and incorporate my blitz package from the corners using one of the extra DB's.
TB isn't ranked 30th against the pass for nothing.
I don't think we have a corner that can cover Marques Colston 1-on-1. Devery Henderson isn't as much of a threat because of his stone hands.
RB Darren Spoles can be a pain. He gets into open space and he'll make you miss, resulting in some big gains.
How much Vilma will play won't be known until this game gets underway.
He has had four days practice, his only four days of the year.
I don't believe he is anywhere near ready physically, but he is definitely a mental edge for the Saints defense.
The Bucs special teams can win this one for the home team.
Field position will be paramount.
Many say ball control for the Bucs is the real key. Not so fast.
The Bucs can hold the ball all day long, but if they don't put at least 3 to 4 TD's on the board, it won't make a difference.
I say field position is the key. The shorter the field for the Bucs offense, the best chance of reaching that 3-4 TD goal.
I don't think the Bucs offense is there yet to sustain long drives to the endzone.
So, where do I lean in this one? Saints are minus 2 in the morning line, which is a 1 1/2 points less than where it opened.
Late money is being put on the Bucs.
I would like nothing better than to say I'm going with the boys today, but I can't.
The Saints offense is just too consistent, and the Bucs defense will have it's hands full.
This is not KC they're playing today.
I'm going with the Saints in this one minus the two points.
Just a reminder- As I stated in the season preview, I expect this Bucs to turn dramatically to the positive the final eight games of the season. We're not there yet.
TK's Pick: Saints -2
TK vs. Spread 2-3
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