Bucs-Saints Game Notes

December 1 – PewterReport.com has compiled a notebook with news and notes from Tampa Bay's 23-20 loss to New Orleans on Sunday night.

INJURY UPDATE: Nose tackle Anthony McFarland practiced with the team for the first time this week but was downgraded from questionable to doubtful to out and did not play. Chartric Darby got the start. Kick returner Aaron Stecker injured his right leg on a return and did not return.

BUCS' INACTIVES: FB Darian Barnes, CB Tim Wansley, DT Anthony McFarland, WR Charles Lee, WR Reggie Barlow, DE Ron Warner, OT Dan Goodspeed and QB Rob Johnson.

RUN TO NOWHERE: The Bucs' play-action passing game wasn't nearly as effective as usual because the Bucs didn't even try to run the ball. They ran only 16 times for 34 yards, compared to 44 pass attempts. The Bucs ran the ball nine times in the first half and just seven in the second half.

HOMEFIELD TAKES A HIT: Tampa Bay's loss to New Orleans comes on a day in which Philadelphia (9-3), Green Bay (9-3), San Francisco (8-4) and Atlanta (8-3-1), next week's opponent, all won. If the playoffs started today, the Eagles would have homefield advantage. The Bucs' lead in the NFC South shrank to just a half game.

QUICK HITS: The loss to New Orleans snapped the Bucs' four-game winning streak. It also meant that the Saints swept the Bucs. ... Tampa Bay's secondary didn't make many plays against New Orleans, allowing two touchdowns, breaking up only two passes and failing to record an INT. ... The Bucs had four fumbles, losing two of them to New Orleans. ... Tom Tupa's 71-yard punt was his longest of the year.

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