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    Home / College Guide / Live updates: Bucs hope to separate themselves vs. Saints
     Posted on Tuesday, December 06 @ 00:00:05 PST
    College

    If you are viewing this story via our mobile app and are unable to see videos and tweets, click here . The Bucs have a chance to give themselves some breathing room in the NFC South when they play the Saints tonight on “Monday Night Football” at Raymond James Stadium. Division-leading Tampa Bay (5-6) leads Atlanta (5-8) by a game, and New Orleans (4-8) and Carolina (4-8) by 1-1/2 with six games remaining in the regular season. The Bucs won the first game between the teams 20-10 in September in New Orleans. Follow our live updates throughout the game, starting at 8:15 p.m. Division wins more important than ever Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans is tackled by Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu during Septembers game in New Orleans. [ BUTCH DILL | AP ] This year, the division is everything. At least, that’s the case in the NFC South. For, if not for the — OK, we’ll call it parity — in the division this season, the Bucs wouldn’t be anywhere near the playoff board. At 5-6, Tampa Bay has the eighth-best winning percentage in the NFC. Even under the expanded playoff format, that wouldn’t get the Bucs into the postseason. But because every team in the division is under .500 more than two-thirds of the way into the season, Tampa Bay still has a shot.

    A very good one, in fact. With a wild-card spot a longshot, the Bucs need only stay atop the NFL’s worst division to earn a playoff berth and the home game in the wild-card round that comes with it. With six games remaining in the regular season, Tampa Bay leads Atlanta (5-8) by a game, and New Orleans (4-8) and Carolina (4-8) by 1-1/2 in the NFC South. Win tonight, and the Bucs will give themselves a 1-1/2-game cushion, plus the tiebreaker advantage they hold over the Falcons thanks to their head-to-head win in October. At the same time, they would drop the Saints two games back. Tell me that wouldn’t appeal to the Bucs, who earlier this season snapped a seven-game, regular-season losing streak to the Saints with a 20-10 win at New Orleans and who have lost won four straight to the Saints at Raymond James Stadium. Not to mention the animosity between the teams that again reared its head with a benches-clearing brawl in that September game precipitated by yet another dustup between Bucs receiver Mike Evans and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Of course, all of that is simply prologue to the bigger story line of the Bucs — winners of two of their past three after dropping three straight — attempting to regain their winning form in time to make a run at a second Super Bowl championship in three seasons in what very well could be Tom Brady’s final season in Tampa Bay.

    Stay updated on the Buccaneers Subscribe to our free Bucs RedZone newsletter We’ll deliver a roundup of news and commentary on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weekly during the season. Loading... You’re all signed up! Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started. Explore all your options They did it two seasons ago, winning their final four games of the regular season after a 7-5 start to pull away from their division rivals before adding four postseason victories en route to the Super Bowl 55 title. Different season, vastly different scenario. But they’ve still got Brady. And the division gives them a clear path forward. Bucs activate Ryan off injured reserve Bucs safety Logan Ryan (26), right, celebrates his interception of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the teams Week 3 game at Raymond James Stadium. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ] As expected, the Bucs have activated safety Logan Ryan off injured reserve, giving the injury-depleted secondary a veteran option tonight against the Saints. In a corresponding move, the team waived undrafted rookie safety Nolan Turner, whose four NFL games were limited to special-teams duty. Read Joey Knight’s full story here.

    Who’s in/who’s out Inactives for #NOvsTB ?? pic.twitter.com/8BLcYB10K6 — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 5, 2022 Pete Werner and Marshon Lattimore have been ruled OUT for tonight’s game #MNF | @LaMachinery https://t.co/XTB6ZO8Bo0 — New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 5, 2022 Pregame scene ???? @RJStadium pic.twitter.com/S3uiAmn6PK — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 5, 2022 Get live for MNF ???? pic.twitter.com/sadDdwXah9 — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 5, 2022 Red jerseys & feet heat ???? #MyCauseMyCleats pic.twitter.com/d9605cYFB3 — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 5, 2022 More ways to follow us Follow our Bucs Instagram account at @TampaBayTimesBucs Follow our Bucs writers on Twitter at @NFLStroud , @TBTimes_Bulls , and @Romano_TBTimes . A little light reading Here’s some of our content leading up to today’s game: White’s journey to the NFL included the Big Brother he never knew he needed How did Tom Brady and the Bucs get here? Bucs safeties Antoine Winfield, Mike Edwards miss practice again Tom Brady asked for more individual passing drills to build confidence with receivers Donovan Smith is Bucs’ last starting offensive lineman standing Byron Leftwich, Tom Brady offer no clarity on clock management in Browns loss Bucs linebacker Devin White named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 13 Mike Evans vs.

    Marshon Lattimore is a fight that needs its own referee Depleted Bucs secondary could get veteran Logan Ryan back for Monday night Bucs defense met for dinner Monday to air grievances, improve camaraderie If Bucs coaches have no faith in their offense, why should you? Tom Brady assumes blame for loss to Browns, warns against sleeping on 5-6 Bucs Todd Bowles admits he was playing for overtime when he pocketed timeouts Why aren’t Tom Brady, Mike Evans clicking? ‘It’s a good question,’ Todd Bowles says Tristan Wirfs’ injury not as serious as feared • • • Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter to get updates and analysis on the latest team and NFL news from Bucs beat writer Joey Knight. Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook .

     
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