What little success the Bucs have had on third down the past two years came when they threw to WR Vincent Jackson. Jackson has 48 third-down receptions over that span and converted 42 (87.5 percent) for first downs. That’s the third-best conversion rate in the league the past two years. Jackson’s 860 receiving yards on third down the past two years are second in the league behind the 932 gained by Lions WR Calvin Johnson.
By the numbers
Bucs rookie TE Tim Wright didn’t have a monster day against the Rams last week. He caught only four passes for 27 yards, but those receptions and yards gave him the league lead among rookie tight ends in both receptions (49) and receiving yards (513). Wright’s 49 catches are the third-most for an NFL rookie tight end since 2003.
Did you know?
With six sacks and five interceptions this season, Bucs LB Lavonte David has moved into some truly elite company. Since 1982 only four other players — S Dave Duerson (Chiicago, 1986), S LeRoy Butler (Green Bay, 1996), S Rodney Harrison (San Diego, 2000) and CB Shawn Springs (Washington, 2004) — had at least six sacks and five picks in the same season.
Quote of the day
“I’ve seen a climb, and we’ve tweaked some things to get it more the way we want it. We’re not where we want to be obviously, but we’ve improved.’’
- Bucs coach Greg Schiano, on the play of the defense this season
For the Bucs, G Carl Nicks (toe, foot, MRSA) has officially been ruled out for this week’s finale against the Saints. LB Dekoda Watson (groin) did not practice Thursday; S Mark Barron (hamstring) and LB Ka’Lial Glaud (knee) were limited; LB Lavonte David (elbow), RG Davin Joseph (knee) and NT Akeem Spence (wrist) fully participated.
For the Saints, QB Drew Brees (knee), WR Marques Colston (back), G Jahri Evans (knee) and RB Pierre Thomas (eye) fully participated.