5 Saints That Need to “Come Up Big” to Beat the Bucs

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Sep 20, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) celebrates following a sack on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints face their divisional rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the second time in three weeks this Saturday on Christmas Eve, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Two weeks ago, the Saints were defeated by the Bucs in Tampa 16-11. The game effectively ended New Orleans’ slim hope for a playoff spot in 2016, although they are still technically alive mathematically (by the very slimmest of margins) coming into Saturday’s games.

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It was also the second straight abysmal performance by the New Orleans offense, following a 13 point flop against the Detroit Lions the previous week.

The Saints offense did rebound nicely last week however — with a 48 point outburst against the top ranked defense of the Arizona Cardinals.

The Saints defense actually played a solid game against the Buccaneers, and has been greatly improved over the second half of the 2016 season.

They did stumble in a major way last week against Arizona, though; surrendering 41 points in their victory, and may very well have finally been done in by the injuries that have plagued their secondary all year long.

With that serving as a back-drop to Saturday’s contest, tonight we take a look at 5 Saints players who must show up in a big way if the Saints are going to defeat the Buccaneers and give their fans a Christmas treat.

Starting first with THE biggest (literally) Saint of all….