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NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 24: Cameron Brate #84 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scores a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 24, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By Leo Haggerty
It’s Sports Magazine

Another simple week when you look at what the Buccaneers have to do to emerge victorious against the Saints. Tampa Bay needs to put together a complete game on offense and defense as well as special teams.

How do they do that? Please read below to find out what I think the Pewter Pirates need to do to get back on the winning track in New Orleans this Sunday.

On offense, the Bucs need a “Jack Bauer” mentality. What do I mean by that? They need to score at least “24” points to be in the contest with the Saints.

The New Orleans offense, with the ageless wonder Drew Brees at the helm, will put points up on the scoreboard. The Pewter Pirates need to make sure they remain within a score of the Saints.

The Black & Gold, with a double-digit lead, proved they can easily run away and hide if the Saints offense is hitting on all cylinders. Just ask Detroit how that was when New Orleans posted 52 on the scoreboard against the Lions.

QB Jameis Winston & Company need to put up points early and they need to be of the touchdown variety. Let me be crystal clear on this subject. Three Patrick Murray field goals will not win this football game but three field goals along with three TDs probably will.

On defense, the Buccaneers cannot, and I can’t express this any more emphatically, allow the Saints any big plays. DC Mike Smith’s charges need to make sure that #9 does not engineer any quick-strike scores. Make New Orleans fight for every yard.

If that happens, Tampa Bay will have a better chance of getting off the field on a third down and possibly creating turnovers. Three and four-play scoring drives does not allow for that scenario so it’s imperative the Pewter Pirate defenders tackle the ball carriers for minimal gains along with keeping the Saints receivers in front of them.

Finally, special teams have to be special. No major mistakes and convert every possible scoring chance.

I know the game is in The Big Easy so it will not be easy for Tampa Bay to come away with a win. It will take 60 minutes of quality football in all three phases of the game

Quite frankly, the Buccaneers have not been able to produce that kind of showing so far this season. I have one big reason why I think that will chance.

Desperate teams play desperately. Tampa Bay knows they have to turn it around now. They have the most to gain but, more than that, they have the most to lose.

So that’s why I am picking the Buccaneers to win 26-23. Maybe even in overtime.

See you at the TV on Sunday. GO BUCS.