Saturday, December 28, 2013
By Pat Yasinskas
Three things to watch in Sunday's game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints.
Tampa Bay’s effort. The game means a lot for the Saints and nothing for the Buccaneers. A lot of times in the past, teams without a lot to play for haven't put forth a great effort because they just want the season to be over. It's worth keeping an eye on how the Bucs handle the situation. To date, there haven't been any signs that this team has quit on coach Greg Schiano. If that changes in the finale, it's not going to help Schiano's chances of keeping his job.
The running game. Tampa Bay's running game has been non-existent for the past month. That has to change for the Bucs to have any chance of winning at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It's going to be loud and the Saints have a prolific offense. If the Bucs can’t keep things close in time of possession, they're going to be in big trouble.
Jimmy Graham. When the Bucs and Saints played in Week 2, the New Orleans tight end had 10 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown. Graham is a matchup nightmare for any defense. The Bucs, who could be without injured strong safety Mark Barron, need to at least slow Graham a little bit.