Bucs Schedule Analysis — Week 2

The second day of Matthew Postins' 2007 schedule analysis finds him breaking down Tampa Bay's home opener against New Orleans.

Each day for the next 16 days, BucsBlitz.com's Matthew Postins will take a quick look at each game on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2007 schedule. Some things to keep in mind:

Tampa Bay opens on the road for the fourth time in the last five years. The Bucs are 3-1 in that situation.

The Bucs have the third-easiest schedule in the NFL in 2007, by winning percentage.

The Bucs have just one prime-time game scheduled, Dec. 23 at San Francisco. That start time could change if NBC chooses to exercise its "flex scheduling" option for that week.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., FOX, Sept. 16

The Saints swept the Bucs last year, with RB Reggie Bush providing the kill shot in the Superdome and QB Drew Brees exploiting a decimated secondary in Tampa Bay.

The Saints have lost a few parts from last year's NFC South winner, most notably WR Joe Horn (to Atlanta), PK John Carney (released) and S Omar Stoutmire (Wasington). Horn's departure is the greatest risk, as the Saints are depending on the development of Bush and WRs Terrance Copper, Marques Colston and Devery Henderson to fill that void. If they do, with Brees and the controls and RB Deuce McAllister doing the dirty work, the Saints could be the NFC's most dangerous offense. The Saints could have used a bit of an upgrade on defense, but they may be saving that for the draft.

Like Seattle, this game primarily depends on the health and improvement of the Bucs' pass defense. Brees lit them up last year, but that was without CB Brian Kelly, DE Simeon Rice and CB Torrie Cox working the slot. They were completely overmatched. Even with a healthy defense that more resembles its usual self, I think the Saints have more than enough firepower to win.

Final score: New Orleans 28, Tampa Bay 14. Record: 0-2

— Matthew Postins


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